AmCham Advances Tunisian Energy Strategy– Supporting the 2020 Energy and Climate Change Agenda

AmCham continues its policy advocacy in alignment with national goals to promote energy independence. In a proactive engagement with key private and public stakeholders, AmCham initiated a series of informational and strategy sessions. Meetings held in May created an action-oriented agenda for the advanced 2019 Joint Economic Commission (JEC2) and “Door Knock” dialogue led by Mr. Naceur Hidoussi AmCham’s senior leaders and the American Congressional delegation in Washington, DC. A February 2020 update session chaired by AmCham Board Member Rym Bedoui Ayari will track progress from the Spring 2019 discussions in a dynamic industry implementation round table on both energy and climate change issues.

Promoting renewable and alternative energy solutions with an added focus on climate change, remains an AmCham priority. Tunisian increasing energy dependency is reflected in the INS Data below. AmCham continues to track the Government’s proactive agenda committed to in the Spring AmCham session designed to facilitate licensing for new alternative energy projects designed to accelerate the availably of new capacity. AmCham’s actions in securing these Government initiatives, align well with the Tunisian Energy Reform Plan. TAP/Banet (October 22) cited Tunisia’s Energy Reform Plan is essential to easing the country’s budget and trade balance constraints along with the removal of energy subsidies.

“An alternative energy project could be operational as soon as installation is complete”.

AmCham’s pre- Door Knock and JEC2 Advocacy and Government of Tunisia dialogue resulted in a commitment to the following action items:

  • Ministries (Industry/Energy) will develop transparent online processes for both Investors and administrators in Alternative Energy projects
  • Installation and operational time will be accelerated by more timely government oversight of required technical equipment installation
  • Government oversight of the installation of the energy “ticker/counter” device essential to linking alternative power sources to the grid could be pre-approved with pre-ordered

Shifting Geo-Political Risks – Tunisian Energy Dependency (2010 -2019)

Babnet/Tap (Oct 22) reported in 2018, the total amount of subsidies exceeded 7% of the state budget, in addition to hydrocarbon imports which accounted for one-third of the trade deficit. AmCham notes Tunisian exposure to geo-political risks and related energy dependencies increased as illustrated below.

  • Imports from the EU (Chart 1) have increased post-revolution reflecting decreased supply from the region (i.e. political/social volatility in Libya and a lesser extent Algeria)
  • The EU, specifically Italy may source energy from region thus Tunisia’s Central Bank reserve positions are increasingly exposed to both USD and Euro depreciation/appreciation trends.
  • Imports from the US have remained relatively stable
Chart 1 – Energy Dependencies – Regional Focus Shifts to EU (2010-2019 YTD) (Source INS Data – Subject to Data Gaps/AmCham)
Chart 2: Top 12 Energy Imports (Kg) -2010-2019 Italy Sourced Imports Increase (Source: INS Data – Subject to Data Gaps/AmCham)