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Risks threaten the success of the gas pipeline between Morocco and Nigeria

The Royal Institute for Strategic Studies called for drawing lessons from failed experiences in the implementation of regional energy projects in the region of Cedeao, taking into account Morocco’s major strategic project, a gas pipeline from Nigeria through Morocco to Europe.

In a report entitled “Africa’s Energy Transformation in the African Strategy for Morocco,” the institute said that this huge project must be on a very long-term agenda, in the horizon of 2035 or 2040, given the time required for approval by the countries concerned.

The Royal Institute pointed out that legislative work, detailed studies, financial management and the triggering of transactions are factors that make it necessary for this project to be included in the very long term, which will extend over 5,660 kilometers through 12 countries.

The report stressed that Morocco should reconsider the strategy of developing liquefied natural gas, taking into account the development of the marine area in the south of the Kingdom, which becomes an important area for the production and export of liquefied natural gas with the first forecast by 2021.

The institute, a think tank examining the country’s strategic issues, said that if there are other gas discoveries, the gas pipeline linking Europe and Morocco with the gas fields in Mauritania and Senegal will be the first step of the gas pipeline project from Nigeria to Morocco to Europe; This project, according to the Institute’s report, involves the number of real risks that may affect its success, the first on the lines of creditworthiness to buyers in some fragile countries in the region, the second is linked to the unstable political situation in some countries, to problems Security for buildings in some areas, while the fourth refers to the irregularity of the supply of gas by the producing countries.

In order to address these risks, the Royal Institute for Strategic Studies, in this week’s report, called for the launch of the impact study of this project to identify the main risks associated with it and to arrive at appropriate recommendations and actions to mitigate them.

The report indicates that Nigerian gas, or any discovery of other reserves, will compete with other sources of gas in North Africa, Russia or imported liquefied natural gas to Morocco.

“The total price, including the purchase price from the source and the price of trans-line transport, will be a key factor in the considerations of potential European buyers, as there are other projects, including Nord Stream 2, which links Russia,” he says. Germany, and the next line from Azerbaijan to Italy, as well as the projects being launched in Algeria, Libya and Egypt.

With regard to the cost of the line at a distance of more than 6,000 kilometers, the Institute estimates that between $ 23 billion and $ 28 billion, given that one kilometer costs between $ 3.8 million and $ 4.6 million; but the report associates these estimates with current conditions, The cost may vary significantly with the price of raw materials that will be used to build this line.

“This project will only come to light when there is a clear policy leadership such as that exercised by Morocco and a firm commitment by Nigeria to provide the conditions capable of ensuring a continuous and safe supply of gas for export,” he said.

The report was prepared by researchers at the Institute, Tawfiq Laabi, former director of the National Electricity Office in charge of development and planning, Khalid Ghazlani, general manager of EnerG Consulting, an oil consultant, and Tayeb Amkroud, consultant and energy planning consultant.

The gas pipeline project between Morocco and Nigeria was approved during a visit by King Mohammed VI to Nigeria in December 2016. It is one of the strategic projects announced by the Kingdom to contribute to the energy integration of Africa. The Nigerian National Oil Company And the National Hydrocarbure Office in Morocco.

Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia, through Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, the Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania and finally to Morocco, the last stop before being sent to Europe.

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