Algeria attracts 49 initial international offers for new refineries

ALGIERS (Reuters) -- Algeria has attracted 49 offers from international energy companies to build four refineries worth a total $6 billion, a state energy firm Sonatrach source told Reuters on Monday.

Photo Courtesy of CNPC.
Photo Courtesy of CNPC.

Algeria is also considering a petrochemicals partnership with the Saudi Arabia's SABIC, details of which are expected to be unveiled shortly, the source told Reuters.

Sonatrach has already increased its refining capacity in the past few years by renovating three plants including the Skikda, Arzew, and Algiers refineries and is trying to raise revenues after the crash in oil prices cut its energy earnings by half.

Oil and gas sales provide about 60% of state revenues for the OPEC producer, which produces an estimated 30 MMt of refined products per year.

"Our plan is to stop importing refined products by 2018," said the source, who asked not to be named. "Selling refined products rather than crude oil is a good way to boost revenues."

Skikda, Algeria's biggest refinery, produces 17 MMt of refined oil products per year, Arzew's plant refines 3.75 MM of crude oil, and Algiers's refinery will reach 3.5 million of products in 2018 versus 2.7 million a year now.

In the south, Sonatrach has two refineries. One in Hassi Messaoud with a capacity 1.1 MMtpy, and a second in Adrar, which refines 600,000 tpy.

Two other new refineries, one in Tiaret and a second in Hassi Messaoud, are on scheduled to start refining 5 MMt of crude oil each a year. Those two refineries are still in the bidding phase for further construction work.

Reporting by Lamine Chikhi; Editing by Patrick Markey and Louise Ireland

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