For the second time in a month, a Spanish minister met with Algerian officials on Wednesday to close a pipeline to Morocco this weekend to provide natural gas supplies to the European country.
Leading by wind and solar, Spain still relies on energy and Algeria supplies more than a third of its natural gas. Spanish officials worry that supply shortages are already fueling rising energy prices, making electricity bills a major problem for the left-wing government.
Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Theresa Ribéra’s trip to Algiers comes a month after the country’s foreign minister traveled to the Algerian capital to discuss gas supplies, which Spain fears could be a victim of an Algerian diplomatic row. Morocco.
After meeting with Algerian Minister of Energy and Minerals Mohamed Arkab, Ribéra thanked him for his commitment to “ensure the safety of natural gas transport and to honor the purchase agreement between various Algerian and Spanish companies.”
Algeria has announced that it will not renew its agreement with Spain, which has been transporting natural gas from Morocco to Spain for the past 25 years. The development follows the breakdown of Algeria’s relations with Morocco, which is centered on the controversial Western Sahara region, highlighted by the Algerian ambassador.
The North West Africa pipeline was built in the Sahara de los Atuns on the other side of Gibraltar before crossing the Mediterranean Sea. According to CORES, the Spanish public corporation will supply more than 10% of its natural gas to Spain by 2020. On strategic energy storage.
The pipeline will provide enough gas to generate 10 percent of the country’s electricity worth more than $ 60 million (51.7 million euros) a year.
The second and longest pipeline from Algeria to Almeria on the southeastern coast of Spain currently supplies 16 percent of the country’s natural gas.
In the coming months, it is planned to increase the capacity of the pipeline from eight to 10 million square meters. However, unless the boats bring enough natural gas directly from Algeria to Spain, that will not fully meet the problem.
Ribera, for her part, said Spain had agreed to be ready if Algeria asked for an increase in natural gas supplies.
“Algeria is honoring its commitment to natural gas supply through Spain through Sonatrach and is ready to discuss further gas supplies,” Arkab said in a statement.
Spain’s diplomatic mission comes at a time when rising energy prices are hitting the Iberian Peninsula sharply across Europe and bringing electricity bills to homes and businesses. Ribéra, a respected environmental policy maker, has been tasked by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to find a solution.