Morocco and Nigeria Forge New Energy Alliance with African-Atlantic Gas Pipeline Project

The GME, which linked Algerian gas fields to the port of Tarifa in Cadiz via Morocco, had been a lucrative source of transit fees for Morocco, generating over 50 million euros annually

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI extended an invitation to Nigeria’s President Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu to discuss the ambitious African-Atlantic Gas Pipeline project.

The initiative aims to substitute the Maghreb-Europe (GME) energy supply, which Algeria withdrew from amid diplomatic tensions with Rabat.

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Initially proposed in 2016 by King Mohammed VI and former Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, the collaboration focuses on the Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline.

Spanning the coastlines of 13 West African countries, this colossal infrastructure project could deliver billions of cubic meters of natural gas to Morocco.

Notably, an OPEC member, Nigeria possesses the largest proven gas reserves in Africa and ranks seventh globally.

Morocco is slated to host over 1600 kilometres of the 5600-kilometre pipeline, reflecting the magnitude of the endeavour.

Both nations have reignited their commitment to long-stalled projects, prompted by the global gas supply crunch following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2021.

Last November, King Mohammed VI emphasized the potential benefits of the pipeline for Africa and Europe, particularly as the latter sought alternatives to Russian gas.

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Due to strained diplomatic ties with Rabat, this initiative assumes added significance in the wake of Algeria’s decision to cancel the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline (GME).

The GME, which linked Algerian gas fields to the port of Tarifa in Cadiz via Morocco, had been a lucrative source of transit fees for Morocco, generating over 50 million euros annually.

Additionally, it supplied 800 million cubic meters of Algerian gas at a stable price, supporting Morocco’s energy needs.

Following the abrupt halt in the Algerian gas supply, Morocco swiftly diversified its energy sources and actively sought alternative gas deals that bypassed the borders of its contentious neighbour, Algiers.

With an annual natural gas production of less than 100 million cubic meters, Morocco has long relied on Algerian natural gas to meet its energy demands.

The African-Atlantic Gas Pipeline project emerges as a pivotal solution to Morocco’s energy conundrum, offering a reliable alternative to the diplomatic minefield with Algeria.

As discussions progress between King Mohammed VI and President Tinubu, both leaders recognize the strategic importance of diversifying energy sources and ensuring their nations’ energy security stability.

This initiative also aligns with the broader global trend of seeking energy independence in the aftermath of geopolitical conflicts affecting traditional energy supply routes.

The pipeline project presents a win-win scenario, with Nigeria benefiting from enhanced export opportunities and Morocco securing a stable and diversified source of natural gas.

The timeline of the project, spanning back to its initiation in 2016, underscores the perseverance and commitment of both nations in overcoming challenges and realizing their shared vision.

The revived collaboration reflects a proactive approach to addressing the urgent need for energy security in an unpredictable global landscape.

As Morocco and Nigeria navigate the complexities of energy geopolitics, the African-Atlantic Gas Pipeline project signals a transformative chapter in their bilateral relations.

It strengthens economic ties and establishes a model for regional cooperation in harnessing Africa’s vast energy potential for the benefit of its nations and the wider international community.

The success of this endeavour could set a precedent for other African nations seeking sustainable and mutually beneficial energy partnerships.

 

This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

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