Total, Sonatrach plan Algerian petchem complex

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Dec. 5 -- Total SA and Algeria's Sonatrach have signed a framework agreement to build a $3 billion petrochemical complex with a 1.4 million tonne/year ethane cracker in Arzew, near Oran, by 2012. The signing follows a memorandum of understanding signed in July (OGJ Online, July 19, 2007).

The facility will produce 1.1 million tonnes/year of ethylene, which will be processed into polyethylene (two units with a total capacity of 800,000 tonnes/year) and monoethylene glycol (550,000 tonnes/year). The companies plan to issue technology tenders for the units.

Total will invest over $1.5 billion in the complex, which will export most of its products. Feed gas from fields in southern Algeria will be used at the complex.

Total Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie said the project would expand the company's petrochemical activities based on world-class facilities. "It signals our entry into Algeria's petrochemical industry and strengthens the existing partnership between Total and Sonatrach in oil exploration and production."

Total holds a 51% stake in the joint venture and Sonatrach 49%.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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