Rehabilitation of Algiers Refinery: Works are strengthening, well- developed

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The rehabilitation and extension works of Sidi R’cine oil refinery (south-east Algiers), entrusted at the end of 2016 to a Chinese company, “are progressing well” thanks to the management by Sonatrach company of various constraints, particularly those related to staff shortages, Energy Minister, Mustapha Guitouni, said on Tuesday, ensuring that the project will be delivered on time, in October 2018, APS reported on Tuesday.

“Today we have seen that things have gotten organized and are going much better, we feel that the yard has really started, and Sonatrach, with its new management, has taken things in hand,” the Minister told APS, after an unannounced inspection visit to the refinery, accompanied by Sonatrach’s CEO, Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour, and sector officials.

“The constraints imposed on the Chinese partner have been lifted, since it will be able to mobilize, in addition to  2.000 Chinese employees already operational, 3,000 additional expatriate agents that will soon complete the current workforce,” said Mr. Guitouni.

On 18 July, during a first inspection visit to the refinery, the minister described a “disorderly construction site” urging China Petroleum Engineering and Construction (CPECC) to speed up the work and increase its workforce to carry out the project within deadlines.

Following the minister’s discontent with the delay in rehabilitating this strategic refinery for the country, since it covers the petroleum products needs of 18 provinces of the center, the Project Manager was relieved of his duties in July and replaced By a new framework.

As a reminder, a first contract to rehabilitate the Alger refinery was concluded in 2010 with the French company TechnipFMC, before being terminated in 2015 due to a huge delay in completion.

CPECC officials, who in November 2016 won a new contract of DA 45 billion for rehabilitation of the refinery, for their part justified the delay due to the lack of manpower on the site due to Visa problem for Chinese staff.

Mr Guitouni therefore ordered the use of Algerian powers, in particular those involved in major development works, to fill these gaps and accelerate the pace of implementation.

For example, Sontarch refined the staff of the refinery using experienced executives in the province Skikda and Arzew refineries, as well as some 60 new engineers, bringing the number of local staff responsible for the project to 189 people in addition to some 1,700 Chinese employees, said Mr. Bouaziz Salih, the Director of the Refining Division.

In addition, Sonatrach “was able to settle, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the problem of Visas for the Chinese workforce. So 3.000 Chinese agents will join the worksite next September,” he said.

 

 

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