TUNISIA - Afif Chelbi.The Minister of Industry, Energy & Small and Medium Entreprises since the cabinet was reshuffled in November 2004, Chelbi has succeeded Fethi Merdassi who had served as minister of industry and energy since August 2003.
Chelbi on Oct. 28, 2005, announced that foreign and local companies were to be able to look for oil and natural gas in 82% of Tunisian territory. He said the authorities had decided to extend the area to 53,300 square miles A square mil is a unit of area, equal to the area of a square with sides of length one mil. A mil is one thousandth of an international inch. This unit of area is usually used in specifying the area of the cross section of a wire or cable. in which companies may search for oil and gas. Previously, the government had said it was to grant 12 prospecting permits in 2005. In 2004, just three such licences were approved. By late October 2005, only European companies It may never be fully completed or, depending on its its nature, it may be that it can never be completed. However, new and revised entries in the list are always welcome.
This is a list of companies from the countries in the European Union. had been granted such concessions.
Fethi Merdassi previously used to be the minister for development and international co-operation and foreign investment, a post since August 2003 held by Mohammed Nouri Jouini. As energy minister Merdassi had replaced Moncef ben Abdallah, who had held this portfolio since Oct. 9, 1997, and had been retained through successive government reshuffles (see his profile in Vol. 58, DT No. 19. See Merdassi's profile in DT No. 15 of Volume 62).
One of Chelbi priorities is the planned energy integration with Europe and fellow Maghreb countries. It is Chelbi who signs the E&P agreements with foreign and local companies, together with the head of ETAP eTAP Electronic Teaching Assistance Program
ETAP European Technology Acquisition Programme
ETAP Entrepreneurial Technology Apprenticeship Program
ETAP Entreprise Tunisienne des Activites Petrolieres
ETAP Expanded Technical Assistance Program . But, like his predecessors, he delegates power and devotes time for all the industries in the country, with emphasis on those which are still controlled by the state.
It was under Merdassi that the portfolio was renamed as Ministry of Industry and Energy. Under Chelbi, the portfolio was expanded to include the small and medium sized businesses. The ministry controls all the 100% state-owned companies of the energy and industrial sectors. These include:
Entreprise Tunisienne d'Activites Petroliere Entreprise Tunisienne d'Activités Pétrolières (ETAP) is a state-owned industrial and commercial company in Tunisia directly in charge of the petroleum sector as well as the state's partnerships with foreign exploration and production operators. (ETAP), in charge of the petroleum sector as well as state's partnerships with foreign and local E&P operators. It handles oil/gas production, exports and imports (see OMT (Object Modeling Technique) An object-oriented analysis and design method developed by James Rumbaugh. See Rational Rose.
OMT - Object Modelling Technique ). Its exploration department makes the annual offers of E&P blocks. All data on such blocks are available at very reasonably fees and the department offers a special data room at its premises for companies interested.
Societe de Recherches et d'Exploitation des Petroles de Tunisie (SREPT), in charge of exploration and the upstream sector.
Societe Tunisienne de l'Electricite et du Gaz (STEG), the power and gas utility.
Societe Tunisienne des Industries de Raffinage (STIR), the oil refiner.
Societe Nationale de Distribution des Petroles (SNDP SNDP Sustainable Development Networking Programme
SNDP Samoan National Development Party (Samoa)
SNDP Shree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam
SNDP Survivable Network Design Problem ), in charge of oil products and LPG LPG: see liquefied petroleum gas.
1. LPG - Linguaggio Procedure Grafiche (Italian for "Graphical Procedures Language"). dott. Gabriele Selmi. Roughly a cross between Fortran and APL, with graphical-oriented extensions and several peculiarities. distribution, but with a market share of less than 20% as the operators in this business include foreign companies (see DT No. 15).
Other companies in energy sector include the Trans-Tunisian Pipeline Co. (TTPC TTPC Type Transaction Phrase Code
TTPC Trans Tunisian Pipeline Company Limited
TTPC Time Triggered Protocol Controller ), part of ETAP and STEG, which manages the system of gas pipelines in the country; the Trans-Tunisian Pipeline Service Co. (Sergaz), owned 66% by Snam of Italy's ENI group and 34% by ETAP, manages the Tunisian transit sector of the TransMed gas pipeline from Algeria to Italy; and SEGMA, which does an inventory of the country's offshore gas reserves. SEGMA is owned 40% by ETAP, 40% by Total and 20% by OAPEC's Apicorp.
In recent years Tunisia's industrial sector, which includes manufacturing, energy and mining, has represented more than a quarter of the GDP GDP (guanosine diphosphate): see guanine. , with industry alone accounting for almost 20% of that as well as 19% of employment and more than 85% of total exports. More than 50 nationalities are represented among industrial companies which now exceed 12,000.
Chelbi's ministry has spent more than $3 billion to upgrade the industrial sector. About 2,150 enterprises have participated in the upgrade, including small-to-medium sized companies. As a result, Tunisia now is competitive in electricity as well as in transport.
There are more than 1,750 foreign companies involved in Tunisia's various industries geared for export. Under an agreement signed in 1995, Tunisia will have free access to the EU market by 2008. Chelbi plays a key role in the privatisation Noun 1. privatisation - changing something from state to private ownership or control
denationalisation, denationalization, privatization
social control - control exerted (actively or passively) by group action of state industries, in collaboration with other ministries.
Energy integration with Europe is to have major economic and geo-strategic implications for Tunisia. Among other things, it will raise the importance of gas trunklines from North Africa to the European continent. These consist of the TransMed gas pipeline from Algeria to Italy, which has been expanding considerably in recent years and passes through Tunisia, and the pipeline from Algeria to Spain which passes through Morocco and the Strait of Gibraltar Noun 1. Strait of Gibraltar - the strait between Spain and Africa
Pillars of Hercules - the two promontories at the eastern end of the Strait of Gibraltar; according to legend they were formed by Hercules . A gas pipeline from Libya to Italy started operations in late 2004. Two other gas pipelines from Algeria are under construction, with one to Sardinia and a marine line to run directly to Spain. They will be on stream by 2007.
Libya is to supply Tunisia with natural gas through a 2 BCM/year pipeline which should be on stream in 2008. This will be a partnership between Tunisia and Libya's state-owned NOC (Network Operations Center) A central or regional location for monitoring a large network. Also called a "network management center" (NMC), "service management center" (SMC) or "network control center" (NCC), a NOC may be used to manage a large enterprise network, and will be run by Joint Gaz, a 50-50 venture (see OMT of this week).
ETAP was set up in 1972 and started operation in 1974. Its management has been under constant pressure by foreign companies to keep improving the country's E&P regime.
Chelbi, Development and International Co-operation Minister Mohammed Nouri Jouni, and Finance Minister Mohammed Rachid Kechiche and other key members of the government have been in introduction and spread of public private partnerships (PPPs). PPPs are being promoted to undertake a number of infrastructure projects. The Carthage Power Co. (CPC (1) (Central Processing Complex) An IBM mainframe that has two or more central processors (CPs) that share memory. It is the collection of processors, memory and I/O subsystems manufactured with a single serial number, typically all contained in one cabinet. ), of which Japan's Marubeni Corp. is the largest shareholder and which operates a 471-MW power plant at Rades on the Bay of Tunis, is one of the major examples of PPPS.
New plans call for PPPs for the management of Enfidha airport on the central east coast, harbours, highways and water treatment stations. Chelbi is encouraging local and foreign companies to establish PPPs for electric power generation as in the case of CPC. British Gas British Gas is the name of several companies
BGI Bainbridge Graduate Institute
BGI Bureau Gravimétrique International
BGI Borland Graphic Interface (File Name Extension)
BGI Bridgetown, Barbados - Grantley Adams International ), the largest investor in Tunisia's energy sector, is near a finalisation of its project to establish a major IPP (Internet Printing Protocol) A protocol for printing and managing print jobs over the Internet using HTTP. Initially conceived by Novell, Xerox and others, the IETF made it a standard in 2000 that includes authentication and encryption. See printing protocol and LPD. (see DT No. 14).
Although the government is demonstrating its intent to increasingly involve foreign investors in the local economy, however, a lingering tendency towards protectionism protectionism
Policy of protecting domestic industries against foreign competition by means of tariffs, subsidies, import quotas, or other handicaps placed on imports. still characterises the relationship between state firms and the private sector. Chelbi and Ministers Jouini and Kechiche, under the leadership of Premier Mohammed Ghannouchi, are pushing public sector firms to open up and for PPPs to be set up.
Jacques Ardant, director-general of the BNP BNP B-type natriuretic peptide, brain natriuretic peptide Physiology A 32-residue peptide hormone produced predominantly in the ventricles, secreted in response to fluid overload–eg, CHF. See Atrial natriuretic peptide. Paribas-owned Union Bancaire de Commerce et de l'Industrie was in July 2005 quoted as saying: "The reform process [in Tunisia] is very positive; the problem is that the administration slows things down. It will take time for people to be educated about change, and for them to get used to the idea". Many blame the intransigence in·tran·si·gent also in·tran·si·geant
Refusing to moderate a position, especially an extreme position; uncompromising.
[French intransigeant, from Spanish intransigente : of the state utility Societe Tunisienne de l'Electricite & du Gaz (STEG) for its failure to speed up work on an agreement with BGI for a partnership to develop its proposed IPP in the south. STEG has been against this project.
Now there is a lot of pressure from the IMF IMF
See: International Monetary Fund
See International Monetary Fund (IMF). and the central bank to give the private sector more room, and internal negotiations are under way. Remaining barriers to foreign investment are, however, regulatory as well as attitudinal. The government has been in negotiation for the sale of strategic stakes in state companies. Government regulations stipulate stip·u·late 1
v. stip·u·lat·ed, stip·u·lat·ing, stip·u·lates
a. To lay down as a condition of an agreement; require by contract.
b. that foreign companies can take no more than a 50% stake in listed companies without specific authorisation, and this is proving a deterrent to investors.
Christian Pehuet, head of Calyon's Tunisia operations, has said: "Tunisia is reluctant to commit to selling a majority stake in companies, even at a later date. So there is no motivation for companies to come in and buy a share. Some foreign companies tried to come in to the insurance business...but essentially they were thrown out... If the private company only takes a minority share it will be a flop". Should such exceptions be granted, however, it will only be to prove the rule. "I don't think the government will relax its participation rules", says Pehuet adding: "The central bank governor has said that after the sale of Banque du Sud there will be a banking system that, in terms of capital, will be one-third government-owned, one-third owned by local private investors and one-third by foreign investors, and that this equilibrium suits Tunisia perfectly".