National Oil Company (SONATRACH) gave details of its purchase of the Augusta oil refinery in Sicily, saying that the facility has been licensed for 12 years, eliminating fears that are associated with the operation, especially since the refinery is the largest in the Mediterranean and the 11th in the world.
Sonatrach consultant, Ahmed Mazighi, said in a press conference at the company’s headquarters that Sonatrach evaluated 4 refineries in Europe in order to buy them, but the Augusta refinery, which has a production capacity of 10 million tons of fuel annually, will be transferred to Sonatrach by the end of this year.
According to, Ahmed Mazighi, the Augusta refinery is largest, with a capacity of 925,000 barrels of fuel storage in Naples and Palermo, and it will be the second refinery in terms of refining capacity after the Skikda refinery.
This refinery can, compared to the facilities that are available, to process the Algerian crude and the remnants of the fuel from the Skikda refinery, to get gasoline and fuel.
During the presentation, the head of Sonatrach, Abdelmoumene Ould Kaddour, explained that the lubricants that are produced by the Augusta refinery in Italy are reserved for the American company, Exxon Mobil, which is the former owner of the refinery at international prices.
According to the offer, the refinery covers about 25% of the market share of the Mediterranean lubricant.
Concerning the controversy that accompanied the purchase of the refinery Mazighi explained that the facility was the subject of a law audit by a prestigious law firm in Italy, which confirmed that it can be used at 98.1%.
The refinery ranked among the 25 best in the world in terms of maintenance and energy density, according to the classification of “Solomon”, recalling that the refinery in addition to the refineries of the region in Syracuse and Priolo was notified by the Italian authorities in 2017 due to the level of sulfur dioxide emissions.
“The refinery will launch a plan to reduce the level of emission and was approved by the Italian authorities, and since March it obtained a license to practice activity for 12 years, which is the maximum duration that was granted by the Italian order”.
Regarding land pollution concerns, Mazighi added that the area in question is estimated at 20 hectares out of 360 hectares.
“The projected cost of this treatment to conserve underground water is estimated at 30 million dollars a year for 7 years and is included in the economic model of the refinery’s assessment”.