Algeria puts off decision on Desertec solar project until preconditions are met - sourceOil & Gas - Zawya
Algeria has decided to postpone its decision on participating in the Sonelgaz Desertec Renewable Energy Program until 2013, and is waiting for Germany’s Desertec to approve its preconditions, a government official told Zawya.
The Algerian government would delay its final resolution on the project till the mid of 2013, as it is still unclear whether Algeria will take part in the project, the official at the Algerian ministry of energy and mining said.
“The government is reconsidering the economic gains it may acquire from participation and is testing the acquiescence of the foreign partner to its terms, which require manufacturing the project appliances and needs in Algeria, as well as involving the Algerian experts in the project,” the official told Zawya on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to media. Algeria’s participation may not exceed 50%, he added.
The EUR 400 billion Desertec project intends to convert solar energy from Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Saudi Arabia and export it to Europe. It is expected to supply as much as 15% of Europe’s power needs by 2050.
Christoph Partsch, the general manager of the German-Algerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was earlier quoted as saying that the forthcoming round of talks between the German company and the Algerian government will be launched in Oran in October and some serious steps will be disclosed by the first quarter of 2013.
Algeria is facing a 1,300 MW shortfall in power supply, pointed out Abdul Rahman Mabtoul, a former senior executive at Sonatrach. The Algerian government generates 9,700 MW, while the demand is as high as 11,000 MW, he said.
“The government needs to invest USD 20 billion over the next five years to resolve the power supply crisis,” Mabtoul told Zawya.