Tunisia: Energy Balance Deficit Reached 52 Percent in 2018 - Minister of Industry and SMEs

Tunis/Tunisia — The energy balance deficit reached 52% in 2018, against 49% in 2017, said Minister of Industry and Small and Medium Enterprises Slim Feriani during a workshop on Tunisia's Energy Reform Plan (TUNEREP), organised Monday in Tunis.

The deficit can reach 73% in 2030 if the national resources stand still and the demand for energy keeps rising, he indicated.

Feriani stressed the need to take action against this state of emergency, especially since this deficit burdens both the budget deficit and the trade balance of Tunisia. In 2018, the total amount of subsidy to the energy sector reached 2700 million dinars (MD), exceeding the 7% of the state budget, in addition to hydrocarbon imports which account for one-third of the trade deficit.

To cope with this situation, Tunisia is firmly committed to a long-term energy transition policy, aiming towards an energy efficient, diversified system, less dependent to fossil fuels, while contributing to the socio-economic and environmental development of the country.

The TUNEREP project was launched in July 2019, intending to help the country accelerate its energy transition, he further mentioned.

This one-year project, worth $ 3.8 million, i.e.10.73 million dinars, is funded by a grant from the G7 Deauville Partnership transition fund. It aims to support Tunisia in creating favourable conditions to restructure the energy sector, noting that the restructuring actions also concern hydrocarbons, electricity and energy management.

Director General of Strategies and Intelligence at the Ministry of Industry and Small and Medium Enterprises Nourredine Bouraoui highlighted that this workshop is concerned with discussing the results of the first phase of the project on the diagnosis of the sector.

The diagnosis was conducted through SWOT analysis (analytical method to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) related to the energy sector as well as public enterprises under supervision: ETAP, STEG, ANME, SNDP and the STIR.

Bouraoui also argued that the main strengths and weaknesses were identified through a good characterisation and an in-depth analysis of the internal structures of the different companies targeted in this project.

The analysis were managed according to relevant standards such as the status and organisation chart, the governance system, the human and financial resources available and the skills management for each company.

He explained that this event is an opportunity to develop a thorough vision of the energy sector and its institutions and to propose instructions to improve their activity.

These instructions will focus on the security of energy supply, the trade-off between cost recovery in the sector and social requirements, the role of the private sector in developing the sector and its relations with the State, the reorganisation of the ministerial department in charge of the energy, the mode of governance and the transparency of the management of the sector and its institutions...

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