The Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline (NMGP) has “taken off”, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) said last week. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between NNPC, Morocco’s National Office for Hydrocarbons & Mines (ONHYM), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in the Moroccan capital of Rabat on September 15.
NMGP is a 5,600 kilometers (km) gas pipeline project, traversing 13 African countries which, when completed, will provide gas from Nigeria to the West African countries through to the Kingdom of Morocco. In addition to Nigeria, ECOWAS said, the project will assist other countries to export their surplus natural gas: Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Mauritania.
Once completed, the project will supply about three billion standard cubic feet of gas per day (3 bscd) along the West African coast from Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Cote d’ Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Senegal, and Mauritania to Morocco.
According to ECOWAS, efforts will be made to attract public and private investors for the project, including multilateral or commercial banks, pension fund, insurance companies, among others. ECOWAS said NMGP will cost US$25 billion.
It is expected to be done in phases and could take 25 years to complete.
Chief Executive Officer of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, said the signing represents a very important milestone in the NMGP project, as all the key stakeholders have come together to reaffirm their commitment to delivering the project.
He said Nigeria and Morocco stand to benefit immeasurably from the project, in ways that extend beyond the supply of gas to energise the countries along the route.
“Some of the benefits include the creation of wealth and improvement in the standard of living, integration of the economies within the region, mitigation against desertification and other benefits that will accrue as a result of the reduction in carbon emissions,” Kyari added.
NNPC, he assured, is well positioned to leverage its experience and technical capabilities ranging from gas production, processing, transmission, and marketing as well as its vast experience in executing major gas infrastructure projects in Nigeria.
In the long term, the NMGP will be connected to the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline and to the European gas network, according to ECOWAS.
Nigeria is working to monetise its abundant gas reserves, diversifying its gas exports routes, and eliminating gas flaring within its borders.
The country’s gas reserves, more than 180 trillion cubic feet, are among the largest in the world. The government intends for the resource to be used as a transition fuel, consistent with the aims of many countries around the world, including the South American country of Guyana.