As it stands, the gas pipeline project between Nigeria and Morocco, among the gas options available to the Kingdom, can be considered as guaranteed. Indeed, this Monday, December 20, the representatives of the Islamic Development Bank, the Moroccan government and the National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines signed, during a virtual ceremony, the financing agreements relating to the Study. Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) of the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline (NMGP) project.
The Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) study is an important step for a strategic project: the Nigeria Morocco Gas Pipeline project sponsored by King Mohammed VI and President Muhammadu Buhari. Moreover, during this ceremony he was reminded of the recommendations made by the King during his address to the participants of the 44th annual meeting of the Islamic Development Bank, in Marrakech on April 5, 2019. That day, the pipeline project linking Nigeria and Morocco was presented as a model of south-south cooperation, eligible for funding from the ISBD Group, since most of the interested countries are members. The project of this gas pipeline, indeed, involves the agreement and the commitment of many other countries in West Africa, which made it more complex and longer. Especially since it was also necessary to find the markets and the financing required for this ambitious project.
The two countries have initiated this pioneering South / South cooperation project to build a regional gas pipeline. The project aims to link Nigeria’s gas resources to those of several West African countries, Morocco, and then the connection with Europe. This pipeline, approximately 5,000 km long, will run along the entire West African coast and will bring about a profound change in the economy of the countries it will link, thereby promoting regional economic integration. This project will mainly accelerate electrification throughout the region, develop integrated industrial poles in the sub-region in sectors such as industry, agribusiness and fertilizers, in order to attract foreign capital.
Today, the Islamic Development Bank (ISBD), Morocco and Nigeria are providing concrete responses through a financial contribution to the realization of the design and engineering study before the gas pipeline project. This step aims to prepare the studies required for the gas pipeline and help to make the final investment decision (FID) by 2023 for the infrastructure project. It will be, in accordance with the agreement between the Moroccan and Nigerian governments, shared equally. The cost of the project is estimated at $ 90.1 million. The ISBD will support the Moroccan contribution and will participate in the financing of the project to the tune of USD 15.45 million under the “Service Ijara” operation. For the Nigerian contribution, the ISDB Bank has just approved financing in the amount of USD 29.75 million which will bring the Bank’s contribution to 50% of the total cost of the FEED study.
The specific objectives of the ISBD-financed component of the project are to carry out the environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA). This is to ensure the project’s compliance with all local and international environmental and social regulations and standards. It is also a question of arranging the ground to agree with all the countries crossed by the NMG of the modalities of obtaining the right-of-way of the gas pipeline to ensure the good execution of the works at a later stage. The participants in the ceremony emphasized the key and strategic role of the project as a step towards strengthening energy security in the region, contributing to the economic and social development of the countries crossed and to the regional economic situation. Integration, improvement of intra-world trade and exports on the African continent, are all values for the creation of a common energy space for the connectivity of member countries, underlined the ISBD press release.