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Italy discusses with Algeria the increase of energy supplies to Europe following crisis in Ukraine

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio in Tripoli, Libya on 25 March 2021 [Hazem Turika/Anadolu Agency]
Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio in Tripoli, Libya on 25 March 2021 [Hazem Turika/Anadolu Agency]

Italy announced, on Monday, that it has begun holding talks with Algeria to increase the quantities of Algerian gas to Europe, in light of the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis and the expansion of Western sanctions against Russia.

This came during a visit of an Italian delegation, headed by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luigi Di Maio, to Algeria, during which he met President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Foreign Minister, Ramtane Lamamra and Minister of Energy, Mohamed Arkab.

The Italian delegation arrived in Algeria on Monday, in an unannounced visit. The delegation includes Claudio Descalzi, the CEO of "Eni" Energy Company.

After his meeting with President Tebboune, Di Maio said: "The CEO of Eni accompanied me, and this confirms our full commitment to negotiate regarding additional quantities of gas and implementing that as soon as possible."

"We also spoke with (Algerian Foreign Minister) Lamamra about increasing and developing the production of renewable energies, such as solar energy, wind and green hydrogen." The Italian Minister added, in a video posted on the official account of the Italian Embassy in Algeria on Facebook.

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He continued saying: "We are studying the possibility of preparing gas transportation facilities (pipelines) to transport green hydrogen."

Di Maio affirmed that his government is seeking to increase its energy imports from several international partners, especially natural gas, explaining that he told Lamamra that "Algeria has a key role in this, as it is a reliable supplier of energy."

The Algerian presidency said in a tweet through its official Twitter account: "The President of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, received, on Monday, the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luigi Di Maio, in the presence of Lamamra, Arkab, and the CEO of Sonatrach Company (governmental), Toufik Hakkar."

Algeria supplies Italy with gas through the TransMed – Enrico Mattei pipeline, which transports gas from the huge Hassi R'Mel gas field, south of Algiers, through Tunisian territory, to the island of Sicily in southern Italy.

The company of "Eni" is linked to a ten-year contract to supply it with gas from Algerian Sonatrach Company, with annual quantities of 12 billion cubic metres. The contract was renewed in 2019.

Italy also imports Algerian gas through the companies of "Enel" and "Edison", with annual quantities exceeding 4 billion cubic meters.

(Source: Anadolu Agency)

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