Italy strengthens strategic ties with Algeria with the construction of a new gas pipeline |  International

Italy strengthens strategic ties with Algeria with the construction of a new gas pipeline | International

Italy has stepped up the pace in Algeria to make the North African country its main energy supplier and end its dependence on Russia. The Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, promoted an agreement this Monday in Algiers to build a new gas pipeline between the two countries, with the capacity to supply natural gas and hydrogen.

In a joint appearance with the Italian head of government, the Algerian president, Abdelmayid Tebún, affirmed that the signed agreement will allow the launch of a project that will serve as a platform for different types of energy flows. “It will not be like the currently existing [a través de la isla de Sicilia], since in addition to gas, it will include hydrogen, ammonia and electricity,” said the Maghrebian president, quoted by the Efe news agency. The new energy connection tube, called Galsi, will link from the Algerian coast to the island of Sardinia, with a distance of 284 kilometers, and from there it will continue towards the Italian mainland.

Algeria also supplies natural gas to Spain from a direct pipeline to the Andalusian coast, but after breaking diplomatic relations in 2021, Algiers stopped sending it through the pipeline that connects Morocco with the Iberian Peninsula through the Strait of Gibraltar. “Algeria is determined to consolidate itself as a trusted strategic partner in energy matters,” Tebún assured in the presence of Meloni. From the 21,000 million cubic meters of gas imported from Algeria in 2021, Italy aspires to reach 30,000 million in 2024 to emancipate itself from Moscow’s energy dependence.

Commercial exchanges between the two countries amounted to 8,000 million dollars (about 7,373 million euros) in 2021, and have doubled to exceed 16,000 million last year. The populist Meloni continues in Algeria, in one of her first visits abroad, the steps of her predecessor in office, the technical prime minister Mario Draghi, in Italy’s strategy to replace gas of Russian origin (which represented 45% of its imports) by the Algerian after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine.

Cooperation between the two Mediterranean countries will also extend to the supply of liquefied gas in methane tankers, renewable energy, the automobile industry (with the construction of a Fiat plant in Oran), infrastructure, agriculture and aerospace projects . Meloni proclaimed during his visit that he considers Algeria a “reliable partner of absolute strategic importance in terms of energy and an extraordinary bridge with Italy,” reports Efe.

The Italian company ENI has also signed an agreement with the state hydrocarbons company Sonatrach to improve environmental management and the efficiency of the exploitation of deposits in Algeria. One of the objectives is to improve the capacity of the networks and restrict the unnecessary combustion of gas in the facilities to reduce polluting emissions and avoid wasting energy.

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