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Total and Sonatrach begin engineering studies for joint petrochemicals project

By Mary Page Bailey |

As part of the comprehensive partnership announced in 2017, Total S.A. (Paris, France; www.total.com) has signed an agreement with Sonatrach (Algiers, Algeria; www.sonatrach.com) to launch the engineering studies for a petrochemical project in Arzew, western Algeria.

The project includes a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit and a polypropylene production unit with an output capacity of 550,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr). The project represents an investment of around $1.4 billion by the two partners (Sonatrach 51%, Total 49%), who are planning to start the front-end engineering and design (FEED) this summer, subject to approval by the relevant Algerian regulatory authorities. The facility will valorize propane, produced in large quantities locally, by transforming it into polypropylene, a plastic for which demand is growing strongly. It will supply in priority the local and Mediterranean demand and Total will be responsible for the commercialization of the rest of the production in Europe, where it will leverage its market expertise to the benefit of both partners.  

“This project in Algeria illustrates our petrochemical growth strategy which consists of expanding our activities from competitively advantaged feedstock, especially derived from gas, to take advantage of the growing global plastics demand. This polypropylene project complements our other projects announced recently in the United States, in the Middle-East and in Asia, which are primarily focused on polyethylene” commented Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Total. “It is also an opportunity to strengthen our cooperation with Sonatrach, by moving beyond our long-standing exploration and production relationship to invest in the downstream together.”

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