September 24, 2016 / 8:32 AM / 3 years ago

Algeria and ENI sign solar plant deal for south - APS agency

The logo of Italian energy company Eni is seen at an Agip gas station in Lugano, Switzerland June 3, 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algerian state energy company Sonatrach has signed a deal with Italian firm ENI for a solar power plant, state news agency APS said on Friday, as the North African state looks to decrease domestic consumption of gas for power and export more.

The 10 MW photovoltaic plant to be launched before the end of 2016 in Ouargla in southern Algeria will supply the company’s Bir Rebaa field with electricity, allowing the gas to be used for other purposes, APS reported.

A major supplier of gas to Europe, Algeria has been in talks on how to improve the investment climate for foreign oil and gas operators who are skittish over the country’s contract terms.

It has also been discussing alternative energy and power projects to free up more gas for export.

Reporting by Lamine Chikhi; editing by Patrick Markey and David Clarke

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