The construction of the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline is underway and everything points to the project having very positive consequences. Younes Maamar, a Moroccan energy and development expert, was interviewed by the official Moroccan news agency, MAPNews, where he stated that the pipeline will be beneficial in every way.
Maamar argues that the pipeline will be mainly positive in the countries through which it will pass. These nations will see their economies improve and, therefore, their economic expectations will grow and will lead to an improvement in their citizens' standard of living. It should be remembered that the pipeline will pass through Benin, Ghana, Togo, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal and Mauritania, as well as Nigeria and Morocco, where it begins and ends its route. Finally, the gas will be transported from the Alawi country to Spain.
"The importance of this project is the development of a regional gas infrastructure for the benefit of all the countries that this pipeline will cross, because it would do three things. Firstly, it would consolidate the small markets of all these countries that, on their own, do not have the critical mass to develop a gas infrastructure for their own market," the energy expert says.
These countries, which will have their share of gas, will be able to make a change in their energy mix. In this way, energy will be paid for at a lower cost and some sectors, such as the electricity and industrial sectors, will be relieved of their high consumption payments. This, in turn, will allow the markets to unite and mobilise financing for the development of the project.
On the other hand, the countries involved will also have the opportunity to develop their own geological potential. As the industry develops, gas and other fields will be boosted and will start to operate more efficiently. Also, by having a pipeline, each of these nations will be in possession of a transit fee that will encourage financing and the movement of citizens between territories.
The construction of the pipeline will serve as a link between all the countries through which it will run. This was assured by Nasser Bourita, Moroccan Foreign Minister, and his Nigerian counterpart, Geoffrey Onyeama.
A month ago, during the 1st Ministerial Meeting of the Atlantic African States, both leaders had the opportunity to discuss the progress of the project and how it will affect each of the regions through which it will pass. They agreed that the pipeline will be the impetus for a friendly congregation among all East African countries because they will benefit economically.
"This is a project that is moving forward, that will be a model of regional integration and that will change the face of the Atlantic and East Atlantic Africa," Bourita said during the event.
The Nigeria-Morocco pipeline would be the longest gas pipeline in the world. It will be 7,000 km long and link 15 countries economically. This mega-project was promoted by both King Mohammed VI of Morocco and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and has been underway for years. The design, construction and operation is being carried out by several companies renowned for their experience in this type of energy ideas, such as the firm Worley. It also has the assistance of institutions such as the Moroccan National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as the main drivers of the pipeline.
At this stage, the project is still in its early stages. The first sketches and technical design have already been made, but it will still take some time to become a reality. Even so, all countries involved have given the green light for work to begin as soon as possible.
Its construction promises to solve several problems that are currently being faced with the energy crisis. The war in Ukraine and the blockade of Russia is causing all countries to look for an alternative until the situation calms down. This pipeline would be a very wise response and the countries through which it runs will see a drastic reduction in their gas and crude oil imports.