Nigeria's National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) is set to invest $12.5 billion to secure a 50 percent equity stake in the $25 billion Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline project.
The investment plan follows the resolution of a lingering Production Sharing Contract (PSC) by parties involved in the project.
According to NNPCL Group CEO Mallam Mele Kyari, the pipeline project is already undergoing Environmental Impact Assessment and Right of Way Surveys and is at the FEED Phase II stage, adding that further investment is expected as a result of the resolution of the production sharing contract disputes with partners.
Although the start date for the gas pipeline construction has not yet been set, Nigeria's Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, disclosed that some administrative issues still need to be resolved to pave the way for the project's commencement.
Morocco will have 1,672 kilometers of the 5,600-kilometer-long pipeline project running through its territory, and it's expected to benefit over 400 million people in West Africa. Morocco's King Mohammed VI describes the project as a strategic turning point that will accelerate the continent's development.
First proposed by King Mohammed VI and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016, the pipeline project gained substantial traction lately due to rising energy prices and decreasing European gas supplies amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.
The project is expected to help Morocco overcome its persistent energy crisis, with the North African country currently importing 90 percent of its energy needs.
Thirteen countries along the Atlantic coast will be spanned by the pipeline, with the project receiving support from many countries, including Nigeria, Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Guinea, Ghana, and Sierra Leone, which signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Morocco's National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM) in December 2022.
The overwhelming support reflects the country's determination to support the Morocco-Nigeria gas pipeline project and improve energy infrastructure in the region.