UK's Petrofac resumes Tunisia gas production

2017-05-28 09:50


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tunis - British energy firm Petrofac has resumed production at gas plant in Tunisia after a stoppage that lasted several months, the company and a trade union said on Saturday.

"Yesterday (Friday) natural gas was brought by pipeline to Sfax" from the Chergui field operated by Petrofac, Abdelhadi Ben Jemaa, secretary general of the powerful UGTT trade union in second city Sfax, told AFP.

Petrofac confirmed that work had resumed at the Chergui gas field concession on Kerkennah island in southeast Tunisia.

"Yes, we have recently resumed," a spokesperon for the energy firm told AFP from London.

In September, Tunisia's government said Petrofac was pulling out of the North African country because of a labour dispute that had paralysed its operations since the start of 2016.

Days later the government said a deal had been worked out, but at the end of 2016 the company declared its "technical shutdown", following further protests by demonstrators calling for permanent jobs.

The protesters, who were also demanding development projects for their region, blocked roads used by company trucks.

The unrest began at the start of 2016 after the end of a programme largely financed by Petrofac and created in the wake of Tunisia's 2011 uprising to get unemployed graduates into work, although often without permanent contracts or benefits.

Petrofac said it could no longer fund the programme and called on the Tunisian state to take over.

Ben Jemma said Petrofac was able to resume operations after work was undertaken to develop the small port of Sidi Fraj in Kerkennah.

This, he said, would allow trucks to avoid the Sidi Youssef port which was on the road that protesters blocked previously.

"It is too soon to say if this new solution (will work)... but it is positive," he added.

Petrofac has a 45% stake in the Chergui facility, with Tunisia's national oil company holding the rest.

Resumption of work there is important for Tunisia, which has been battling high unemployment and has also been hit by a spate of jihadist attacks.

It also comes after President Beji Caid Essebsi said on Friday that economic indicators for the first quarter of 2017 "are relatively positive".

Read more on:    tunisia  |  north africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.