Algeria expanding petrochemical capability

Algeria has awarded more than $4 billion in contracts to expand its petrochemical infrastructure for more diversified products production.

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, July 19 -- Algeria has awarded more than $4 billion in contracts to expand its petrochemical infrastructure for more diversified products production.

It awarded Total SA a contract to build and operate a $3 billion-plus steam cracking complex on Algeria's northwest coast that will produce 1.1 million tonnes/year of ethylene from 1.4 million tonnes/year of ethane. The facility will convert ethylene into 410,000 tonnes/year of monoethylene glycol, 350,000 tonnes/year of high density polyethylene, and 450,000 tonnes/year of linear low density polyethylene. Total will work in partnership with state energy firm Sonatrach and will finance 51% of the project, with Sonatrach providing 49%. The complex will supply products for international markets as well as domestic demand.

The government also awarded the Almet consortium a contract to build a 1 million tonne/year methanol plant that will cost $1 billion. The Almet consortium, comprising foreign and local firms, includes Mitsui of Japan, Qurain of Kuwait, German firm Lurgi, and local companies from Algeria and Trinidad and Tobago. Almet will hold a 51% stake in the project, and Sonatrach will hold 49%.

These two plants are the first of six petrochemical projects Algeria has launched which will total $12 billion. Algeria is rapidly expanding output of oil and gas and is investing heavily in petrochemicals to obtain more value from its energy supplies by diversifying its range of products for export.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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