Since the announcement of the severing of relations between the two countries, the street in both Algeria and Morocco has been anticipating the consequences of this step, especially the economic aspect.
The move, which was circulated in the news and has not been officially confirmed so far, is related to the passage of the Algerian gas pipeline through Morocco to Spain.
Earlier, Algerian sources told “Sputnik” that their country was considering canceling the agreement, although Rabat denied its intention to this direction as well.
Moroccan sources confirmed that they would not take such a step, but they are sure that Algeria will cancel the agreement, given that it affects Rabat and that this assessment is incorrect.
Read also: The straw that broke the camel’s back.. A report that reveals behind the scenes of the crisis in Morocco and Algeria
The most obvious step by Algeria came in the statement of the Algerian Ministry of Energy following a meeting between Energy Minister Mohamed Arkab and the Spanish ambassador.
The Minister affirmed Algeria’s full commitment to covering all natural gas supplies to Spain through Medgas, a second pipeline that does not pass through Morocco.
Morocco has alternatives, so what are they?
For his part, Moroccan parliamentarian Jamal Benchekroun said that Rabat has alternatives, especially since Algeria’s decision to cancel the gas transit agreement through Morocco towards Spain is almost settled.
Speaking to the Russian Agency, he added that Rabat does not benefit as much as Algeria, as the Kingdom’s benefit is limited and is provided through liquid materials “gas”, and that the matter does not represent losses for Morocco, especially in light of the strides it has made regarding renewable energies.
Benchekroun believes that Rabat can benefit from agreements with Gulf countries regarding oil and gas.
In this context, Rachid Sari, a Moroccan economist, said that Rabat has many alternatives, including American or Russian gas, as well as Norwegian, which are less expensive.
He added that Spain is also moving to dispense with Algerian gas.
The damage will affect Morocco and Algeria
He pointed out that the damages affect Morocco and Algeria, albeit to a greater extent on the latter, as the new Algerian gas pipeline is not safe due to the road that passes through it from the “occupied” city of Melilla, which makes it vulnerable to any terrorist acts.
He believes that Algeria’s abandonment of the current corridor through Rabat has great consequences, as Algeria depends heavily on gas revenues, as the Algerian economy depends on 87%, which means that reliance on one pipeline will affect economic returns.
He pointed out that the contract between the two countries includes some penal conditions, which means that Rabat will demand them and will not abandon them, while the pipeline returns Morocco with 50 million dollars, which is an unimportant figure for Morocco.
According to an article by Moroccan writer Samir Shawky, published by Hespress, it extends over a distance of 1,300 km, of which 540 km are on Moroccan national territory.
This entitles Rabat to obtain the rights of passage for 7% of the amount flowing into the pipeline, equivalent to 700 million cubic meters as an annual average, or about 65% of Rabat’s gas needs of 1.3 billion cubic meters annually.
He continued: “Natural gas constitutes only 5% of electricity production in Morocco, because the Kingdom has moved towards diversifying sources of energy production (60% from petroleum, 25% from coal, and 10% from renewable energies.
In other words, Algerian gas accounts for only 3.3% of the national energy production, which is the percentage that Rabat will have to acquire from another supplier at an annual average cost of about $160 million, which constitutes only 0.65% of the general budget.
According to the text of the article, “If this amount is modest, it must be taken into account that the national strategy for the energy transition seeks to increase the use of gas, to gradually replace the use of coal, from 5% to 13.5%, or about 5 billion cubic meters by 2030, In respect of the Kingdom’s commitments to the Kyoto agreements.
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