Algeria sticks to Italy gas pipeline plan, decision in May

ALGIERS Tue Dec 4, 2012 11:14am EST

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ALGIERS Dec 4 (Reuters) - Algerian state energy group Sonatrach said it did not plan to drop the proposed Galsi gas pipeline to Italy, even though shareholders have delayed a final decision on the project to next May.

Italian sources said on Nov. 30 that Algeria would pull out of the pipeline project if Rome backs rivals South Stream and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

"Sonatrach announces that the Galsi project is progressing according to the schedule established by shareholders. They still attach the same importance to the project," it said in a statement on its website, dated Dec. 2.

"The Galsi General Assembly, held on Nov. 14 in Milan (Italy), unanimously postponed the final investment decision to May 30 for technical reasons," the statement added.

Besides Sonatrach, shareholders in the 8 billion cubic metre pipeline include Italian companies Enel, Hera , Snam and Edison.

Algeria currently provides Italy with around 35 percent of its imported gas, most via an existing pipeline through Tunisia and under the Mediterranean. (Reporting By Hamid Ould Ahmed; editing by Jane Baird)

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