Meanwhile, GE has announced plans to partner with Sonelgaz in the construction of a new power-generation equipment plant in the North African country. The facility is expected to produce 2 GW of the equipment every year.
“The equipment will cater to the needs of future powerplants, and the new facility is expected to create … nearly 400 local, skilled jobs and, potentially, more than 600 additional indirect jobs within the local supply chain,” GE said in a statement.
The new contracts, which GE terms “the largest power agreements in the company’s history,” come at a time when analysts predict substantial increases in domestic electricity demand, coupled with a wait-and-see attitude by many firms after the risks exposed by the deadly, early 2013 Islamic militant attack and the botched response to the raid by Algeria’s special forces at the In Amenas gas facility, where several people—including three Americans—died.
The latest Business Monitor International report says firms now have to “attempt to strike a balance between these risks and the considerable opportunities presented in a nation with significant natural resources.”
Power consumption in Algeria is expected to rise to 78.8 terrawatt hours (TWh) by 2022 from the current 48.6 TWh, if the country maintains its 4.9 % average annual economic growth.
The BMI report confirms that Algeria is on track to implement several power-generation plants and has floated many tenders for the same, although “it is unclear who will be keen to invest.”
“National laws inhibit international investment and require firms to have a majority Algerian partner, which limits opportunities in the country,” the report says.
The country generates more than 90% of its electricity from gas. However, energy minister Chakib Khelil confirmed a 7.6% decline in gas production to 81.5 billion cu m (bcm) this year from 88.2 bcm in 2005. Domestic consumption of gas rose to 30.9 bcm from 23.2 bcm in the same period.