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AfrOil: Abuja reportedly seeking new funding for AKK pipeline

Nigeria’s federal government is said to be looking for a new source of funding so that Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. (NNPC) can continue work on the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) natural gas pipeline project. State-controlled NNPC had previously arranged to cover most of the costs of the $2.8bn project with $1.8bn worth of loans from the Bank of China (BOC) and China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure). However, sources close to the matter told Reuters last week that the Chinese lenders were not disbursing the funds as quickly as anticipated. More specifically, the sources said, BOC and Sinosure have indicated that they are not willing to release funds before the end of the summer, as previously agreed. As a result, they said, work on the pipeline is falling behind schedule. NNPC has responded by seeking to borrow money from export credit agencies (ECAs) and other financial institutions so that it can proceed with construction, they stated. They did not name any potential new lenders.