* Sonatrach signed contracts with Spanish and British firms to undertake studies of two new refinery processing plants
* Tecnicas Reunidas is undertaking the Skikda project study and Amec Foster Wheeler the project in Arzew
* The cost of the two studies was put at about $26 million
Algerian oil and gas company Sonatrach signed contracts on Sunday with Spanish firm Tecnicas Reunidas and British-based Amec Foster Wheeler to undertake studies for two new refinery processing plants, Chief Executive Amin Mazouzi said.
The first plant, in Skikda, would process 4.6 million tonnes of fuel oil and four million tonnes of naphtha for a yearly output of 3.2 million tonnes of diesel and 3.5 million tonnes of gasoline, Sonatrach’s CEO said at a news conference.
The second plant, in Arzew, would produce 75,000 tonnes per year of methanol and 150,000 tonnes per year of butane.
Tecnicas Reunidas is undertaking the Skikda project study and Amec Foster Wheeler the project in Arzew.
Algeria is a major oil and gas producer but imports an estimated $1.4 billion per year of gasoline products. The North African OPEC member is trying to save money on imports after being hit by the fall in global oil prices.
“The two refineries will transform us from a net importer to an exporter of refined products,” said Sonatrach vice president Akli Remini.
The cost of the two studies was put at about 25 million euros ($26 million).