The President of the Republic of Algeria, Mr Houari Boumedienne on Tuesday (21 February) inaugurated a natural gas liquefaction plant at Arzew, 250 miles (400 kilometres) west of Algiers.
GV: motorcade arrives at gas plant.
GV: President Houari Boumedienne cuts ribbon and crowd applauds.
GV: cheering crowd as Boumedienne passes.
SV: President Boumedienne unveils plaque.
GV: crowd at refinery.
GV: crowd at refinery.
SV: President Boumedienne shown complex by officials.
LV AND GV: complex at riverside. (3 shots)
GV: ship at refinery (2 shots)
GV PAN: President Boumedienne walking along waterfront.
Algeria will depend upon money from the gas exports to support the development of other industries and the progress of its domestic socialist programmes. Two thirds of its gas will go to United States' companies by sea and tankers are under construction in France for both the United States and Algeria.
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Background: The President of the Republic of Algeria, Mr Houari Boumedienne on Tuesday (21 February) inaugurated a natural gas liquefaction plant at Arzew, 250 miles (400 kilometres) west of Algiers. The plant will supply exports to the United states and Western Europe.
SYNOPSIS: The plant is one of six built at Arxew to exploit the huge reserves of gas which lie deep beneath the Sahara Desert.
President Boumedienne cut the tape to launch a project that is vital to Algeria's future prosperity. Although almost three years behind schedule, this plant will soon start to Supply liquified gas to the United States and Europe through a series of contracts signed over the last eight years.
Algeria possesses 12 per cent of the world's known reserves of natural gas, but exploitation of these has proved difficult. It decided international sales of liquid gas were the answer. A prototype plant began production in 1964, selling to Europe. Now the biggest potential customer is the United States and it is to this market that the bulk of the gas processed at Arzew is destined.
Algerian experts estimate that the country will be exporting 70 billion cubic metres (3,450 billion cubic feet) of gas each year during the next decade.
As production begins the tanker El Paso Sonatrach will soon sail for the United States with the first delivery on a 25 year contract to supply 10 billion cubic metres annually.