Saturday, April 13

The prime minister closes a big gas deal with Algeria and Libya

The Meloni Government further strengthens Italy’s relationship with Algeria, taking advantage of Spain’s near absence. For the fourth time in less than a year, the two countries have held meetings at the highest level: two visits by Mario Draghi to Algiers (April and July), a trip by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune to Rome in May, and another official visit by Giorgia Meloni to the North African country for two days (22 and 23 January).

At the center of the new alliance with Algeria, the Meloni government intends to play a leading role in the Mediterranean and, furthermore, act as a bridge for Algerian gas to completely supplant Russian gas in Italy and reach all of Europe: “It is about of a project that has a legislative horizon (five years), with the possibility, at a difficult time for Europe in terms of supply, of making Italy the gateway, the fundamental ‘hub’ for the distribution of energy in Europe» Meloni said.

For this, Italy has its strategic position, as explained by Claudio Descalzi, CEO of the Italian energy multinational ENI, who accompanied Meloni on his visit to Algeria: «Italy has unique geographical, logistical and infrastructure characteristics. We have a gas pipeline in connection with Algeria, with a capacity of 36,000 million cubic meters, which is still underutilized; a gas pipeline connecting to Libya, with a capacity of 12 or 13,000 million cubic meters and that can even increase by several billion, then we have LNG from Egypt and all the other African countries with which we work.

There is also the Tap (Trans Adriatic Pipeline) that transports natural gas from Azerbaijan deposits to Italy, after traveling almost 900 kilometers through Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea.

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beyond energy

The signing of bilateral agreements extends to numerous sectors. In fact, the delegation that accompanied Meloni also included the president of Confindustria, carlo bonomi, to help increase the presence of Italian companies in Algeria. It is worth noting the exchange between Algerian energy supplies and Italian military material, which involves the best Italian state companies, such as the Leonardo group, very important in the aerospace, defense and security sectors. «Rome needs Algerian gas to definitively distance itself from Russian blackmail and reaffirm its influence in the Mediterranean Sea. Algiers, on the other hand, needs Italy’s support to become an industrial and, above all, a military force, a regional power”, writes the weekly ‘L’Espresso’.

Taking stock of her first hundred days at the helm of the Government, Giorgia Meloni stressed that Italy wants to have “a presence in North Africa in order to prevent immigrant departures.” Meloni has changed her initial policy on immigration, to avoid conflict with Brussels and other European countries.

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