BRUSSELS-Third supplier of Europe with gas after Russia and Norway, Algeria will remain the European Union's "key partner" part of its strategy aiming at ensuring EU's energy security, the EU Commission spokesperson for Climate Action and Energy Anna-Kaisa Itkonen affirmed.
"Estimations of the EU gas consumption, whatever was the scenario, show that Europe will remain a great gas market and will import from other external suppliers. In this regard, Algeria will be a key supplier for Europe and will even be able to increase its market shares," Itkonen told APS on the eve of the Algeria-EU business forum to be held Tuesday in Algiers.
"The EU's energy strategy, adopted more than one year ago by the EU Commission, backs on LNG and focuses on building new terminals and their connection to the EU's gas pipelines network, which constitutes "an opportunity and a challenge" for Algeria, spokesperson of the EU Climate and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete stated.
"There will be other entry points for Algerian gas in Europe and further competition with a growing number of other gas suppliers," she stated.
She stressed that infrastructures of access to the European market pose no problem as "major infrastructures of gas transport from Algeria to Europe already exist," regretting that they are "underutilized."
According to her, "the real challenge relates to production: investments in new gas exploration and production projects must be revived."
However, reviving production and investment in this sector in Algeria "requires a regulatory framework and conditions in which foreign companies work," she said.
"Algeria has exceptional natural resources," he affirmed, highlighting "huge potential" in shale gas and renewable energies.
Goal of Algeria-EU business forum: Promoting European investments
Speaking about the 1st Algeria-EU business forum devoted to energy, Itkonen stated that this event is part of the implementation of the MoU on strategic partnership in the energy area inked by Algeria and the EU in 2013.
"This agreement provides for strengthening cooperation in hydrocarbons, mainly natural gas, as well as renewable energy and energy efficiency," she recalled.
This event has three genuine goals, namely presenting major energy investment opportunities in Algeria, catching EU companies' interest in investing in Algeria and enabling Algerian and European industrial operators meet and lay the foundations of possible partnerships.
"The decision to hold this forum has been taken to ease and promote European investments in natural gas, renewable energy and energy efficiency," she affirmed.
She added that the EU Climate and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete invited Energy Minister Salah Khebri to attend the next annual high-level meeting in Brussels to "assess achieved progress in implementing the strategic energy partnership, drive its development and ensure the continuity of dialogue."
APS, 22 May 2016