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27 Apr, 2023 08:22

Major Nigerian gas pipeline nears completion

The project is 70% finished and has been financed without foreign investment, according to its developer
Major Nigerian gas pipeline nears completion

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) announced this week that its flagship Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline project is almost complete.

The $2.8 billion project, which aims to greatly enhance Nigeria’s energy security, is set to transport natural gas from the southern part of the country to the central region.

“We have so far spent over $1.1 billion on this project from our cashflow,” NNPC’s chief executive, Mele Kyari, disclosed during an inspection tour of one of the project sites.

“This company can fund this project, so we do not need any support to deliver this project now,” he stated, without elaborating on when the pipeline would be completed. NNPC was initially planning to finish it by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

At its inception in 2020, the project was to be partly financed by Chinese loans but, according to reports, the Chinese lenders were reluctant to increase their exposure and finance the pipeline’s construction.

According to sources cited by Reuters, Nigeria then started to look for alternative funding for at least $1 billion of the pipeline’s cost, while approaching other lenders, including export-import credit institutions.

The pipeline will run for 614km (382 miles), crossing seven major rivers and ten major roads along its route.

The project represents phase one of the wider 1,300km-long Trans-Nigerian Gas Pipeline (TNGP), which is part of a government plan to utilize the country’s surplus gas resources to generate power for businesses and household consumption. Nigerian officials have promised that when launched the project will help generate 3.6 gigawatts of power and support gas-based industries along the route.

Nigeria is Africa’s top crude oil exporter and holds some of the world’s largest known reserves of natural gas.

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