Sonatrach and Total Study Petchems Complex

28.12.2016 -

Algerian energy group Sonatrach has finalized an agreement with French oil and gas group Total to carry out a feasibility study for a world-scale petrochemicals complex, according to local media reports.

The agreement was signed during a visit by Total CEO Patrick Pouyanné to Algiers last week. The two companies have agreed to strengthen their partnership in the hydrocarbon production chain both in Algeria and abroad, and will look to jointly exploit new opportunities in the sector.

The signing comes just a few days after Sonatrach announced that it is in negotiations with international partners to form five petrochemical joint ventures. These include an ethane and LPG cracker complex, propane dehydrogenation (PDH) and PP plants, a methanol and derivatives facility and complexes for synthetic rubber and tires.

The Algerian group is due to award a contract next month for its linear alkyl benzene (LAB) project. The location of the new 100,000 t/y plant has not been confirmed - Sonatrach has petrochemical production at Skikda and Arzew.

Earlier this month, the state-owned company awarded a contract to Amec Foster Wheeler to provide preliminary engineering work for a 200,000 t/y methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) plant to be built at Arzew. The MTBE facility, which will make use of the methanol and butane produced at the site, will help improve the octane quality of fuels produced by its refineries, Sonatrach said.