Central African Countries Are Betting on Pipelines and Hubs to Alleviate the Region’s Energy Poverty

Central African Countries on Thursday signed a deal to create a gas and oil pipeline grid that would help reduce the dependence on the importation of refined products and increase the energy supply.

According to the documents shown to Reuters, the projects aim to develop multinational oils and construct pipelines covering around 6,500km, terminals for liquefied gas, storage depots, refineries, and a gas-driven power plant that will be connecting 11 nations by 2030.

The involved countries are Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Chard, Gabon, Angola, Congo Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is either an oil producer or has massive gas or oil reserves that is untapped but depend on other countries for imports of refined products.

Speaking ahead of the deal signing ceremony in Cameroon, Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of OPEC member Equatorial Guinea to the forum the project was vital in tackling the region’s energy poverty.

Lima added that the project was inspired by West Africa’s pipeline connecting Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, and Togo, where Rotterdam acts as the refinery and distribution hub for European countries with their model.

“It will not be cheap or easy, but if it is done as a collaboration, it will work,” he stated. In addition, the project will help reduce trucks moving across countries and increase gas and oil markets in moving products where they are required.

On Thursday, the signed memorandum by the Central Africa Business Energy Forum and the African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO) will bring the feasibility studies.

The Secretary General of the African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO), Farouk Ibrahim, also stated that the project was one of the most driven energies and petroleum network when completed, has the potential to change the economies of the collaborating countries drastically. “It shall take energy from areas of abundance to areas of need within the Central African region. It shall integrate and energize national economies of the Central Africa subregion,” said Ibrahim.