The Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline is set to receive a total investment of $25 billion in 2023, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), Mele Kyari has revealed.
Kyari said in a report by Bloomberg that discussions for the financing of the energy megaproject are still ongoing, noting that a final investment decision will be made next year.
The NNPC CEO did not, however, disclose the entity behind the investment in the 5,600-kilometer-long offshore pipeline that would travel across 11 African countries and ultimately reach Europe.
The investment would cover the overall expenses related to the construction of the pipeline with a cost estimated at $20-25 billion, Kyari said in an interview.
Construction would be broken down into phases, the first would take three years, while the other stages would take five years to reach completion.
Earlier estimates indicate that that pipeline could take up to 25 years to become operational.
First conceived in 2016, the Nigeria-Morocco pipeline has been garnering significant attention amid the ongoing Ukraine crisis, the tightening of global gas supplies, and increasingly tight sanctions on Russia.
Therefore, the project is increasingly appealing to Europe, as it promises to lessen its dependency on Russian gas, experts pointed out.
Earlier this year, the project received substantial funding from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
The investment is currently funding the project’s feasibility study also known as Front-End Engineering Design (FEED).
While the pipeline could fulfil its purpose by delivering gas to Europe and Morocco, current plans will see it further its potential by crossing 11 African countries, fulfilling the energy needs of nearly 400 million people.
In Africa, the project promises to support the continent’s socio-economic development, experts argue. The pipeline represents a reliable source of employment and attracts investments to the region.
OPEC agreed to finance the second phase of feasibility studies of a submarine gas pipeline with Nigeria, said Moroccan authorities.
The legal documentation relating to the $14.3 million financing granted by the OPEC Fund to the National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM) was signed by Economy and Finance Minister Nadia Fettah, alongside OPEC Managing Director, Abdulhamid Al khalifa, and ONHYM Managing Director, Amina Benkhadra, the ministry said in a statement.
Nigeria and Morocco signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the gas pipeline project with the NNPC on behalf of Nigeria signed with the National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines of Morocco and the ECOWAS Commission.
The MoU is expected to drive the execution of the 7,000 km Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project.