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CENTRAL AFRICAN NATIONS TO CREATE ENERGY HUBS IN FIGHT AGAINST ENERGY POVERTY

CENTRAL AFRICAN NATIONS TO CREATE ENERGY HUBS IN FIGHT AGAINST ENERGY POVERTY
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Faith Nyasuguta 

On Thursday, Central African nations penned a deal to create a regional oil and gas pipeline network and hub infrastructures which backers say will buttress energy supply and shrink dependence on imports of refined products.

The Central African countries include; Angola ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ด, Cameroon ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฒ, Chad ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฉ, Congo-Brazzaville ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฌ, Equatorial Guinea ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ถ, The Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฉ and Gabon ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฆ.

Most of them have little or no refining capacity and have been struggling with fuel and power shortages, worsened by the Ukraine crisis.

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

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

Equatorial Guinea’s oil minister, Gabriel Obiang Lima, poses for a photograph on the sidelines of an oil and power conference in Cape Town, South Africa, October 10, 2019 /Reuters/
According to him, the project was inspired by West Africaโ€™s gas pipeline linking Nigeria ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฌ, Benin ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฏ, Togo ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฌ and Ghana ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ญ, and the European model where Rotterdam serves as a refining and distributing hub for several countries.

โ€œIt will not be cheap, or easy, but if it is done as a collaboration, it will work,โ€ he said, adding that the network will help get rid of trucks crisscrossing countries and boost the regional oil and gas market taking products where needed.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the project signed on Thursday by the African Petroleum Producersโ€™ Organization (APPO), one of the backers, and the Central Africa Business Energy Forum, will give the way for feasibility studies.

Oil refineries in Rotterdam /Google/

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

โ€œIt shall take energy from areas of abundance to areas of need within the Central African subregion. It shall integrate and energize national economies of the Central Africa subregion,โ€ Ibrahim said.

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Faith Nyasuguta

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