The Algerian state-owned oil company Sonatrach announced on Thursday that it signed a contract with a Chinese factory to build a petrochemical plant in the state of Oran, at a value of 76 billion Algerian dinars ($542 million).
Sonatrach confirmed in a statement that the plant would produce methyl tert-butyl ether, which is added to the fuel to improve its quality and obtain unleaded gasoline.
According to the statement, the National Bank of Algeria will finance 70 per cent of the project's cost, with an implementation period of 36 months, from June 2022 to June 2025. The plant will be located in the Arzew Oil Port in Oran, west Algeria.
The statement pointed out that the project will enable Algeria to save $170 million annually from the import value and export surpluses through the Arzew Oil Port, which is the largest in the country.
The Algerian authorities gradually stopped the consumption of leaded gasoline in 2020 and generalised the use of unleaded gasoline at gas stations across the country.
At the end of January, Sonatrach announced a complete halt of the country's fuel imports for the first time in years.