Algeria’s Sonatrach will close its Skikda petrochemicals plant because it is no longer profitable, Minister of Energy and Mines Yousef Yousfi told parliament on 3 December. “The final closure decision has been taken. Sonatrach will build a mega petrochemical complex that will replace the plastics plant at Skikda,” he said.

The plant was one of the largest in Africa at 1978 start-up, but its 120,000 tons/year ethylene plant is no longer competitive when typical crackers now exceed 1mn t/y. Sonatrach’s ENIP petrochemicals subsidiary operates the complex, and has built a 48,000 t/y low-density polyethylene (LDPE) unit and a 130,000 t/y high-density polyethylene (HDPE) unit at the site. (CONTINUED - 285 WORDS)