(Ecofin Agency) - Algeria’s Sonatrach, has signed contracts with Tecnicas Reunidas and Amec Foster Wheeler to carry out studies for two new refinery processing plants.
According to Sonatrach's CEO, Amin Mazouzi (photo), the first plant, in Skikda, would process 4.6 million tonnes of fuel oil and 4 million tonnes of naphtha for an annual output of 3.2 million tonnes of diesel and 3.5 million tonnes of gasoline. He said the second plant, in Arzew, would produce 75,000 tonnes per year of methanol and 150,000 tonnes per year of butane.
Spanish firm Tecnicas Reunidas is to carry out the Skikda project study while British-based Amec Foster Wheeler will undertake the project in Arzew. The cost of the two studies is estimated at about $26 million.
The North African country is a major oil and gas producer but imports about $1.4 billion per year of gasoline products. The OPEC member is making efforts to reduce the money being expended on imports after being affected by the fall in global oil prices.
“The two refineries will transform us from a net importer to an exporter of refined products,” Akli Remini, Sonatrach’s vice president, told Reuters.