OPEC Fund Finances Phase II of Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline’s FEED

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The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and Morocco have signed the legal documentation on the partial funding of the second phase of the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline (NMGP) project’s Front End Engineering Study (FEED).

The OFID is the intergovernmental development finance institution established in 1976 by the member states of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

OPEC Fund is reported to have provided the sum of $14.3million financing to National office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM) as part of its contribution to the financing of the second phase of the Front End Engineering Study of the gas pipeline linking the Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco.

Through an exchange of correspondence with OFID director-general, Abdulhamid Al Khalifa and with the director-general of the National office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM), Amina Benkhadra, the minister of economy and finance, Nadia Fettah signed the legal documentation relating to the fund.

GulfToday reported that the study, co-funded by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), consists in preparing the documentation for the implementation of the NMGP project and in finalising the related technical, financial and legal analyses, according to the same source.

The NMGP Strategic Project was initiated by President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and His Majesty King Mohammed VI. A cooperation agreement for the project was signed in May 2017.

The project is intended to be a catalyst for the economic development of the North-West African region. It carries a strong desire to integrate and improve the competitiveness and economic and social development of the region, through the development of the NMGP project.

Part of the idea behind the NMGP is to boost the regional economy through the promotion of economic development in North West Africa, the development of job-generating industries, the reduction of gas “flaring” and the use of reliable and sustainable energy.

Through its support for this project, a model of South-South cooperation, OPEC Fund strengthens, by the same token, its financial cooperation relations with Morocco and contributes to the economic and social dynamics of the Kingdom, the statement concluded.

The Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline was proposed in a December 2016 via an agreement between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Moroccan Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (National Board of Hydrocarbons and Mines) (ONHYM).

The pipeline is connecting Nigerian gas from the Niger Delta region of the country to every coastal country in West Africa (Benin, Togo, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Senegal, and Mauritania), ending at Tangiers, Morocco, and finally in Cádiz, Spain.

Experts say it may be an extension of the existing West African Gas Pipeline, which already connects Nigeria with Benin, Togo, and Ghana.

It would be recalled that in August 2017, the Nigerian oil company and ONHYM began a feasibility study for the pipeline. The pipeline, which is estimated to cost $25billion, would be completed in stages over 25 years.

The feasibility study for the construction of the NNPC and ONHYM pipeline was completed in January of 2019.

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