The long-awaited Baraki modernized Sidi R’cine oil refinery was officially inaugurated by Algerian officials last week.
Completing the signing was Algeria’s Minister of Interior, Nourredine Bedoui; Minister of Energy, Mustapha Guitouni; and Sonatrach CEO Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour.
The rehabilitation and extension work on the pre-existing refinery had been awarded to French company, TechnipFMC in 2010, but in 2015 the contract was broken due to considerable delays. In 2016, the government awarded the rehabilitation contract to China Petroleum Engineering and Construction for almost $380 million.
The Sidi R’cine refinery is a strategic asset that will cover the country’s petroleum needs for 18 states, over a third of Algeria’s 48 states. In 2017, the government announced that the modernization works on the refinery would increase the capacity of the unit from 2.8 million tons to 3.7 million tons per year.
The project is also aimed at bringing the refined products up to international standards, and the plant now fits European Union standards in terms of consumption and environmental and industrial safety.
“The refinery is a huge asset for Algeria as we will no longer import refined products and we will start exports by 2021. We took a long time to tackle this particularly challenging project, but we have learnt a lot in terms of minimizing delays, costs and improving quality,” Ould Kaddour stated during the ceremony.