The pipeline system and hub infrastructure will include storage depots, liquefied natural gas terminals, refineries and gas-fired power plants and aims to service regional demand for refined petroleum products.

According to H.E. Minister Mbaga Obiang Lima, the project is currently on track, with “Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea working on the first phase, which includes connection through Chad,” adding that “2022 was the year that we needed to inform everyone and ensure that it is not a dream, but something that will be executed. The African Petroleum Producers’ Organization is already working with a consultancy for the entire study of the project and our next meeting will be in Chad in November to get more countries involved.”

Speaking on how the project will be implemented, the Minister added, “The DRC would connect through Angola and Central Africa, as they are already providing products through that direction. Congo-Brazzaville is developing an FPSO for liquefied natural gas, which in the future, will need to be connected with a pipeline. Gabon had an election in 2022 and we hope to get more news from them this year.”

The Minister also spoke on his travel plans to Gabon, where he will meet with his counterpart and the president to discuss Gabon’s important role in the CAPS project, considering its extensive experience in oil bunkering, stating: “We will be in discussions with Gabon firms, such as Panoro Energy, on how to cooperate with them and other service providers. Gabon is more than prepared, with the country already having all the infrastructure needed in place.”

Meanwhile, H.E Minister Mbaga Obiang Lima highlighted funding as Africa’s greatest challenge to achieving hydrocarbon sector expansion, stating that in relation to CAPS,  “the only thing bankers and financiers are waiting for is the feasibility study of the project. Once they see that, they will invest.”

With Africa maximizing the exploitation of its over 1.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves and estimated 125 billion barrels of crude oil to address energy poverty, the CAPS initiative – which is slated to achieve full operation from 2030 onward – will usher in a new era of intra-African energy trade and security.