Algeria’s Minister of Energy and Mines Yousef Yousfi announced on 19 May that the country plans to build its first nuclear power plant by 2025, in a bid to keep pace with growing electricity demand. Mr Yousfi said that Algeria has 29,000 tons of uranium resources, which would be enough to fuel two 1.0gw power plants for 60 years. He added: “The Nuclear Engineering Institute, created recently, will train the engineers and technicians to run the plant.”

The Algerian Commission of Atomic Energy (Comena) told the International Energy Agency (IAEA) last year that Algeria’s demand for both primary energy and electricity is growing at more than 5% annually. Algeria’s present electricity generating capacity is 11.39gw, and electricity demand is expected to rise 12.3% annually to end-2017. Comena said Algeria’s pursuit of nuclear power is motivated by a desire for clean and cheap electricity and the country’s significant natural resources. The World Nuclear Association (WNA) says that extensive uranium exploration in the 1970s resulted in the discovery of the Tahaggart deposit as well as other mineralization. However, it classes Algeria’s resources as “high cost”. (CONTINUED - 281 WORDS)