Italy Clinches Natural Gas Pipeline Deal with Algeria
by Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa)
November 14, 2007
Italy and Algeria on Wednesday agreed on the construction of a 900-kilometer-long pipeline that will bring 8 billion cubic meters a year of Algerian natural gas to Italy.
The agreement was signed at a ceremony presided by Italian Prime
Minister Romano Prodi and Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in
the Sardinian town of Alghero, the ANSA news agency reported.
"This is a historic accord. We have finally brought from the sky
down to the earth a deal which had been talked about for some time,"
said Italy's Economic Development Minister Pierluigi Bersani who with Algerian Energy Minister Chakib Khelil signed the agreement.
Part of the Galsi pipeline, which is scheduled to operate by 2012,
will pass under the Mediterranean Sea - reaching depths of up to
2,800 meters - from Algeria to the Sardinian port Cagliari.
From there a portion of the pipeline will run the length of island
north to Olbia where through another underwater tract it will link
with the coast of Tuscany near Piombino where it will connect with
Italy's natural gas grid.
Italy, which outlawed nuclear power plants in 1987, relies heavily
on natural gas for its energy needs.
Some two-thirds of the electricity in Italy is generated by oil
and natural gas powered plants, compared with 12 percent in Germany,
four percent in France and 25 percent in the EU as a whole.
Producing only 14 percent of the natural gas it needs, Italy
relies heavily on imports, with Algeria - 37 percent - and Russia -
32 percent - the biggest suppliers.
Copyright 2007 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH
Galsi SpA (Edison SpA; Sonatrach; Enel; Hera Trading; Sfirz)
Koudiet Draouche, Algeria to Piombino, Italy Algeria