Sonatrach Workers Strike at Skikda Chemicals Site in Algeria

Workers at Sonatrach’s chemicals site in Skikda, Algeria, are on strike in a dispute over wages, potentially hampering distilled-water supply to a local refinery, according to a union official.

“If the strike continues for another 10 to 12 days, then work at the refinery may be disrupted,” Said Zair, head of the local union, said yesterday by phone from the site. The risk of a complete shutdown of the refinery is minimal as alternative sources of distilled water are available, he said. The protest began on March 13.

The refinery in the northeast of the country has the capacity to process 320,000 barrels of crude oil a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The plant exports most of its products to Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Sonatrach, based in the capital Algiers, is the country’s state- owned petroleum company.

To contact the reporters on this story: Nidaa Bakhsh in London at; Salah Slimani in Algiers at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at

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