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The signing ceremony included the CEOs of Baker Hughes, SONATRACH and MAIRE, and the Minister of Energy and Mines. (Image source: Baker Hughes)

In an effort to boost production from Hassi R’Mel gas field 550 km south of Algiers, SONATRACH has signed a contract with Baker Hughes

The energy technology company will supply 20 compression trains based on Frame 5 gas turbine and BCL compressor technology will be installed across three gas boosting stations within the Hassi R’ Mel gas field. 

This comes as part of the Mattei Plan, a broader strategic collaboration across industries between Algeria and Italy. Italy has assured financial support for Algeria's gas production, which is the European nation's biggest single source of import. 

In 2023, Bloomberg NEF recognised Algeria as the second-largest gas supplier to Europe. The country has introduced multiple gas boosting stations to hold its title on the global energy market, while embracing natural gas as its prime energy source for socio-economic development. In June last year, TotalEnergies signed contract with SONATRACH to develop gas resources in the north-east Timimoun region. The oil major has also extended its LNG contract with SONATRACH till 2025 to access 2 mn tonnes of LNG for France and Europe.  

The largest gas field in Algeria, Hassi R’ Mel is equipped to not just meet domestic demands but also serves as key source of energy supply for Europe. At more than 20 trillion cu/m, shale gas is a lucrative investment opportunity for Algeria which falls under SONATRACH's long-term development plans as the company's vice president for planning and strategy, Rachid Zerdani noted last year

Baker Hughes responsibilities on Hassi R’ Mel will include boosting and stabilising the pressure of natural gas to increase production at site. Its facility in Italy will be the base for all project activity from compressor trains packaging and manufacturing to trains testing. This comes as a sub-contract of an order awarded to a consortium between Baker Hughes and technology and engineering group MAIRE-subsidiary Tecnimont

Reliable energy source for Europe

“We have long believed that it is critical to increase gas within the overall global energy mix to help achieve a lower-carbon economy. This project helps to solve for energy producers’ multi-faceted challenge of driving sustainable energy development as energy demand increases. We are proud to support such a critical energy project in partnership with Tecnimont,” said Lorenzo Simonelli, chairman and CEO of Baker Hughes

“Today’s announcement marks a notable milestone in our historical collaboration with SONATRACH for key energy projects in Algeria that have played a crucial role in supplying reliable energy to Europe,” said Simonelli on the occasion of contract signing, which also included Rachid Hachichi, CEO, SONATRACH; Alessandro Bernini, CEO, MAIRE, and the Minister of Energy & Mines, Mohamed Arkab.