Sonatrach has made two key awards in a bid to revamp its downstream capacity. Agreements with France’s Total for engineering studies into a polypropylene complex at Arzew and with US firm Honeywell UOP for technology licenses for new upgrading units at Skikda refinery come after the state company effectively acknowledged its only short-term hope of bridging its products shortfall was the purchase of a refinery in Sicily from ExxonMobil (MEES, 11 May).

Total expects the petchems...