Niger turns to China to build Africa’s longest oil pipeline – AFP
Niger’s military authorities have launched the first phase of a 2,000-kilometer-long pipeline that will carry crude oil to neighboring Benin, AFP reported this week.
According to the report, the commissioning ceremony was held at the Agadem oil site, more than 1,700 kilometers (around 1,500 miles) from the capital, Niamey, in the desert region of Diffa.
The resources from exploitation will be used to “ensure the sovereignty and development” of the country, Nigerian Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine was quoted as saying at the ceremony on Wednesday. The pipeline’s commissioning will allow Niger to sell its crude on the international market for the first time via the Benin port of Seme.
AFP wrote that over $6 billion has been invested in the project, including $4 billion to develop the oil fields and $2.3 billion to construct the pipeline.
Construction of the project, led by the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), is expected to generate additional traffic to the Port of Cotonou in Benin. The port is expected to process up to 300,000 tons of goods once the pipeline becomes operational.
The pipeline’s commissioning comes during sweeping sanctions imposed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the European Union on the country after the July 26 military coup.
Niger, a landlocked country in West Africa, is one of the world’s poorest nations, receiving close to $2 billion a year in development aid.