Arkab: Several local power, gas projects to be delivered in 2023

Minister of Energy and Mines Mohamed Arkab affirmed Thursday, in Algiers, that the year 2023 will be marked by the acceleration and delivery of a number of electricity and gas projects in several provinces, in addition to the removal of obstacles that hindered their execution recently.

The minister spoke during a plenary session at the National People’s Assembly (APN), devoted to oral questions and chaired by the vice president of the APN, Abdellah Amari, in the presence of the Minister of Relations with Parliament, Basma Azouar.

Answering a question from deputy Ahcene Meftah (RND), concerning a project to connect the northern communes of the province of Mila to the natural gas network, Mr. Arkab said that the rate of progress of the work of the said project is nearly 88%, stressing that the delay was due mainly to a lack of 8-inch pipelines, to the contestation of some landowners and the difficult terrain.

He said that an agreement has been reached between his department and that of Industry for the manufacture of this type of pipelines, currently imported by Algeria, at the factory of El Hadjar for the supply of this project and all projects of the sector pending across the national territory to accelerate the pace of projects, to connect the north of the Province of Mila to the gas network and definitively solve this problem during the first quarter of 2023.

In response to a question from MP Djamel Koreich (FLN party) on the plans to build power stations in Mila, the minister said that the latter “is self-sufficient in energy”, adding that it will soon be strengthened through the forthcoming reception of two power stations in Oued Sedjin and Mila with a capacity of 80 MVA (megavolt-ampere), whose entry into service is scheduled for the first half of 2023.

The rate of connection to the electricity network in the province is 98.9%, and that of gas is 65.81%, said the minister.

In response to a question from MP Mohamed Lamina Mabrouki (MSP), concerning the connection of the Daira of Ain Boussif (Médéa) to natural gas, the minister said that the wilaya had benefited from several programmes, including the 2010-2014 programme and the supplementary programme to connect more than 50,000 households to the gas network, which has increased the rate of connection to more than 66%, pointing out that 57 communes were connected to the gas network out of a total of 64 communes.

The electricity and natural gas supply projects in Médéa are progressing well, in the way that the rate of connection of households to electricity has risen to 97% and should reach 99% with the completion of ongoing projects, either in 2023 and 2024, he explained.

In addition, the minister said that the project to build a power plant in Ain Oussara (Djelfa), which has been delayed, will be partially commissioned by the next summer season, pending the launch of production definitively in 2024, with a capacity of 1262 MW, indicating that the rate of progress of work is now 72%.

In response to a question from MP Ahmed Rabehi (FLN party), Arkab explained that the delay in previous years was mainly due to financial problems faced by the construction company, in addition to the repercussions of the health crisis, noting the importance of this energy structure which will cover the province of Djelfa and the neighbouring provinces.

In response to a question from MP Rachid Cherchar (El-Bina Movement) on employment in oil companies in Oran, the Minister of Energy assured that petrochemical projects in Oran would give a big boost to the economy and employment in the region, this sector being considered as “the future of the oil industry in Algeria”.

He added that the Sonatrach liquefaction plant in Bethioua will recruit 115 employees, and the selection will take place as soon as the lists of candidates are processed and the logistical and human conditions are met, “during the first quarter of the current year.

As for the oil group’s contribution to social activity in the eastern regions of the wilaya of Oran, Mr. Arkab recalled that Sonatrach has been sponsoring many sports clubs since 2009, and that it has also given up a sports hall for the benefit of the wilaya, whose completion rate is 70%.

Sonatrach has also ceded semi-finished businesses whose prices are set by the administration of the National Domain of the wilaya of Oran, with an area of 5,280 M2, he concluded.

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