The Front End Engineering and Design for the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) will be finished by the end of the first quarter this year, according to Dr Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Resources.
The WAGP was the core focus of one of three cooperation agreements Nigeria signed with Morocco in 2018. The pre-existing pipeline takes its source in Nigeria and provides natural gas to Togo, Benin and Ghana through a 678km network. Initially proposed in 1982, it took over 25 years to be put in service. WAGP’s extension could take up to 25 years to build over several phases, as indicated by both countries concerned.
The extension – imagined to be 5,660km long – will connect to Nigeria to Morocco and Europe, traversing and providing gas to 15 West African countries in the process, for an approximate pool of 300 million potential consumers, excluding Europe.
This project is strategic for all stakeholders involved. On the project, Dr Kachikwu said: “The pipeline will help in the industrialization of these countries and also meet the needs of consumers for heating and other uses. We see gas as a fuel to take Africa to the next level.”
Furthermore, the pipeline is designed to decrease gas flaring in Nigeria and encourage diversification of the energy mixes in traversed countries, both for industrial and domestic use.
The two other agreements, signed by Nigeria and Morocco respectively, pertain to the development of an industrial platform in Nigeria to produce ammonia and related products; and to a convention around training in the agricultural sector.
This news comes in as we see natural gas issues picking up traction across the region, namely with the Grand Tortue Ahmeyim gas field to move quickly towards first production. Regional cooperation is also a growing subject across the continent with Dr Kachikwu, also President of African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO), stating that the continent is in need of up to $2bn investment in critical infrastructure.
African producers will unite during the APPO Cape VII Congress and Exhibition hosted by Africa Oil & Power, in April 2-5 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, to tackle such crucial subjects for Africa’s economic development.