FG Partners NEPAD on $20bn Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline project

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Nahimat Adekoga
The Federal Government has concluded plans to partner New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) to actualize completion of $20 billion Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline project that had been conceived three years ago.

The partnership was the outcome of the meeting between Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) a Federal Government agency, and NEPAD delegates, led by National Coordinator, NEPAD, Gloria Akobundu, on Sunday in Abuja.

It would be recalled that Nigeria signed a treaty with Niger and Algeria in 2009 to build a 1,037-kilometre gas pipeline from Calabar to Kano to Nigerien border and continue for 841 kilometres to Algeria and then 2,303 kilometres within the Algeria Gas Infrastructure pipeline.

The proposed pipeline includes a 220-kilometre subsea between the border of Algeria and Spain. And it was expected to be a Public Private Partnership venture using the Build-Transfer-Operate (BOT) a Public Private Partnership PPP model.

The National Coordinator, NEPAD, Gloria Akobundu, said the agency would partner with ICRC to make the Trans-Saharan Gasline project a reality.

According to her, a joint committee would be set up with ICRC, NEPAD and the NNPC to fast track the commencement and execution of these laudable projects.

She said the committee would assure expected investors of adequate security and returns on their investment.

Speaking after the meeting, Director-General, ICRC, Aminu Diko explained that the commission was also working to include the private sector in developing another offshore gas pipeline that would link Nigeria with Morocco.

He added that Nigeria’s and Morocco’s sovereign wealth funds would jointly develop the pipeline to run about 4,000 kilometres along the West African coast on a route yet to be finalised.

He said 11 West African coastal countries namely Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Senegal and Mauritania were expected to benefit from the project.

Diko said a Memorandum of Understanding had been signed between Nigeria and Morocco and the next step was to establish Bilateral Coordination Body with offices in Morocco and Nigeria. And that the preliminary studies and design work would commence shortly, he noted.

He expressed optimism that Nigeria would be able to attract private sector investors to complete the complexes, as well as some lucrative and important projects.

Diko narrated that about $1.2 billion had been spent in the early gas phase to complete 261 kilometres x 20/36 inches pipeline from Qua Iboe-Ikot Abasi-Ukanafun-Obigbo artery to connect gas supply to feed the Ajaokuta-Kano line.

It was to deliver 590 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/d) and add about 2.2 Gigawatt (GW) of power, including one compressor station.

In the first phase, 418 kilometres x 36 inches pipeline from Obigbo-Umuhia-Ajaokuta; 683 kilometres x 40 inches pipeline from Ajaokuta–Abuja–Kaduna–Kano would be executed.

It would also connect gas supply from SPDC/CNL’s Assa North development via the Eastern axis through Abuja-Kaduna-Kano to further reinforce supply to the East and to the North.

The project would deliver 510mmscf/d and add about 2.0GW of power, expected to be completed by 2018 at an estimated cost of of $3.4 billion, including two compressor stations.

The second phase f the project, estimated to $1.2 billion dollars and finished by 2020, was a 174-kilometre x 24 inches pipeline from Qua Iboe terminal axis, traversing Calabar-Ikot-Ekpene-Umuahia.

It was targeted to provide an additional 1.22bcf/d of gas and add 4.9GW of power, Diko said.

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