LJUBLJANA, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- Slovenia's partially state-owned natural gas trader Geoplin on Tuesday signed a three-year natural gas supply contract with Algeria's state-owned energy company Sonatrach, the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) reported.
Slovenia will buy about 300 million cubic meters of gas from Algeria per year, which will cover a third of its gas needs. The value of the deal has not been revealed, the agency added.
The contract covers the period between early 2023 and the end of 2025, Geoplin said in a statement. The gas will be transported via a pipeline that runs from Algeria through Tunisia, the Mediterranean Sea and Italy to Slovenia.
Slovenia and other European Union states have been seeking to reduce their dependence on Russian natural gas since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, which caused a global surge in energy prices.
"The agreement represents an additional diversification of the ... portfolio of sources and paths of natural gas that Geoplin distributes," Matija Bitenc, chief executive officer (CEO) of Geoplin, said in a statement.
The contract was signed during a visit by Slovenia's Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon and Infrastructure Minister Bojan Kumer to Algeria, where they discussed increasing the volume of gas supplied and extending the two countries' contractual cooperation.
Soaring energy prices, particularly natural gas prices, have pushed Slovenia's inflation to its highest level in over 20 years. It was 10 percent year-on-year in October, up from 3.5 percent a year ago. ■