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RTE and its Algerian counterpart sign an important cooperation agreement

Source: RTE 29/07/2005

RTE and GRTE, the operator of the Algerian electric transmission network, signed a general cooperation agreement this morning in order to reinforce their working relations.

Mr. André MERLIN, Director of RTE, Mr. Noureddine BOUTARFA, Chef Executive Officer of SONELGAZ and Mr. Abdelaali BADACHE, Chef Executive Officer of GRTE, operator of the Algerian electric transmission network, a subsidiary of SONELGAZ, signed a general cooperation agreement this morning in ALGIERS in order to reinforce the working relations between the two companies.

This agreement is the first application of the memorandum of agreement concerning the Maghreb-European electricity market signed on December 1 and 2, 2003 (at the Euro-Mediterranean Conference of Rome) between the energy ministers of Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia, and the European Commission. In this agreement, the signers are committed to constructing a Maghreb electricity market as rapidly as possible, and to progressively integrate it in the European interior market starting in 2006.

At this stage, a single 400 kV AC interconnection cable via the Strait of Gibraltar links continental Europe with Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. A project to double this capacity is under way and should be completed by 2007.

The cooperation between RTE and GRTE will involve institutional aspects related to opening and restructuring the French and Algerian electric systems, in particular in terms of the management of international electricity exchanges in a deregulated environment. It will thus cover the most traditional activities of electric network operators: operation, management and functioning of networks in normal or degraded mode, policies for the development of transmission infrastructures, etc. It should be remembered in this context that GRTE is planning on building 6000 km of HV/VHV lines by 2010, of which 1500 km will be 400 kV.

At the occasion of this signature, André MERLIN pointed out that "this new cooperation will extend the fruitful relations historically established between EDF and SONELGAZ".


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