Algerian oil refinery restarts, kicking off fuel export plan

Algeria has restarted the Sidi Rezine oil refinery in Algiers after modernization works that lift annual output to 3.645 million tons from 2.7 million tons a year ago, official media reported.

Fuel importer Algeria aims to start exporting gasoline next year and diesel in 2024 after upgrades to its refineries, state news agency APS said, quoting Sidi Rezine plant manager Hassen Boukhalfa.

Inaugurated by Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad, the Sidi Rezine refinery was shut down in 2018 for modernization work by China Petrolum Engineering and Construction (CPECC).

Algeria currently produces about 30 million tons of refined products a year and imports large quantities to meet growing domestic demand.

OPEC member Algeria’s gasoline output reached 2.7 million tons in 2019, against total domestic consumption of 4 million tons, Boukhalfa said.

It aims to stop imports this year and begin exporting in 2021 after completion of the upgrades at other refineries.

The modernization plan will also help to increase diesel production, paving the way for first exports in 2024, Boukhalfa said. (Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed Editing by David Goodman)

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