Central African countries eye pipelines and hubs to end energy poverty

Central African countries eye pipelines and hubs to end energy poverty
Central African countries eye pipelines and hubs to end energy poverty

YAOUNDE, September 8 (Reuters) – Central African countries on Thursday signed an agreement to create a regional network of oil and gas pipelines and hub infrastructure that donors say will boost energy supplies and reduce dependence on imports of refined products.

The project aims to build three multinational oil and gas pipeline systems of approximately 6,500 km, storage depots, liquefied natural gas terminals, at least three refineries and gas-fired power plants connecting 11 countries by 2030 , according to project documents seen by Reuters.

Countries including Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Gabon, Chad, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo and Republic of Congo are all oil producers or have vast untapped oil and gas reserves, but depend on imports of refined products.

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Most of them have little or no refining capacity and are struggling with fuel and electricity shortages, made worse by the Ukraine crisis. Read more

Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of OPEC-member Equatorial Guinea, told the forum ahead of the signing ceremony in Cameroon that the project was crucial to tackling energy poverty in the region.

He said the project was inspired by the West African gas pipeline linking Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana, and the European model where Rotterdam serves as a refining and distribution hub for several countries.

“It won’t be cheap or easy, but if done in collaboration it will work,” he said, adding that the network will help get rid of trucks criss-crossing countries and boost the regional market for the oil and gas by delivering products to where they are needed.

The project’s memorandum of understanding signed on Thursday by the African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO), one of the funders, and the Central Africa Business Energy Forum, will pave the way for feasibility studies.

Omar Farouk Ibrahim, Secretary General of APPO, said the project is one of the most ambitious energy infrastructure projects whose completion has the potential to dramatically change the economies of participating countries.

“It will bring energy from areas of abundance to areas of need in the Central African sub-region. It will integrate and energize the national economies of the Central African sub-region,” Ibrahim said.

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Reporting by Amindeh Blaise Atabong Editing by Bate Felix and David Evans

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

. countries central africa plan pipelines hubs for end poverty energy

. Central African countries eye pipelines hubs energy poverty

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