The construction of a 2,000 kilometer crude oil pipeline between Niger and Benin has been halted as a result of the coronavirus scare.
In August last year, the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) signed a contract with the government of Benin in West Africa to build and operate a crude oil pipeline in the region.
The project which starts from the Agadem oil field in Niger and ends at the port of Seme Terminal in Benin is expected to help Niger export its crude oil.
It is expected to take 42 months to complete at a cost of $4.5 billion.
But barely a month after receiving permit from the Niger government, the project has been halted in the wake of the coronavirus scare.
The contractor has reportedly halted the project for fear that coronavirus could be spreading amongst the construction workers.
There are also no indication that the newly-arriving specialists from China would not be carrying the virus into West Africa.
The project was being undertaken by Chinese CNODC a Joint Venture of China National Petroleum Corporation CNPC and Petrochina, a Chinese Oil and gas company.
It is the biggest CNPC investment in a cross-nation oil pipeline in Africa.
In 2011 the CNPC launched an oil refinery with annual capacity of 1 million tonnes in Zinder in southern Niger in 2011.
CNPC had set a 2020 production target of more than 2 million barrels oil equivalent per day from overseas oil and gas operations.