LNG and the infrastructure it requires have been central to the latest plans of governments for rebooting the economy, creating new jobs and regaining competitiveness on global markets. The cases of Algeria, Portugal and Turkey provide recent concrete examples.
Algeria is clearing obstacles to an increased flow of natural gas exports to Europe, aside from existing trade relations with Spain, Italy and Portugal. The decision was made by the country’s president Abdelaziz Bouteflika after experimenting with a failed austerity policy. What the ailing president hopes to achieve is the construction of a large sea port to diversify exports and even reach, through a road from the port itself, countries with no direct access to the sea. Once completed, the $3.3 billion project (largely financed by China and the African Development Bank) will be able to transit 27 billion t of goods each year, competing directly with the Moroccan port of Tanger-Med. In Europe, Portugal is also looking abroad, particularly to Chilean natural gas. The country’s national energy company REN has acquired a 42.5% stake in the Chilean Electrogas. An official statement issued by REN called the decision "an important step toward internationalization, aligned with our 2015-18 strategy."
Another project that has recently been greenlighted is the TANAP (Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline), in a deal signed by Turkish energy minister Berat Albayrak and World Bank vice president Cyril Muller. Albayrak told reporters, "this agreement also has great significance for the Turkish economy, as well as global energy markets… Our energy team is working on a financing package worth $3 billion in 2017 not only with the World Bank, but also with other international finance institutions for energy projects." The project will enable the transport of natural gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz field to the western shores of Turkey. The first gas will be pumped from Turkey’s Tuz Lake gas storage facilities tomorrow in an official ceremony in the presence of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.