Algerian gas line

The construction of a USD 1.5 billion subsea gas pipeline to export power to Spain and a viability study on the establishment of a trans-Mediterranean electricity export link to Italy are included in the Algerian Energy Company’s (AEC) plans for a portfolio of power projects for which it is looking to raise USD 12.2 billion. At the centre of AEC’s plans is the installation of 2000mw of private power capacity. The AEC, which was formed in May 2001, is owned jointly by the national energy company, Sonatrach, and state power company, Sonelgaz. The Italian electrical services company CESI has been commissioned by AEC to study the feasibility of the export projects. Only after the results of the study are available will AEC invite commercial bids for the export orientated 1200mw plant to be built at Skikda and for the 800mw plant at Arzew. The latter is scheduled to produce power for the domestic market. Five international developers submitted initial technical bids for the construction of the two plants. If the project for the submarine cable to Italy receives the go ahead, it would carry up to 1000mw to either Sardinia, Sicily or Tunisia via an interconnecting link. Also on AEC’s planning board is a 15,000km optical fibre system, which would be based on existing electrical networks.

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