Algeria’s National Company for Marketing and Distribution of Petroleum Products (Naftal) has partnered with the pipeline unit of the national oil company, Sonatrach TRC, to construct a 424-kilometre LPG pipeline along the Mediterranean coast. The project will cost US$364 million. The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract was signed on March 23, 2022, at Sonatrach’s headquarters. Naftal chairman Mourad Menouar, Sonatrech chairman Toufik Hakkar and TRC vice president Amine Melaika attended the signing ceremony.

The 12-inch OD pipeline is expected to deliver 1.2 million tons of LPG annually. The bulk infrastructure project will take about 48 months. It will run from the port city of Arzew to the capital Algiers. The pipeline would run through seven major administrative divisions. These are Ain-Defla, Chlef, Blida, and Algiers in the north and Mascara, Oran and Relizane in north-western Algeria.

The planned main filling site is in Arzew. The project design also calls for filling centres in Chlef and Blida, with a mini filling centre in between.

Mourad Menouar, Naftal chairperson said the pipeline will significantly improve LPG distribution, particularly in western and central Algeria. 

Toufik Hakkar, Sonatrach chairperson, said that “LPG is becoming an important element in the country’s energy portfolio”. This pipeline is expected to cut the high costs associated with transporting LPG by sea or road.

Sonatrach announced plans in January 2022, to invest US$40 million in oil exploration, production and refining, and gas exploration and extraction between 2022 and 2026. Hakkar confirmed that the budget investment for 2022 is US$8 billion, with a third of the investment involving foreign partners. He said: “The largest share will be devoted to exploration and production, to preserve our production capacities, as well as to projects in refining to meet the national demand for fuel”.

Photo: Construction of an LPG pipeline (Maksim Safaniuk | Dreamstime)

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