Fall in energy independence from 95% in 2010 to 47% in 2023

A new energy geopolitics is already here. A geopolitics that started with the Covid+ pandemic and was reinforced by the Russian-Ukrainian war generating rapid transformations, rarely experienced in the history of humanity, hence the importance of both food and energy security. Where is Tunisia in all this? Could it be the energy crossroads of the region? Could it be a reliable supplier of clean energy at a time of electrification of all economic activities in the world?

It is to these and other questions that the participants answered the day devoted by the Tunisian Council for International Relations (TCIR) to the theme of renewable energies and the role that Tunisia could play in this area.

Kamel Ben Naceur, president of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and president of DAMORPHE, recalls on the occasion the declaration of Steve Hill, “Shell’s Executive Vice President for Energy Marketing” who speaks of the significant impacts on energy security in the world that have caused structural changes in the market that are likely to have a long-term impact on the global LNG industry.

At the Energy Agency, 3 scenarios are planned, explains Mr. Ben Naceur:

The Stated Policies Scenario, or STEPS: only considers energy policies already announced. In short: its projections for the future are cautious because it does not take for granted the commitments of governments to achieve energy-related objectives. It considers only existing policies and measures and those under development.
The Announced Pledges, Scenario (APS): scenario of announced commitments – takes into account the pledges of countries including NDCs which aims to mitigate emissions in the energy and industrial process sectors while reconciling economic efficiency and respecting environmental integrity and social equity.
Net Zero Emissions by 2050 (NZE): emissions neutrality in line with IPCC recommendations (SR1.5) and COP21 which simply means that greenhouse gas emissions are reduced to as close a level as possible from zero, with the remaining emissions in the atmosphere being reabsorbed by the oceans and forests.
And Tunisia in all this?

Afif Chelbi, former Minister of Industry, describes the four main components that directly concern Tunisia’s central energy corridor, namely the Transmed gas pipeline linking Algeria to Italy via Tunisia. Operational since 1983, this gas pipeline doubled its capacity in 2008. It is the largest gas pipeline in the region.

Another project, if it is carried out, is that of the Trans Sahara Gas pipeline of more than 4000 km which would connect Nigeria to Algeria then to Europe in particular by connection to Transmed.

Kamel Ben Naceur expressed doubts about the possible realization of this gas pipeline. Also called “Nigal” (from the initials of Nigeria and Algeria), this gas pipeline should link the fields of the Niger delta to the gas installations of Hassi R’Mel in Algeria. That is 1,037 km through Nigeria, then 841 km on the Niger to cross Algeria over 2,310 km in order to transport the Gas by pipeline to Spain and Italy.

A difficult project to carry out because Nigeria is investing in the construction of gas liquefaction plants and cannot ensure the conduct of such heavy projects at the same time.

There remains the Elmed Interconnection Tunisia-Italy project, but which remains very modest compared to Tunisia’s potential in renewable energies and the needs of the country itself and of Europe in clean energies.

Afif Chelbi also cited the Corridor South H2 hydrogen gas pipeline project which would connect Africa to Europe via Tunisia if it invests in the production of hydrogen. “Energy connectivity should boost Tunisia-Europe global connectivity with its human, industrial, climatic, cultural and security components. This is the only lasting response to migratory flows. It would also make it possible to build global competitiveness against other American and Asian regional groups”.

Tunisia hostage to sovereignist speeches maintaining the confusion between investments and corruption!

The fact remains that Tunisia is today incapable of imposing itself on the international and even regional energy chessboard. When we see that a country like Egypt, in addition to the colossal projects it has launched in renewable energies, plans to drill 300 wells in 3 years and invest $8 billion in the development of gas and oil fields , one wonders if our country has not gone beyond geography and history in this area.

The few international investors have left the country following campaigns by a band of ignorant MPs.

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