France offers Tunisia $136.4 mln loan to finance electricity project
TUNIS, Jan 5, (KUNA): Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi signed a decree on Friday to extend the state of emergency for additional one month starting January 6. The decision, made after consultations with Prime Minister Youssef Chahed and Parliament Speaker Mohamed Ennaceur, still needs approval from the Assembly of the Representatives of the People (lower house of parliament), according to a presidential statement.
Tunisia first declared a state of emergency on November 24, 2015, in the wake of a suicide bomb attack on a bus of the presidential guards in Tunis; the attack claimed 12 lives and injured 17 others. In other news, The French Development Agency (AFD) has provided the Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company (STEG) a loan worth USD 136.6 million to finance installation of smart electricity meters across the north African nation.
The loan agreement was signed on Friday in Tunis between STEG CEO Moncef Harrabi and Director of AFD’s Tunis office Gilles Chausse, the Tunisia news agency (TAP) reported Friday. The first phase of the project focuses on the installation of 400,000 smart electricity meters, said Harrabi. The meters in the Sfax region constitute 10 percent of the country’s meters, he said.
Al-Harrabi noted that the second phase envisaged replacing the conventional meters with the smart ones in households nationwide to help eliminate the flat-rate invoice, so that the customer will be able to monitor his electricity and gas consumption at any time, and to control his energy bill. The new technology will make it easier for households to install photo voltaic panels and use renewable energy, he argued. For his part, Chausse pointed out that the implementation of this project meets Tunisia’s commitments, during the Paris Agreement, to reduce the rate of carbon emissions by 41 percent by 2030.