Russia is catching up in Algeria Nuclear Program

Russia is catching up in Algeria Nuclear Program

The latest visit by a top Russian official to the North African nation was conducted by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in February 2016. On 9-10 October, Dmitry Medvedev held talks with Prime Minister of Algeria Ahmed Ouyahia and met with President of Algeria Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of the Council of the Nation Abdelkader Bensalah and President of the People’s National Assembly of Algeria Said Bouhadja.

On the sidelines of the visit, several agreements were signed, covering areas including military (potential purchase of Russian S-400 missile systems, and Su-32 and Su-34 fighter bombers), mining resources, shipping, high technology, space, construction(1), transport (manufacturing of Russian trucks and bulldozers) and nuclear.


The nuclear plan

Alexey Likhachev, the Director General of Rosatom and Mohamed Derdour, the President of the Atomic Energy Commission of Algeria (COMENA) signed a cooperation agreement in the field of nuclear training for the industry.

Dmitry Medvedev stressed that “if Algeria decided to create a national nuclear industry, we would be ready to offer our technologies and our technical solutions. Currently, Russia is already training Algerian experts in the nuclear sector. We are also ready to study projects concerning the production of clean electricity by wind or solar installations “. Algeria, which faces a strong increase in energy consumption in an environment marked by the decline of its hydrocarbon exploitation sites, is looking for alternative solutions.

After announcing an ambitious renewable energy development program with a capacity of 22 GW by 2030, the government seems to have put this project on the back burner.

The tender for the first batch of 4 GW of renewable energy was postponed indefinitely in the absence of sufficient resources.

As a result, Algiers relies on civilian nuclear power to meet its energy needs. The Algerian government signed an intergovernmental agreement in the field of peaceful nuclear energy in September 2014 with Russia.

In October of the same year, both countries had begun consultations on a project to build a nuclear power plant. As part of this agreement, Algeria plans to install its first nuclear power plant by 2025 and another 5 years later. These 1,000 MW capacity plants will be fueled by the country’s uranium reserves


Development of other businesses between Russia and Algeria

Algeria and Russia signed a strategic partnership in April 2001 in Moscow.

Since then, economics (2) and military-technical cooperation have come to dominate the bilateral agenda (Russia supplies more than 90% of Algeria weaponry). By 2016, the annual trade turnover between the two countries, amounted to $4 billion. Algeria’s annual exports to Russia are limited to several hundred million dollars. In order to increase the bilateral trade, both countries rely on the Joint Russian-Algerian Commission on Trade, Economic and Scientific and Technical Cooperation and the Russian-Algerian Business Forum.


  • In the early 1960s, the Soviet Union helped build Algeria’s infrastructure, including the El Hadjar and Annaba steel plants, the Jijel thermal power plant, the Adrar – Tin Fouye – Hassi Messaoud gas pipeline, as well as the Beni Zid and Tilsedit dams.
  • In 2016, Russia hosted two strategic and economic forums: New Opportunities in Trade and Economic Cooperation (February) and Effective Strategic Partnership (April).


About Author

Arnaud Lefevre

Arnaud Lefevre is the Chief Executive Officer of Dynatom International. Arnaud is in charge of the international development of the business portfolio.