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Renewable Energies: India takes first steps in Algeria

August 25, 2022

ALGIERS – The Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy Transition and Renewable Energies, Bouziane Mahmah, received, on Tuesday in Algiers, the representative of the Indian company “Kalpataru Power Transmission LTD”, Ramesh Gupta, with whom he discussed technical cooperation and the prospects for investment in the field of renewable energies, indicated a press release from the ministry.

During this meeting, which took place at the headquarters of the ministry, “the two parties discussed technical cooperation and future prospects for investment in the field of renewable energies, in particular photovoltaics and biomass, expressing the willingness to further develop promising projects that favor the exchange of expertise and the transfer of know-how”, specified the same communiqué.

Mr. Mahmah stressed, in this sense, that his ministerial department has put in place a strategic plan involving mainly the energy transition and the promotion of renewable energies, through the incentive to invest in this sector, and by opting for clean energies for the production of electricity.

He also emphasized the importance of the 15,000 MW program by 2035, arousing real interest from the representative of the KPTL company, added the same press release.

For his part, Mr. Gupta, presented his company’s vision for providing EPC contracting services for pipelines, gas gathering terminals and stations, power transmission, as well as its achievements in the field of photovoltaics internationally.

The representative of the Indian company also inquired about the progress and terms of the “Solar 1000” project and that of the 15,000 MW program.

At the end of the meeting, the two parties agreed to “continue discussions and refine the proposals to identify, technically and concretely, areas of cooperation in the fields of renewable energies and sustainable development”, concluded the press release.

As a reminder, the Minister of Energy Transition and Renewable Energies, Chems Eddine Chitour had received, in 2021, the Ambassador of the Republic of India, Gaurav Ahluwalia, with whom he discussed the possibilities of establishing cooperation in renewable energy fields.

As for other sectors, high level visits and exchanges have regularly taken place. Several major Indian companies have undertaken various infrastructural projects in power, construction, oil & gas and ICT, automotive and pharma sectors including several EPC projects . Algerian Sonatrach signed a $1 billion contract with India’s Larsen & Toubro to build plants to produce 11 million cubic metres of gas per day. In the agri and auto sectors, Mahindra & Mahindra have reportedly signed a deal establishing a JV to manufacture and assemble tractors in the Tizi Ouzou province. During the pandemic also the collaboration and assistance from India in the area of covid vaccine procurement has gone apace and highly appreciated.

Infosys Limited, a major Indian Information Technology company and a global leader in next-generation digital services and consulting and Intervalle Technologies, an Algerian IT company with more than 13 years of experience in the IT banking sector, have entered into a strategic partnership to address the needs of the banking sector in Algeria.

As for the military sphere, the exchanges and training of defence personnel has been a regular feature. Both sides conducted, on August 29, 2021, joint naval exercises to enhance maritime cooperation. Stealth ship INS Tabar represented India along with Algerian naval ship ANS Ezager conducted the drills off the coast of Algeria.

Last August, the Indian Navy frontline frigate INS TABAR undertook a bilateral Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with Algerian Naval Force Ship EZZADJER. The joint exercise between INS TABAR and ANS EZZADJER included professional interactions, sharing of best practices, and communication drills at sea.

Another important area of cooperation with Algeria is that of space. The two sides inked an agreement for cooperation in 2018 incorporating collaboration in S&T and Space applications. Besides, India launched several Algerian Al Sat series of satellites and helped in capacity building and trained their engineers practically at the launch and other phases.

Diplomatically, Indian Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs V Muraleedharan paid, on September 15 -17, 2021, a working visit to Algeria. During the visit, the Indian Head of Diplomacy called on Algerian Premier Aimene Benabderrahmane, and held discussions on a range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. MoS had fruitful discussions with Ramtane Lamamra, Foreign Minister and Minister of National Community Abroad and Rashid Chakib Kaib, Secretary General in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on common-interest questions. During the meetings with Minister of Trade and Export Promotion Kamel Rezig and Minister of Energy and Mines Arkab Mohamed, both sides agreed to focus more on energy, chemicals and fertilizers sectors. Expressing his satisfaction at the outcomes MoS tweeted “Discussed on expanding ties in petrochemical industries, Indian investments in Algerian phosphate, mining and enhancing technology transfer in the industrial sector.”

Take a look into Algerian-Indian relationship:

Back in history, India had a close relationship with Algeria before its independence in 1962 when the diplomatic relationship was established. New Delhi supported and even hosted the Algerian Independence Movement represented by National Liberation Front (NLF).

Algeria and India maintain solid relations of fraternity and friendship drawn from a long common militant journey. Their Diplomatic relations were established in 1962, the year Algeria became independent from colonial rule from France. Since then, relations between the two countries have been cordial. The two nations support each other on vital issues at bilateral and multilateral levels. Presidential visits have been consistently paid to further boost cooperation and coordination. To wit;

Gandhi paid a working visit to Algeria in 1973, Shri Rajiv Gandhi visited, in June 1985, Algeria as well and, in turn,the President of Algeria Chadli Bendjedid visited India in 1982, 1983 and 1987. Former President Bouteflika, for his part, visited India on 24-29 January 2001 as the Chief Guest at the Republic Day Celebrations. Besides these visits, many Minister-level and official-level visits were undertaken by both the countries.

In 2019, the-then Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel paid a working visit to India, during which a range of bilateral agreements to strengthen the legal framework for cooperation between the two countries; Cultural Exchange Program and Visa Waiver Agreement for Diplomatic and Official Passport holders were signed.

As long as bilateral agreements are concerned, the following are some agreements inked by both sides:

1. Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement in January 2001 to avoid double taxation and prevent fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and on capital with a view to promoting economic cooperation between the countries.
2. Phytosanitary Agreement signed in January 2001 to establish cooperation in the field of quarantine and protection of natural vegetation, to protect the cultures of their respective countries against diseases and destructive agents susceptible of being transported by products for consumption or re-production.
3. Veterinary Sanitation Protocol signed in January 2001 to enhance cooperation between the veterinary authorities of the two countries to facilitate commercial exchanges (import, export and transit) of the animals and animal based products and to preserve their respective territories from eventual epizootie, parasitic diseases of animals and zoonosis infections for human beings.
4. Air Service Agreement signed in 2000 to improve connectivity between the two countries.
5. Agreement between Press Trust of India and Algerian Press Service signed in October 2003 to promote cooperation and professional interaction between the two countries.
6. Agreement on Cooperation in Small and Medium-scale Enterprises signed in October 2003.
7. Cultural Exchange Programme signed in October 2003 to strengthen the cultural relations between the two countries.
8. MoU of Foreign Office Consultations was signed in October 2000.
9. A Parliamentary Friendship Group with India in the Algerian Parliament was formed in April 2008.

Bilateral Assistance/Cooperation:

The Government of India had committed an assistance of US$ 1 million as humanitarian assistance for the victims of the earthquake, which struck Algeria in May 2003. Medicines worth half a million US dollars were handed over in April 2004 and the balance in the form of construction steel for the houses for the victims was handed over in October 2006. Indian
Space Agency launched the Algerian Satellite Alsat 2A into the orbit in July 2010.
Government of Algeria appreciated in writing, the support of India to remove Tipaza (a historical site about 100 kms from Algiers) from the danger list of the World Heritage Committee during UNESCO meeting in August 2006.
Algeria supported the non-permanent membership if UNSC for India during 2010.

For military cooperation, the Algerian defense personnel regularly participate in the courses in India every year.

On another level, and under the Cultural Exchange Programme between the two countries, different cultural troupes from both countries were sent to participate in a range of cultural event, such as; the India-Africa Forum Summit held in New Delhi, Indian Painting Exhibition ‘Women by Women’, Deserts People Festival in Algeria, Algerian films in New Delhi, Tlemcen Cultural Capital of the Islamic World” etc…

Besides, under the Indian Foreign Affairs Ministry’s initiative “Bharat – Ek Parichay – Sharing knowledge with the world”, Embassy of India in Algeria contributed, in 2018, various books on Indian art, culture and values to the Algiers University 1 and 2 libraries for use by students. This step aims at enhancing connection between both peoples and better understanding of India.

Economically, and more recently, State-owned company Sonatrach has inked a $1 billion contract with India’s Larsen & Toubro to build plants to produce 11 million cubic metres of gas per day.

In this vein, the Algerian limited liability Company (LLC) LD Azouaou and Indian Group Mahindra Mahindra LTD sealed an agreement, in 2018, in the province of Tizi-Ouzou to create a joint venture to assemble farm tractors.

Indian-Algerian cooperation covers different other spheres, including space. In 2016, Satich Dahwan Space Center’s lancher PSLV C-35 put into orbite 8 satellites including three Algerian ones Alsat-1B, Alsat-2B and Alsat-1N.

In 2018, the governments of Algeria and India have inked a co-operation agreement in the fields of science, technology and space applications. The two parties sealed, in September 2006, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on co-operation in training. This cooperation enabled 20 Algerian engineers to attend Master’s degree courses in space applications and advanced training in space telecommunications and geo-information.

This cooperation also assisted in the successful launch of Algerian satellites Alsat-2A on July 10, 2010, and Alsat-1B, Alsat-2B and Alsat-1N on Sept 26, 2016, and the participation of Algerian engineers in the satellite preparation and launch phases.

Regarding parliamentary relationship, “Algeria-India” parliamentary friendship group was installed, in Algiers, under the presidency of the vice-Speaker of the People’s National Assembly (APN), Boualem Bousmaha, in the presence of the president of the Commission for Foreign Affairs, cooperation and the community abroad, Abdelkader Abdellaoui as well as the-then Indian Ambassador in Algiers, Satbir Singh and a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

This installation is seen as an important space to realize closer rapprochement and cooperation with India, a friendly country, and to translate the ‘major interest granted by Algeria to parliamentary diplomacy as a vector of official one (diplomacy ). This approach is part of the reform project that the President of the Republic, Mr. Abdelmadjid Tebboune is working to concretize with a view to building a new Republic and a promising Algeria, faithful to its principles and commitments.

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