Algeria, Nigeria, and Niger have agreed to build a more than 4,000km-long Trans Saharan gas pipeline, Xinhua reported, citing the Algerian Energy Minister.

Estimated to cost $13bn, the pipeline will start in Nigeria and end in Algeria. It will then be connected to existing pipelines that run to Europe.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed by the Algerian Minister of Energy and Mines Mohamed Arkab, the Niger Minister of Energy and Renewable Energy Mahamane Sani Mahamado, and Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Timipre Sylva.

It follows an agreement signed last month between the three African countries for reviving the decades-old Trans-Saharan gas pipeline project.

The pipeline will have the capacity to transport up to 30 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas per annum to Europe.

At that time, the Nigerien Oil Ministry said that a task force for the pipeline project was set up by the three African countries and designated an entity for updating the project’s feasibility study.

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These countries initially signed an agreement for the project in 2009. The project was first proposed over 40 years ago, but progress was delayed due to several reasons, including security concerns.

Arkab was quoted by Xinhua as saying to reporters: “Today’s meeting follows two previous meetings, respectively in Niamey in February, and in Abuja in June.

“We have taken a number of decisions and we are making remarkable advances in the construction of this strategic project.”

The proposed pipeline will start in Warri in Nigeria and end in Hassi R’Mel in Algeria. It will then be connected to existing pipelines that reach Europe, according to Algeria’s Ennahar TV.

Last year, Algeria exported 54bcm of gas, primarily to Spain and Italy.