Algeria, Nigeria, and Niger Republic have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to build a 4,000-kilometerrme (2,500-mile) Trans-Saharan gas pipeline that will traverse the three African countries across the Sahara Desert to Europe.
The MoU was signed on Thursday, July 28, 2022 in Algiers by the Algerian Minister of Energy and Mines, Mohamed Arkab; Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; and Nigerien Minister of Energy and Renewable Energy, Mahamane Sani Mahamadou.
The MoU followed an agreement in June 2022 among the three African countries on reviving the gas pipeline project, which had been under discussion for nearly four decades.
It is estimated that once completed, the $13 billion (€12.75 billion) pipeline would transport up to 30 billion cubic metres (1 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas per annum from Warri in Nigeria through Niger and Algeria on to Europe.
In 2009, an accord was signed by Nigeria, Niger and Algeria to build the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline project with an aim to commission it in 2015. However, the project could not be implemented, mainly due to security concerns in the Sahel region and tensions between the governments in Algiers and Niamey.
The project’s revival is coming after Algeria and Niger reopened their mutual border, and at a time when the European Union (EU) is grappling with the supply of natural gas and looking for alternative sources, following the launch of Russia’s military operations in Ukraine.
Earlier this week, EU member states agreed to reduce gas consumption as concerns grow that Russia might cut off already decreasing deliveries.
The EU President, Ursula von der Leyen, had said the deal to reduce gas use was about preventing the Kremlin from being able to blackmail the EU with gas deliveries.