Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Italy has been pushing to chop its reliance on Russian fuel provides.
Italian vitality large Eni and Algeria’s state-owned Sonatrach have reached settlement to spice up each fuel exploration and the event of inexperienced hydrogen within the North African nation, as Rome seeks new methods to scale back its reliance on Russian hydrocarbons.
The settlement was reached throughout a state go to by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune to Rome on Thursday, which adopted some weeks after Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi made his personal journey to Algiers.
“Each time manufacturing will increase, we can provide it to Italy, which might then ship it to the remainder of Europe,” Tebboune stated after assembly with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
“So far as electrical energy is anxious, we’ve agreed with our Italian associates to arrange a submarine cable from Algeria to Italy,” he stated.
Italy, which sourced round 40 p.c of its fuel imports from Russia final 12 months, has been scrambling to diversify its vitality provide combine as Russia’s battle in Ukraine escalates. Diversifying away from Russia is the primary purpose behind makes an attempt to speed up the event of fuel fields in Algeria.
Algeria, Italy’s second-biggest fuel provider final 12 months after Russia, has been pumping Algerian fuel to Italian shores since 1983 by way of the Trans-Mediterranean Pipeline, which runs to Sicily.
Fuel manufacturing volumes anticipated from the areas coated by the brand new settlement are equal to some 3 billion cubic metres (bcm) per 12 months and can contribute to rising the export capability of Algeria to Italy by way of the TransMed pipeline, Italy’s vitality large Eni stated.
Thursday’s signing is a part of an settlement reached by the 2 vitality teams in April, once they introduced they’d steadily enhance fuel flows within the pipeline beginning this 12 months and finally attain 9 bcm of additional fuel per 12 months by 2023-24.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed in Rome by the highest executives of the Italian and the Algerian teams in a ceremony witnessed by Tebboune and Draghi.
The MOU additionally covers the technical and financial analysis for a inexperienced hydrogen pilot challenge in Bir Rebaa North (BRN) within the Algerian desert, with the aim of supporting the decarbonisation of the BRN fuel plant operated by the Sonatrach-Eni GSE three way partnership.
Eni is the primary worldwide vitality firm working in Algeria, the place it has been current since 1981.
Within the race to chop Rome’s dependency on Russian fuel, Italian ministers have tapped quite a few international locations, such because the Republic of Congo, Angola, Azerbaijan and Qatar.