Algeria restarted one of the three 3bcm/year trains at its 9bcm/y In Amenas gas processing plant on 22 February, just over a month after the 16 January attack and subsequent hostage siege which killed 37 – all but one foreigners. Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalik Sellal officially restarted train No 1 on 24 February (two days after the actual restart) at a ceremony marking the anniversary of Algeria’s 1971 hydrocarbons nationalization.
With Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika deciding to shift the 24 February celebrations to Tiguentourine and Sonatrach chief ‘Abd al-Hamid Zerguine on 18 February saying that the restart would likely take place just before the anniversary, the timing appears to have been at least partly politically driven. The plant’s prompt restart is “the best response” to terrorism, Mr Sellal said at the ceremony, according to state news agency APS. Algeria has been trying hard to present a ‘business as usual’ image post In Amenas. (CONTINUED - 341 WORDS)