Tunisia: National Dialogue On Energy and Mining - 'Everything Should Be Explored, Even Shale Gas' (Chahed)

Tunis/Tunisia — The growing energy deficit in Tunisia was at heart of a national dialogue on the energy and mining sector kicked off on Thursday at the Tunis Culture City, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Youssef Chahed and in the presence of representatives of energy authorities and enterprises and a poor participation of the civil society.

"Tunisia has made important steps towards energy security, despite the energy deficit that has reached about 50%," the PM said after the speeches of some representatives of energy enterprises and officials who most of them took a positive stock of the sector's situation.

As a cause of optimism, Chahed cited the entry into force in the coming days, of the 1,000-megawat Mornaguia and Rades power plants blocked since 2012, the Nawara fields which will improve the gas offer by 50% and the entry into production by 2022 of 1,000-megawat renewable energy projects (solar and wind).

"These projects will ensure about 40% of the national needs in energy," he indicated, calling for "a pacification of a debate on the energy sector" and "the opening to other alternatives."

"Everything should be explored, even the shale gas. Technologies have developed and we can produce with techniques that preserve the environment. There must be no taboos," the premier pointed out.

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