Algeria to Boost Diesel Imports This Year on Refinery Halts

Sonatrach, Algeria’s state oil company, plans to import about 2 million metric tons of diesel in 2012 compared with 1.3 million tons last year to offset refinery halts, a company official said.

The company’s Skikda refinery, which can process about 320,000 barrels of crude a day, will be partially shut for maintenance in May, Yamina Hamdi, vice president of commercial activity at the company, said in an interview in the country’s capital Algiers.

The 60,000 barrel-a-day Arzew plant, will restart Feb. 15 after a partial halt for refurbishment last year, Abelkader Benchouia, downstream vice-president at Sonatrach said today.