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It is with regret that the organisers of the 4th North African Power Industry Convention (NAPIC) 2007 inform you that NAPIC 2007 has been postponed until December 2008.

The NAPIC 2007 Conference Committee and the organisers thank all our partners for agreeing to participate in and support the event.

After much deliberation, it was decided between the Conference Committee and the organisers to postpone the event following the political instability in Algeria. This was surely a difficult decision to take after much preparation had gone into NAPIC 2007.

The Algerian Ministry of Energy and Mines and Sonelgaz look forward to welcoming NAPIC back to Algeria at a more politically stable time.

We are nevertheless pleased to inform you that NAPIC 2008 will take place in Morocco in early December 2008.

We would like to take this opportunity to extend an invitation to participate in next years NAPIC programme. For more information, please contact Nicole Smith: nicole@spintelligent.com

The electricity demand in North African countries is growing at a rapid rate, with an average 7% annual increase. For the most of the region, this growth will be met with increased capacity. New capacity is often sought in natural gas or combined cycle.

Supporting this, there is a keen focus on renewable energy technologies, rural electrification, and the prospect of nuclear technology is growing stronger. Another critical source of power is the Mediterranean Ring Project, which is one the most significant transmission projects in the region. Increasingly, privatisation and foreign capital are being seen as necessary steps toward financing these projects, leading to an increasingly deregulated sector.

North African countries are displaying a high level of cooperation in the power sector, the most credible of which is the electricity grid interconnection, which should link each country’s power system to other countries in the region, from Morocco to Egypt. The interconnection will result in the creation of a regional market, which will link the regional grid to Europe

Why Algeria?
Since the opening of the Algerian electricity sector in 2002, there has been considerable private investment in new electricity generating capacity.

The liberalisation of the electricity and gas markets aims to create greater efficiency, a reduction of the costs and a significant improvement of the quality of service in the industries concerned through a radical recasting of their organization. This means that the national electricity and gas utility in Algeria, Sonelgaz, has recently gone through major restructuring with the establishment of 15 subsidiaries.

These changes have seen the need for regulation of the sector and for this reason, under Article 8 of Law 02-01, the Commission for the Regulation of Electricity and Gas (CREG) was formed.

The implications for investors are numerous as the Algerian energy landscape becomes increasingly more competitive with a regional focus.

Integral to Algeria’s development strategy is regional integration between the Maghreb and the Mediterranean. The Algerian government is committed to two steps that are fundamental to the realisation of this strategy, namely the major reforms in the energy sector that will open up markets and encourage adaptation and launch, with regional partners, of large-scale energy projects. These two steps aim to ensure regional intergration, economic growth and socio-economic development. 

Trends in the North African region
The North African region is sometimes referred to as the Maghreb. Countries of this region include Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. Egypt and the southern Mediterranean countries of Spain, Italy and even Cyprus cannot be excluded from discussion on energy trends in North Africa.

Power pooling and interconnexions between these countries is high on the agenda for the region’s electricity utilities. Reforms and liberalisation are just as pertinent as issues of renewable energy, and most North African countries are committing to new policies on the latter.

Highlights at NAPIC 2007
Make sure you do not miss the North African Energy Finance and Policy Workshop on Monday, 10 December 2007. Hosted by African Energy and ESI Africa, participants will gain all the knowledge and information they need to become up-to-date on this strategic aspect of the electricity and gas sector.

For more information, contact Nicole Smith:

nicole@spintelligent.com