Total Petchems continues to pursue cracker project in Algeria

23 November 2010 12:10  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Total Petrochemicals is continuing to pursue a cracker project in Arzew, Algeria, Graeme Burnett, senior vice president for Asia and Middle East, said on Tuesday.

The project, a joint venture with Algeria’s state-owned Sonatrach, would centre on a 1.3m tonne/year ethane cracker with downstream polyethylene (PE) and monoethylene glycol (MEG) units, he added.

“We’re still in discussions. We’ve had strong support from Sonatrach,” said Burnett, adding: “The project hasn’t gone as quickly as we’d hoped but the outlook is still quite positive.”

The ownership structure still needed to be defined, following the passing of a law which required majority ownership by Algerian companies, he said.

Under the original deal, Brussels-headquartered Total Petrochemicals would have had a 51% stake in the venture and Sonatrach 49%.

There were several options for resolving this problem, including bringing in a third party, Burnett said.

Other technical issues also needed to be resolved, he added, without revealing details.

Burnett said it was too early to predict the timing of the project.

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By: Anna Jagger
+44 20 8652 3214

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