Engineers India eyes stake in Algerian firm

Nov 05, 2004 01:00 AM

State-run Engineers India Ltd. (EIL) is eyeing a stake in Safir, an Algerian engineering company, to get a foothold in the oil-rich OPEC member.
"EIL has expressed interest in taking minority equity in Safir with a view to get a share of the $ 50 bn spend Algeria has planned over the next six years in refinery upgradation, oil and gas production/processing and LNG projects," a senior company official said. EIL has already submitted bids for project management and consultancy (PMC) services contract for modernisation of Skikda and Arzew refineries in Algeria.

Safir, 51 % owned by Algerian national firms Sonatrach and Sonalgaz, is the Member-member country's flagship engineering company. French firm Gaz de France has 44 % share, while the remaining 5 % is with Sofregaz. Algerian national oil firms are believed to be looking at reducing their exposure in favour of a specialist in oil and gas contracting business.
"With the assistance of EIL, Safir can participate in execution of large oil/gas and refinery projects and Algerian component of engineering world can increase substantially," he said.

Algeria has four oil refineries with combined capacity of 450,000 bpd. Sonatrach has already floated tenders for upgradation of 300,000 bpd Skikda and 60,000 bpd Arzew refineries.
"Sonatrach plans to upgrade all four refineries and EIL can assist it in this task," the official said.

Source: Times of India
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