The ministry of petroleum of the Republic of Niger said yesterday that has reached a new milestone in the opening of its domestic and regional gas market through the development and construction of the multi-billion Trans-Saharan gas pipeline (TSGP) alongside Algeria and Nigeria.

The country’s minister for petroleum for the Republic of Niger, MR. Mahamane Sani Mahamadou, had met with minister of energy and mines, Algeria, Mr. Mohamed Arkab, minister of energy and mines, Algeria, and their Nigerian counterpart, Chief Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources of Nigeria as well as the director generals of national oil companies (NOCs) of the three African countries met to discuss the implementation of the TSGP on 20 June 2022, in Abuja.

During the meeting, which follows the signing of the ‘Niamey Declaration’ during the 3rd Forum of the Economic Community of West African States in February 2022 – parties established a taskforce and roadmap for the development of the TSGP.

A Steering Committee made up of the three ministers and director generals of the NOCs, established during the two-day meeting, will be responsible for updating the feasibility study for TSGP, and will meet at the end of July 2022 in Algiers to discuss how to progress with the TSGP project.

The ministry of petroleum of Niger said it  commends all parties for this significant step, viewing both the establishment of the taskforce and roadmap as key drivers towards making the TSGP a reality.

With energy poverty increasing across the African continent due to limited investments in energy projects, delays in exploration, production and infrastructure rollout, the COVID-19 pandemic and global energy transition-related policies, the TSGP project will bring in a new era of energy reliability for Africa.

With the 4128 km pipeline running from Warri in Nigeria to Hassi R’Mel in Algeria via Niger, the pipeline will not only create a direct connection between Nigeria and Algeria’s gas fields to European markets, but will bring significant benefits for Niger.

With over 34 billion m3 of gas, Niger, in its own right, has the potential to become a gas exporter, and with Europe expanding energy ties with Africa, the TSGP project will mark a new era of improved regional cooperation in Africa, enhancing gas monetisation and exports while scaling up Niger-exports to Europe via Algeria.

Meanwhile, with the pipeline making headway, opportunities for the country to increase domestic gas utilisation on the back of new reserves from Niger and Nigeria have arisen.

With Niger seeking to improve electricity access and ensure energy affordability through increased exploitation of gas, the TSGP initiative will be a game changer. The pipeline will enable up to 30 billion m3 of natural gas to be traded yearly, enhancing regional and international energy trade, enabling Niger to expand the role of natural gas in its energy mix, and address energy poverty.

“The African Energy Chamber (AEC) lauds the energy ministers and heads of NOCs of Algeria and Nigeria for their efforts in fast-tracking the development of the TSGP. The creation of a Steering Committee and roadmap for TSGP, coupled with the recent signing of an agreement between APPO and Afreximbank for the creation of an African Energy Bank, is a huge testimony of how Africa can enhance cooperation and leverage domestic solutions to optimise its oil and gas market,” states Sebastian Wagner, Executive Chair of the Germany Africa Business Forum, adding that, “What we want to see is African financiers rallying towards supporting the rollout of TSGP.

Increased oil and gas exploration, production and assets development is what will bring Africa out of energy poverty by 2030.” concluded Wagner.

With gas emerging as the energy of the future, the TSGP project will play a critical role in positioning Niger, alongside Algeria and Nigeria, at the forefront of the energy transition. Not only will the US$13 billion project drive socioeconomic growth by unlocking massive investments across the energy sector, but will help create jobs in various industries including energy, petrochemicals and manufacturing whilst optimising energy production and positioning Africa as a global energy hub.

Niger’s energy market represents one of significant potential, and the development of the TSGP, made possible through achievements such as the establishment of the taskforce and roadmap, will be instrumental for helping the country unlock investment and drive multi-sector development in 2022 and beyond

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