More than half of China’s $4.6 billion in overseas energy lending went to projects in Africa in 2020, data from Boston University’s Global Energy Finance database show.
China’s policy banks funded a gas pipeline in Nigeria, which drove most of the more than $3bn of financing, and smaller projects in Lesotho, Rwanda and the Ivory Coast.
The Bank of China and the Chinese export and credit insurance corporation Sinosure approved a 15-year, $2.2bn loan to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for the construction of the $2.6bn Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline project, which is due to enter operation in 2023.
The Nigerian government is expected to issue a sovereign guarantee to back the loan.
The NNPC will provide the remaining 15 percent ($400m) to fund the project.
The NNPC selected Brentex/China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau-CPP Consortia and Oilserve/China First Highway Engineering Company-CFHEC Consortia as the engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contractors for the project.
The AKK gas pipeline will deliver 3.5 bcf/d (99 mcm/d or 36.1 bcm/year) of gas from several gas projects in the south of the country. In a first phase, it will deliver 2.5 bcf/d (57 mcm/d or 20.7 bcm/year) to domestic customers.
In July 2020, Nigeria officially launched the construction of the project.
Overall overseas energy finance by China fell by 43 per cent compared with 2019 and remained far below its level in recent years. Elsewhere, China lent towards projects in Bangladesh, Serbia and Pakistan.