Algeria maintains investment rule in energy sector

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The oil refinery. Equipment for primary oil refining.
An oil refinery. (Getty Images)

Algeria has decided to maintain its investment rule in the energy sector, the prime minister office said in a statement on Thursday.

Algerian Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui headed a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, as the draft amendment on hydrocarbons law was on the top agenda, said the statement.

The government decided to maintain the investment rule of “49/51” in the hydrocarbons sector, which means that Algeria would still hold at least 51 percent stake in any investment project with a foreign energy partner, provided that the share of the foreign partner in all cases would not exceed 49 percent.

Foreign companies have recurrently criticized this rule, saying it advantages the state-run group of Sonatrach on the expense of foreign partners.

Sonatrach is the first company in Algeria and its revenues account for about 96 percent of Algeria’s total exports.

The statement said that the new draft law aims to provide incentive advantages for foreign investments in the field of hydrocarbons in the long term without undermining national interests.

Bedoui confirmed that the draft law on hydrocarbons has finally been approved by the cabinet.

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