Dii and Sonelgaz agree to cooperate in Algeria
By Tamás Kugyela | Friday 09 December 2011
The exchange of technical expertise, joint efforts in market development and support, and the promotion of industrial cooperation are the focus of the partnership between the international consortium Dii (Desertec Industrial Initiative) and the Algerian energy supplier company Sonelgaz that was launched on 9 December in Brussels.
Dii plans to create a market for renewable energy from the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) on an industrial scale by 2050 (see
Europolitics Special Supplement 4312). It is currently engaged in the planning of its first ‘reference project’ in Morocco, a 500 MW solar field, which is expected to generate power by 2015 or 2016.
Sonelgaz, a state-owned group of 36 companies, is mostly active in the field of research, engineering, manufacturing, maintenance and creation of industrial plants.
The agreement, signed in the presence of Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger and Algerian Minister of Energy Youcef Yousfi, is the second in a row for Dii. On 24 November, it signed a memorandum of understanding with Medgrid, a French-led initiative conducting feasibility studies into a possible sub-Mediterranean electricity network. Earlier, Dii had concluded partnerships with the Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) and Tunisia’s Energies Renouvelables, an affiliate of the country’s electricity and gas society. By expanding the area of its activities further East, Dii’s final target is to be able to export 15% of Europe’s total electricity demand from the MENA region by 2050.
Noureddine Boutarfa, chairman of Sonelgaz, commented: “The development of renewable energies is of strategic importance to Algeria. With electricity from renewable sources accounting for 40% of the domestic energy mix by 2030, Algeria will be making its own contribution towards the new era of sustainable energy”.