Algeria intends to become a major supplier of green hydrogen and in the future supply a tenth of Europe’s needs of the green gas produced from renewable power.

For that purpose, an extension of an already existing gas pipeline corridor is planned via Tunesia and Italy to southern Germany, which eventually is slated to transport green hydrogen, Germany’s economics and climate ministry said at the opening Monday of a German-Algerian energy partnership meeting in Algiers attended by Algerian energy minister Mohamed Arkab and German state secretary for economics and climate protection Stefan Wenzel.

The North African country this year also held two large solar power tenders, the ministry added. Giant solar farms in the Algerian Sahara Desert are slated to churn out the renewable power needed to produce hydrogen via electrolysis that is destined for export to Europe, Germany’s RND newswire said.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni Monday also visited Algeria, and closed deals for an Algerian-Italian ‘energy bridge’ with the aim of making Italy independent of Russian gas deliveries until the winter of 2024/25.

“Algeria already today is our most important gas supplier and strategic for energy supply,” Meloni is quoted as saying on RDN after meeting Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

“And thanks to the new collaboration, we will further expand the existing connection between Africa and Italy.”

Italy’s previous Prime Minister Mario Draghi in a cooperation agreement with Algeria had negotiated a new cooperation agreement that led to a doubling of gas deliveries to Italy to more than 20 billion cubic metres last year, a volume that is slated to be expanded to 36 billion cubic metres in coming years.

Germany had already discussed the idea of dedicated green hydrogen pipelines in the wake of energy partnerships with other countries, such as Norway.