The Italian government launches a plan to source their gas from Algeria

In response to the gas crisis exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine, Italy takes decided to batten down the hatches and approved a new measure to “save gas”. The measure, which is part of a package of urgent measures dedicated to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and which includes, among other things, sending aid and military means to the country governed by Zelensky, would make it possible to reduce the gas consumption of the power plants currently in operation and increase production from other sources. Before even giving an advance warning on gas, President Mario Draghi had talked about “preparing all the necessary measures to better manage a possible energy crisis“, in order to avoud “being caught unprepared“,  also opening the possibility of reopening coal-fired power stations “to fill any gaps in the immediate future“.

45% of the gas in Italy comes from Russia and if circumstances should change for the worse, it would therefore be necessary to save the gas still available and use alternative sources for the production of energy. Greater flexibility in the use of different energy sources would allow the available stocks to be retained and not used as the main source. At the same time, however, consideration was given to the strengthening of agreements with Algeria, which would lead to the increase in flow of gas pipelines with limited loads, such as the Transmed from Algeria and the Tap from Azerbaijan.

Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio went to Algiers with Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi to meet with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and discuss the opportunity to strengthen the cooperation between Italy and Algeria, both in the economic and energy fields. This meeting was followed by a second meeting with the Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra and the Minister of Energy Mohamed Arkab. “We are making a concrete commitment to negotiate and quickly obtain additional gas supplies in the light of the crisis in Ukraine. Our goal is to protect Italian businesses and families from the effects of this atrocious war“, Di Maio said. According to sources from Nova news agency, Algeria has already indicated its willingness to supply Italy with greater quantities of gas in the short, medium and long term. It was Toufik Hakkar, CEO of the Algerian public hydrocarbon giant, Sonatrach, who announced that the company would be ready to supply more gas to all Europe, passing through Italy via Transmed pipeline. “Sonatrach is a reliable gas supplier for the European market and it is willing to support its long-term partners in difficult situations: Europe is Algeria’s natural market of choice from which it currently receives 11% of its gas imports“, he said.

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