Central African energy ministers announced a plan Friday to boost energy supply in the region after signing a deal to construct an oil and gas pipeline network.
Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Gabon, Chad, Angola, Congo and the Republic of Congo inked the deal at the Central Africa Business Forum which concluded in Douala, Cameroon.
Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, said the countries are committed to increasing energy production in the region.
The deal to "build three gas pipelines measuring about 6,500 kilometers" (4,000 miles) is aimed at “ensuring the survival of the entire region in the energy sector,” he said.
At least three refineries and power plants fired by gas linking 11 countries will also be built under the deal
The goal is to eradicate energy poverty by 2030, create energy security for the future and create an energy market in the African sub-region, said Lima.
While most of the countries that signed the deal lack sufficient refining capacity, Lima said regional financial institutions were ready to finance the projects.
Oil reserves in Central Africa are estimated at 31.3 billion barrels. Of the top 10 oil reserves in Africa, five are in the region: Gabon, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Chad and Angola.
The forum said there is a need to invest in heavy energy infrastructure for common benefits through pooling resources and turning to south-south foreign direct investment.
Secretary-General Omar Farouk Ibrahim from the APPO, the organization of African oil-producing countries, expressed support in June for the project to build the pipelines.
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