Monday, 1 July 2013

Algeria: Orascom reaches agreement on Sorfert dispute

After several years when Algeria's relationships with its actual and potential joint-venture partners in the petrochemicals sector have been strained, a deal between Sonatrach and Egypt's Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) suggests that some progress may still be possible – but the political impediments are still daunting.

On 27 May, the companies, which are jointventure partners in the 2 million tonne/year Sorfert AlgĂ©rie greenfield nitrogen fertiliser complex, signed an amendment to the shareholders' agreement which OCI said had agreed “mutually beneficial arrangements, which will allow for the earliest possible start of production and commercial activities of the company”.

OCI chief executive Nassef Sawiris described the agreement as a “milestone”. There are good economic and financial reasons to allow the project to go forward and the plant to start producing as it has mostly been financed by Algerian banks and the terms of the loans are not being met.

For more news and expert analysis about Algeria, please see Algeria Focus and Algeria Politics & Security.

© 2013 Menas Associates

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