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Eni, Sonatrach join forces to develop solar in Algeria

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian energy group Eni and Algeria's Sonatrach are embarking on joint solar energy projects in Algeria, Eni said on Thursday.

The two companies inaugurated a laboratory to test photovoltaic panels and laid the first stone of a 10 megawatt photovoltaic plant (PV) in the Bir Rebaa North production complex, in the Berkine basin.

The groups, which this year struck deals to boost gas supplies from Algeria to Italy, are already working together on several oil and gas fields in the area, in south-eastern Algeria.

The photovoltaic plant, the second one in the Bir Rebaa North facility, will double the renewable energy available to power the upstream processes, Eni said in a statement, which did not disclose financial details.

It will be followed by another PV facility, also in the Berkine basin, whose construction is expected to begin in 2023.

(Reporting by Francesca Landini, editing by Alvise Armellini and Barbara Lewis)