Algerian Minister of Energy and Mines Mohamed Arkab has inaugurated the EGPDF pipeline, which links to the international Medgaz pipeline that transports natural gas from Algeria to Europe.

Arkab, accompanied by Sonatrach head Toufik Hakkar, visited Algeria’s Naama province and ceremonially cut the ribbon for the pipeline launch.

The 197km pipeline runs from El Aricha to Beni Saf in the country’s north and costs around AD32bn ($240m).

The EGPDF pipeline is part of a broader scheme to expand the Medgaz pipeline.

The pipeline has a diameter of 24in and a length of 210km.

Algeria wants to increase its capacity from 8.2 billion cubic metres of gas a year (Bcm/y)  to 10.2Bcm/y.

Last year, Algeria’s Sonatrach became the majority shareholder in the Medgaz pipeline after acquiring an additional 19.10% stake from Spanish engineering company Cepsa.

Under the deal, Sonatrach acquired a total stake of 51%.

Spain’s Naturgy Energy Group holds the remaining 49% stake in the pipeline.

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