Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline Project Nears Take Off

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The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), in collaboration with New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) plans to make proposed multi-billion dollars Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline project a reality.
This was the conclusion of the meeting between the Director-General, ICRC, Mr Aminu Diko and the National Coordinator, NEPAD, Mrs Gloria Akobundu on Sunday in Abuja.
Nigeria signed a treaty with Niger and Algeria in 2009 to build a 1,037-kilometre gas pipeline from Calabar to Kano to Nigerian border.
From the Nigerian border, the pipeline would 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.
It was to be a Public Private Partnership venture using the Build-Transfer-Operate PPP model.
However, the project was still at the local stage within Nigeria, therefore, the international route was yet to commence.
According to the ICRC boss, about 1.2 billion dollars 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 dollars, including two compressor stations.
The second phase of the project, estimated to cost 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.
He 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, GuineaBissau, 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.
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.
The National Coordinator, NEPAD, Mrs Gloria Akobundu, said the agency would partner with ICRC to make the Trans-Saharan Gasline project a reality.
Akobundu said 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


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