Algeria’s Sonatrach lets contracts for three new refineries

Algeria’s state-owned Sonatrach SPA has let a series of contracts to Amec Foster Wheeler (AFW) to provide front-end engineering and design (FEED) for three grassroots refineries that will add a total of 15 million tonnes/year in refining capacity in the country.

To be located in Biskra, Tiaret, and Hassi Messaoud, each of the three refineries will have a capacity of 5 million tonnes/year and will be configured to process domestic Algerian crude oil, AFW said.

In addition to atmospheric distillation, all three refineries will include the following processing capabilities and installations: LPG separation; hydrocracking; desulfurization; bitumen production; blending; effluents treatment; and utilities, storage tanks, shipping facilities, and administrative buildings.

The proposed Biskra refinery also will include a unit for lubrication oil production, the service provider said.

Amec Foster Wheeler also will help Sonatrach to select licensors for process technology to be installed at the new refineries, the company said.

While it did not disclose a value of the three FEED contracts, Amec Foster Wheeler did confirm its scope of work on the projects is scheduled to be completed during third-quarter 2017.

A member country of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Algeria currently has five major refineries with a combined crude processing capacity of more than 520,000 b/d.

While the country recently has updated a previously launched program to increase its nationwide refining capacity by 50% to lift production of gasoline and diesel to meet rising domestic demand, execution of the revised program—which calls for new refineries as well as upgrades to existing plants—likely has shifted beyond 2020, according to OPEC’s latest annual outlook.

Contact Robert Brelsford at

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