Something new will soon be forthcoming in the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project, a project that will have to drastically change the logistics of transporting gas produced in Africa to the Old Continent.
This March, the British engineering firm Pempsen, to which ONHYM and the Nigerian NNPC hydrocarbon company awarded the preliminary engineering contract (FEED), for the first phase of the construction of this project, will have to deliver the results of his study.
The announcement, made by the UK cabinet itself, in January 2019, followed the feasibility study conducted by the same firm in July 2018. One of the most important findings of this study was the estimation of the length of the pipeline at 5,700 km. What Pempsen will deliver this month is the evaluation work of the feasibility study with an in-depth assessment of the gas supply and demand study. Among the work that will have to be carried out also is an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA). This one aims at optimizing the proposed layout as well as the economic aspects of its realization. Pempsen will also assist the two Moroccan and Nigerian partners in the phases of marketing and promoting the pipeline to potential future customers.
The project has multiple objectives
Over an edition published in our columns a few weeks ago, Abdelaziz Rabbah, Minister of Energy and Mines, stressed the importance of the studies carried out under this project for the countries of the region. “The studies on the Nigeria-Morocco pipeline are still underway and the joint commission is at work. Moreover, the countries of West Africa are still keenly interested in this future infrastructure, including Mauritania, which has shown interest in becoming a producer,” the minister said.
Indeed, studies related to the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline project will only be of interest to West African countries, including Mauritania and Senegal. Given the bilateral economic relations with these countries, as well as the recent discoveries of oil and gas deposits throughout the region, the strengthening of cooperation will also have to be positively impacted by the whole project. After the announcement of the Algeria-Nigeria gas pipeline project last October, the role of the entire region in supplying gas to Europe will have to be strengthened.
According to Abdelaziz Rabbah, these two projects “may very well be complementary, as is the case today for the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline passing through Morocco and directly from Algeria to Europe”.
While waiting to know the fate of the gas contract Maghreb-Europe, Morocco has made the choice of pro-activity. Be that as it may, the Kingdom has “already started thinking about putting in place the appropriate institutional and organizational framework to manage this infrastructure, which will become Morocco’s property by 2021,” Rabbah said. In any case, Morocco will come out and win.