Russia will invest, another major setback for the Algerian regime

Russia, a country that Algeria considers its main ally, has inflicted further discomfiture on Algerian leaders by joining the Morocco-Nigeria gas pipeline megaproject which is entering its second study phase.

The Nigerian ambassador in Moscow, Abdullahi Shehu, announced that the Russian company “U Metal Company” would invest in the gas pipeline project which will link, across the Atlantic coast, Nigeria to Morocco and will eventually supply , clean energy for Europe.

The information was confirmed on the Russian side since it was taken up by the RIA Novosti press agency which published an interview with the ambassador. Such news will call into question the solidity of the partnership between Algeria and Russia, but simply from the point of view of Algiers, which considers Moscow as an ally, while the relationship is largely undervalued on the Russian side, which sees it as a first and foremost a commercial link.

Russia’s investment in this gas pipeline will be a double penalty for the Algerian regime, which sees its circle of influence shrink again with the loss of its main weighty “ally”, but also is new proof of the unsuccessful foreign policy. of Algiers, of the country’s international isolation since its offensive and hateful policy towards Morocco, with which diplomatic relations were unilaterally severed last August.

This, without forgetting that at the same time, Algeria is carrying out a competing gas pipeline project. A long forgotten plan, resurrected recently in the wake of progress in the Morocco-Nigeria gas pipeline file.

In recent months, Nigerian officials have claimed that Russia is among the countries most interested in this mega pipeline project. These assertions have therefore been confirmed and it is possible that other Russian and foreign players will join the adventure by providing funding.

“It is one more slap that has just been dealt to the Algerian regime by what it considers to be its main strategic ally, Russia”, reacted the Spanish site La Razon in a comment.

News of the Russian investment comes shortly after Algeria suffered a diplomatic setback when it saw its bid to host the African Medicines Agency defeated “by an overwhelming majority” in favor of Rwanda, who obtained 82% of the votes against 8% of the votes, continued the same source.

And it is the Nigerian government that insists on associating Russia, itself very interested, given its experience in the construction of gas pipelines. In addition, the Nigerian president wishes to advance the construction site of this project as much as possible before the end of his mandate.

Thus, Muhammad Buhari would like the work to start at the beginning of 2023, and this seems to be quite possible since the pipeline will be able to rely on an already existing coastal section.

“We need a long-term partnership and not inconsistencies and contradictions in UK and EU green energy policy. For a change, the UK and EU countries should invest in our gas pipeline project to bring Nigerian gas through Morocco to Europe,” said Buhari recently, who together with King Mohammed VI had launched in 2017 this mega strategic project which will cross several African countries, supply them with gas and other European countries.

The project continues its development and entered the second phase of study at the beginning of July, and this stage was entrusted to the German engineering and consulting company, ILF Consulting Engineers.

The project management services (PMC) that ILF will have to do, include the design of the onshore and offshore gas pipeline and the compressor station, the technical surveys, the environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA), the studies land acquisition and project implementation framework.

In addition, the project should explore the potential for using renewable energy sources to operate the pipeline and reduce the project’s carbon footprint, which will be an important addition to the clean energy-focused project.

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