Introduction

Diverse energy strategy for the future

Tunisia’s demand for energy is growing and consequently the electricity sector is set for further development, expansion and foreign investment. In response to the rising demand, the Tunisian government has announced an energy strategy to diversify reliance on traditional sources of electricity generation. In addition to developing new gas-fired plants, the government is also looking to develop wind and solar power capacity and in the longer term, nuclear power.

“We are examining a mix of energy … we are making gas discoveries, we are developing renewables, we are looking at clean coal. We will be adjusting the mix to optimise the production of energy in Tunisia.”

Abdelaziz Rassaa, Secretary of State for Renewable Energy

New opportunities for foreign investment

The Tunisian government ended the monopoly of the state owned electricity and gas company, Société Tunisienne de l’Electricité et du Gaz (STEG) over power generation in 1996 in order to encourage private power generation projects. There are currently two independent power projects (IPPs) in Tunisia. The first IPP in Tunisia was the 471MW combined cycle plant at Rades (Rades II) which commenced operations in 2002. Tunisia’s second IPP, the 30MW gas-fired power plant at El Bibane followed shortly after, commencing operations in 2004.

Whilst STEG continues to maintain strong control over distribution, the Tunisian government is seeking to encourage further investment in power generation. The government of Tunisia has stated that it views IPPs as the best way to meet Tunisia’s annual growth in electricity consumption. This briefing is intended to provide an overview of Tunisia’s electricity market and the government’s future energy strategy. It also highlights future power projects, focusing in particular on upcoming gas-fired IPPs and wind and solar projects.