NIAMEY, Niger — Niger has started the construction of an oil pipeline that will link it to the coast through West African neighbor Benin, a project that Niger’s president said will bolster the country’s economic development.
Calling it one of Niger’s most important projects since independence, President Issoufou Mahamadou said the 1,982 kilometer-long pipeline, marks an important step in the Sahel nation’s oil production. Nearly two-thirds of the pipeline — just under 1,300 kilometers — will be within Niger, the remainder in Benin.
China National Petroleum Corp., which has operated in Niger since 2011, is tasked with building the pipeline.
The first phase of the construction involves an investment of $4 billion between 2019 and 2021. The total through completion is expected to be $7 billion.
Oil accounts for 4% of Niger’s GDP.
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