Belgian energy company Distrigas and Algerian state oil and gas company Sonatrach have signed a letter of intent for the supply of natural gas to Spain by the Medgaz project for a volume of at least one billion cubic meters per year by 2006. Sonatrach will transport the gas through the imminent Trans-Mediterranean pipeline, linking Algeria's gas field to the Iberian peninsula.
The Medgaz company is jointly owned by Sonatrach, France’s TotalFinaElf, Spain’s Cepsa and the UK’s British Petroleum. The pipeline, which can take up to eight billion cubic meters (bcm) a year, is due on stream in late 2005.
Sonatrach has been delivering liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Distrigas, subsidiary of Tractebel, for 20 years. The long-term supply contract was signed between the companies in 1975, for an initial period of 20 years and extended subsequently on various occasions.
First deliveries took place in November 1982. During the first five years the LNG was unloaded off a carrier at the French terminal in Montoir-de-Bretagne. Since 1987 most of the Algerian LNG has been delivered to the Belgian terminal in Zeebrugge. Since 1982, Sonatrach has supplied a total of more than 70 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Distrigas.
The Algerian natural gas, which represents 30 percent of Belgian supplies, is carried by sea in two large tankers: the Methania and the Mourad-Didouche, the latter being chartered by Distrigas from the Algerian company SNTM Hyproc, subsidiary of the Sonatrach Group.
Spain represents an important potential market for different operational entities of Tractebel, such as Electrabel that, amongst other projects, will construct a CCGT unit of 800 MW in Castelnou, or Tractebel Elyo that realized a cogeneration unit for the Solvay Group in Martorell near Barcelona.
Distrigas is a European natural gas merchant company. Located the heart of the European gas networks, the company is now active throughout Western Europe. Distrigas carries out five activities: natural gas trading and sales, natural gas supply, sale of international transit capacity (carrying gas from border to border), LNG trading and shipping and services to industry.
Distrigas is part of Tractebel, a global energy and services company, the energy
division of SUEZ. Sonatrach, the Algerian national oil company, is a supplier of natural gas to Europe for almost four decades. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )