Meloni seeks in Algiers to guarantee additional gas supply to Italy

This content was published on January 22, 2023 – 16:15

Algiers, Jan 22 (EFE).- The Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, landed this Sunday in Algeria as part of a friendship and work visit to consolidate the energy alliance with the North African country, which has replaced Russia as its main gas supplier.

During the two-day visit, Meloni seeks to guarantee the commitments made by his predecessor, Mario Draghi, who traveled to the North African country twice last year in the midst of the energy crisis due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and who agreed with Algeria to increase the purchase of gas from this country.

The visit is part of the promotion of the so-called “Mattei Plan”, aimed at turning Italy into a bridge for energy relations between North Africa and Europe, linked by the “TransMed” gas pipeline that leaves the Algerian desert until it ends in Sicily.

Bilateral meetings will also be held to increase business collaboration and the exchange of technological innovation, for which reason Meloni is traveling with the president of the Confindustria employers’ association, Carlo Bonomi.

Upon her arrival at the Huari Bumedien International Airport of Algiers, Meloni was received by the Algerian Prime Minister, Aimen Benabderrahman, with whom she will have an official dinner in the afternoon.

On Sunday, Meloni will go to the Sanctuary of the Martyrs to lay a floral offering and then will travel to the Italian Navy ship Carabiniere, which disembarked in the port of Algiers on the occasion of this trip that coincides with the thirtieth anniversary of the treaty. of friendship between both countries, signed on January 27, 2003.

On Monday morning, the Italian Prime Minister will make a stop at the (Enrico) Mattei Garden, in homage to the founder of the Italian energy company EnI, and visit the historic Casbah before heading to the “Al Muradia” Presidential Palace where she will hold a meeting with the president, Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

Italy has managed to significantly reduce its energy dependence on Russia, from which it imported 40% of the gas purchased and which now has the North African country as its main supplier.

Algeria is also the third supplier in all of Europe and the largest exporter of natural gas on the African continent.

During this time, Eni and Snam, the main Italian energy companies, have increased their presence in Algeria and last week closed an agreement to manage the Transmed gas pipeline that transports gas to the European country from Algeria through Tunisia.

The Italian company Eni began production in October from two gas fields in the Berkine South region of Algeria, which will help meet the demand of the European market.

Draghi committed during his tenure additional volumes of more than 4,000 million cubic meters of Algerian gas for 2022 and a progressive increase during this and next year, until doubling current imports.

This is Meloni’s first visit to North Africa since he took office as head of the Italian Government last October and the third visit by an Italian Prime Minister to Algeria so far this year.

The Algerian Ambassador in Rome, Abdelkrim Touahria, reiterated this week the need to strengthen the axis of cooperation Algiers-Rome at the political and economic levels and defended the initiative to turn the European country into an “operations center” for Europe in the export of Algerian fuels.

“Currently we are Italy’s main energy partner. But our goal is to go further,” said the ambassador. EFE



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Meloni seeks in Algiers to guarantee additional gas supply to Italy