Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Algeria to build its first nuclear plant by 2020

Algeria's Energy and Mines Minister Youcef Yousfi has said that the country will build a nuclear power plant to meet its long-term energy needs. During a briefing at the National People's Assembly (APN) Yousfi said: "We may have to resort to nuclear power in the long-term, we have no other alternative," adding “Algeria must prepare for this choice”.

The minister said that it will take up to 15 years of study to prepare for "the construction of a first power plant operating with nuclear”. He noted that Algeria has set a 2020 target date for the construction, after which it plans to build a new station every five years.

Algeria is prone to earthquakes some of them major, including one of 6.8 magnitude which killed more than 2,000 people east of Algiers in May 2003. In view of the recent events in Japan, Algeria's decision may prove to be a contentious one.

In related news, Iran has said it is keen to boost economic ties with Algeria and to assist the North African state in its industrial development. In a meeting, on Monday 28th March, Algeria's Minister of State for North Africa Abdelkader Messahel and Iran's Ambassador to Algeria Mahmoud Mohammadi discussed technical and development projects that could potentially bolster bilateral trade.

Sources: AFP, Bloomberg, Ennahar, Press Tv

For more news and expert analysis about Algeria, please see Algeria Focus and Algeria Politics & Security.

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