Nigeria-Algeria gas pipeline faces delays

According to news reports, the Director General of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, made statements to the Nigerian press revealing details about Nigeria’s largest gas pipeline project. The project aims to transport gas from the south to the north of Nigeria to address the electricity crisis in these areas and also transport gas to Europe via Niger and Algeria.

Kyari stated that the first part of the Algerian gas pipeline project would complete 70% of the AKK gas pipeline. However, he expressed regret over the slow progress of the 614-km pipeline project, which had been funded by NNPC with over $1 billion. The project had been reportedly halted due to a lack of funding despite NNPC’s commitment to its development.

The Nigerian government had initially negotiated the bulk of the $2.5 billion project financing with Chinese lenders led by the Bank of China, but the agreement never materialized. Construction only began in the mid-2020s after contracts were awarded in late 2017.

The National Oil Company had previously announced its intention to complete the project before President Muhammadu Buhari left office in late May. However, Algeria’s decision to take over the Nigerien part of the pipeline project could speed up the pace and bring the trans-Saharan gas pipeline closer to service.