Ethiopia, Djibouti reach deal on natural gas pipeline

ADDIS ABABA (AFP) – Landlocked Ethiopia yesterday said it had concluded a deal with Djibouti to build a 765-km pipeline to transport its natural gas to ports in the neighbouring Horn of Africa nation.

Ethiopia’s mining ministry said the pipeline will be built by Chinese firm Poly-GCL and transport gas from fields in the eastern Ethiopian Somali region to Djibouti to be exported from there.

There was no mention of cost, nor of when the project will come on stream.

All but 65km of the pipeline will be located in Ethiopia, whose government has previously anno-unced plans to generate USD1 billion annually from extraction of natural gas and crude oil deposits.

Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country with around 100 million people, relies heavily on Djibouti’s ports for exports and imports. The country additionally hopes that a recent rapprochement with its former province of now independent Eritrea will afford it an additional access to the sea.