Algerian Minister of Energy and Mines Mohamed Arkab has inaugurated the EGPDF pipeline, which links in to the Medgaz pipeline.
Arkab, accompanied by Sonatrach head Toufik Hakkar, visited the Naama wilaya and ceremonially cut the ribbon for the pipeline launch. The pipeline runs from El Aricha to Beni Saf, in the country’s north.
The 197 km link cost around 32 billion dinars ($240 million). Sonatrach reported the bidirectional link had a design capacity of 9 billion cubic metres per year.
A statement from the ministry said the EGPDF project aimed to support the export of Algerian gas to Spain. It also aims to provide additional supplies for domestic needs, particularly in Algeria’s west.
Arkab expressed his thanks to those that had carried out the work, Sonatrach’s ENAC and Cosider Canalisations. He went on to highlight the importance of local content.
The companies began work on the EGPDF in September 2018.
Arkab and Hakkar went on to visit a mobile fuel station, owned by Naftal, to round off their trip.
Medgaz has been carrying out work to increase capacity, to 10 billion cubic metres per year. Naturgy, which owns a 49% stake in the link, has said it expects to commission this in 2021.
Medgaz runs direct to Spain, while the Gazoduc Maghreb Europe (GME) runs via Morocco.
Sonatrach reported $6.8bn turnover in the first quarter, Arkab said in late April. Demand for gas was up, amid cold weather in southern Europe and COVID-19 vaccination progress.
Speaking in Algiers, the minister went on to say the country needed to pay more attention to local consumption. This is rising and there have been concerns this would disrupt exports.