The Morocco-Nigeria gas pipeline (NMGP) project is ahead of its continental competitor, proposed by Algeria, due to geopolitical and stability concerns in the Sahel region, reports El Economista.
“The instability of the Sahel has been pushing Nigeria to develop the NMGP, which more than meets the security requirement as it is an underwater connection. Thus, the connection, which is in its second phase, receives financial support from OPEC, which signed an investment of $14.3 million in March 2022,” reported the same source.
“Compared to the Nigeria-Algeria gas pipeline, the Atlantic Africa gas pipeline involves more countries and has the potential for greater socioeconomic growth and wealth creation through job opportunities. It also contributes to Africa’s energy transition and aligns with the objectives of sustainable development,” said Abderrahmane Badou, a researcher in transitional energy, to MoroccoLatestNews.
He noted, “the Nigeria-Algeria gas pipeline has fewer countries involved and may not generate as much wealth. Thus, this project is associated with less economic importance and job creation.”
Badou stressed that there are potential risks as well as geopolitical problems in sub-Saharan countries –such as Mali— that might impose some challenges to the project implementation.
“Countries involved in the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project are stable and economically prosperous. These countries are actively participating in addressing environmental issues and energy needs,” said the researcher in transitional energy.
Badou highlighted in his interview with MoroccoLatestNews that the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project holds great potential for economic growth, and meeting energy needs, while the Nigeria-Algeria gas pipeline has few economic benefits.
“The goal of the project is to address economic, socio-economic, and social issues by creating wealth for the countries involved and meeting the energy needs of Africa while also considering environmental concerns and commitments,” said the researcher.
El Economista highlighted that Spain’s recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the Moroccan Sahara “also facilitates the construction of an underwater gas pipeline that may run down the coast of that region.”
The Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project is also anticipated to contribute to accelerating energy access, enhancing living standards for the population, and fostering regional economic integration.
The pipeline, which will run for 7,000 kilometers along the West African coast, is expected to transport nearly 3 billion cubic feet of gas per day to Morocco and Europe
The pipeline will go along a lengthy route, originating in Nigeria and spanning across elven countries, including Benin, Togo, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Senegal, and Mauritania, before reaching its final destination in Morocco.
The pipeline’s passing countries will be able to generate enough electricity for domestic consumption, manufacturing, and agricultural production. It should also create jobs and improve people’s living conditions in those countries.
On the other hand, the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline project is planned to run through Nigeria and Niger until it reaches Hassi R’Mel, the largest natural gas reserve from which three gas pipelines will depart.
The Maghreb Europe and the Medgaz are planned to reach Spain, whereas the Trans-Mediterranean pipeline project will arrive in Italy.
El Economista explained, “the global energy crisis has changed the international situation”, stressing that the Russia-Ukraine war “caused European countries dependent on the Kremlin’s crude oil and gas to be forced to diversify their supply to decouple energy from Russia.”