Italy’s Eni, Algeria’s Sonatrach to Work Together in Boosting Energy Exports to Europe

Italian energy major Eni and Algeria’s state-owned energy company Sonatrach signed new deals on Monday to jointly explore opportunities to increase the North African nation’s energy export capacity. The deals were signed during Italian Prime Minister Meloni’s trip to Algiers, where she met Algerian President Tebboune. Algeria last year became Italy’s biggest supplier of natural gas, replacing a significant part of imports previously came from Russia.

Rome wants to further increase its energy imports from Algeria and act as a bridge between Africa and Europe regarding energy supply in the coming years. As part of this ambition, Eni wants to use its long-standing expertise in Algeria as an advantage. The company has been present in the North African country since 1981.

Eni CEO Descalzi travelled to Algiers with Meloni to meet Sonatrach CEO Hakkar.

“Two agreements were signed between Eni and its Algerian counterpart, one to identify activities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the other to achieve an increase in energy exports from Algeria to Italy and potentially from Algeria to Europe,” Meloni said at a joint press briefing with Tebboune.

Eni and Sonatrach will study ways to increase the transport capacity for existing gas supplies and also work on a new pipeline to also transport hydrogen, Meloni said.

She also referred to the laying of an undersea electrical cable connecting the two countries, and increasing Algeria’s LNG production capacity.

“There will be a special pipeline that will involve hydrogen and electricity… this is a very important project that will make Italy a distributor of these energies for the whole of Europe,” Tebboune said.

Meloni said she planned a modern-day “Mattei Plan” for a new diplomatic drive in Africa, in which Algeria would play a key role. Mattei, founder of Eni, created business relationships with several North African states soon after the end of World War II.

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