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“Let us not waste time”: Nigeria tells neighbours to hurry with gas pipe to Europe

The pipeline will stretch for 2,310km over the Algerian desert (Sidsegh/CC BY-SA 4.0)
Nigeria this week called on the governments of Niger and Algeria to speed up their preparations for a $13bn trans-Saharan gas pipeline (TSGP) that will bring West African energy to Europe.

It said a number of European countries were calling for the project to begin as soon as possible to offset the energy shortage brought by the war in Ukraine, reports the newspaper, Punch.

Planning work on the 4,128km project has been underway since a memorandum of understanding was signed in 2002 by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Algerian national oil and gas company Sonatrach. However, construction did not begin until July 2020 when the NNPC launched the 1,037km Ajaokuta-to-Kano project to take gas towards the Niger border.

In February, the three governments signed an agreement to begin development work in Niger and Algeria.

The route of the planned pipeline (Sémhur/CC BY-SA 4.0)

Timipre Sylva, Nigeria’s minister for petroleum resources, told the federal government’s state council on Monday that work should be carried out as quickly as possible.

He said: “Before now, we should have invented this project, because it is now important more than ever before for us to take our gas to the European markets. A lot of European countries are asking for alternative gas supply from us in Africa.

“And this is because, of course, today gas is now a weapon of war between Ukraine and Russia, and so, more than ever before, our gas is needed. Therefore, let us not waste time, let us try and fast-track this project.”

When it is eventually complete, the TSGP will carry 36 billion cubic metres of natural gas a year.

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