Algeria Gas Plant Raid: Death Toll Continues to Rise
According the Algeria's Prime Minister, the gunmen that entered the In Amenas gas complex with intent to blow it up is now en route to Mali with foreign hostages, leaving at least 48 dead, including three Americans.
“The [Algerian] army first tried to negotiate in the hope of resolving the situation, but the terrorists were determined and their position was clear, and they had unacceptable demands,” Abdelmalek Sellal told reporters in Algiers today.
The attack had been planned two months prior by a group of 32 Islamists, headed by a man named Bechneb Mohamed al- Amin, a member of the Masked Brigade, who was also killed in the siege. The group is considered to be a splinter faction of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM. Two of the extremists were Canadians, according to Sellal, “judging by his English accent.”
Although little is known about the supposedly Canadian men involved in the incident, such reports have sparked a major concern in Ottawa. Authorities are seeking clarity on a possible Canadian connection to the raid. One of the men, Riad, has been identified as a North American who took part in killing numerous Japanese workers at the engineering firm JGC Corp, according to the AFP.
Sellal described the scene at the gas plant as chaotic and violent in a press conference Monday. He said the attackers had inside knowledge of the plant, because one of them previously worked there as a driver. They came heavily armed and prepared with explosives belts, used to strap onto some of the hostages.
“They had a massive arsenal,” he told BBC. French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian described the event as an “act of war.”
The plant, which is responsible for over one tenth of the country's overall gas output, is expected to resume production by Tuesday, according to Algeria's Energy Minister, and Sallel will deliver a new conference about the attack later today.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.