The Heads of State of Nigeria and Morocco have reaffirmed their commitment to the construction of a joint gas pipeline – according to a report from Morocco World News.
During a telephone conversation with King Mohammed VI recently, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari expressed his country’s determination to materialize, “as soon as possible,” the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project.
The conversation between the two heads of state was a solid indicator that Nigeria, which was considering two similar projects — one with Morocco and another with Algeria — has made up its mind about which project is best.
The project of the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline has been competing for a few years with the Nigeria-Algeria pipeline project, known as the Trans-Saharan pipeline. From Morocco’s and Algeria’s perspectives, the contest was especially fierce because it is highly unlikely for Nigeria to materialize two projects with similar, even identical objectives.
The pipeline – estimated to cost $25 billion – will serve as an extension of the existing West African Gas Pipeline currently serving Benin, Togo and Ghana, as well as connect with Spain through Cádiz.
The 5,660-km pipeline is the brainchild of an agreement between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Morocco’s National Board of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM), and is expected to improve access to energy across the West African region while facilitating gas exports to Europe.
NNPC and ONHYM presented the pipeline proposal at a special meeting of the Economic Community of West African States in August 2019.
The project of the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline, meanwhile, has been progressing at a fast pace since it was proposed in December 2016. In less than five years, the project has reached the second phase of front-end engineering design.
In 2019, after Morocco’s National Office for Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) ended their feasibility study, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) spoke positively of the project and expressed its readiness to assist its implementation.
For many observers, the Nigeria-Morocco pipeline has garnered international support because it would not only benefit the countries launching the project, but all the West African states located off the Atlantic coast.