Ethiopia, Djibouti reach deal on natural gas pipeline

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Landlocked Ethiopia on Saturday said it had concluded a deal with Djibouti to build a 765-km pipeline to transport its natural gas to ports in the neighboring 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 65 km of the pipeline will be located in Ethiopia, whose government has previously announced plans to generate $1 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.

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