The Hassi Messaoud refinery project is a grassroot crude oil refinery planned in the Ouargla Province of Algeria. It will have an annual processing capacity of five million tonnes of oil and 120,900 tonnes of natural gas.

The oil refinery aims to meet the demand for the European environmental standards (Euro V) specification refined petroleum products. It will produce hydrocarbon derivatives such as gas oil and gasoline (normal and super), as well as butane and propane gas with international standards.

Algeria's state-owned Sonatrach will be the owner and the operator of the £2.8bn ($3.68bn) oil refinery facility which is scheduled to start operations in the first half of 2024.

The project’s construction work will be executed by a joint venture (JV) of Korea’s Samsung Engineering (45%) and Spanish firm Técnicas Reunidas (55%).

Location and site details

The Hassi Messaoud oil refinery site is located in the Haoud El Hamra village in the Sahara Desert at Hassi-Messaoud district in the Ouargla Province, approximately 600km southeast of capital Algiers, Algeria. 

Hassi Messaoud oil refinery infrastructure

The Hassi Messaoud oil refinery will consist of a new crude oil processing facility with a processing capacity of 110,000 barrels of crude oil per day (bopd).

The refinery facility will include a crude distillation unit (CDU), a vacuum distillation unit (VDU), a continuous catalytic reforming (CCR) unit, an isomerization unit, a naphtha hydro-treating (NHT) unit, a hydrodesulfurization (HDS) unit, a hydrocracker unit (HCU), and a solvent deasphalting (SDA) unit.

The oil refinery will also include an amine recovery unit, a sulphur recovery unit, and a wastewater treatment plant.

The Hassi Messaoud oil refinery will be equipped with aircraft warning lights with a provision of MIOL-B twin version with 2.000cd flashing red and LIOL-B twin version with 32cd steady burning red lights. 

Hassi Messaoud oil refinery financing

The Union de Banques Arabes et Francaises (UBAF) issued a guarantee on behalf of Tecnicas Reunidas for the construction of the Hassi Messaoud oil refinery in July 2020. 

The counter guarantee was issued in favour of the Algerian commercial bank Banque Extérieure d’Algérie against performance and advance payment bonds for a value of £116.55m ($147.17m). 

Contractors involved

Sonatrach signed a turnkey engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) contract with Tecnicas Reunidas and Samsung Engineering Group for the development of the Hassi Messaoud oil refinery in January 2020.

LUXSOLAR was contracted by Sonatrach to provide aircraft warning lights (AWL) for the Hassi Messaoud oil refinery.

Altrad Services Algeria bagged an order from Sonatrach at the NAPEC-North African Petroleum Exhibition and Conferences for Hassi Messaoud refinery in March 2019.

Amec Foster Wheeler (now Wood Group) was contracted by Sonatrach for the front-end engineering design (FEED) of the oil refinery. The scope of the contract also included the support for the selection of technology licensors.

Hassi Messaoud oil refinery project background

The Hassi Messaoud oil refinery was of one five new refinery projects announced by the Government of Algeria in 2013.

Along with Hassi Messaoud, two other major refineries proposed to be developed by Sonatrach for increasing the Euro Vquality domestic production of cleaner transportation fuels and energy products will be located at Tiaret and Biskra.

The three grassroots refineries will have a combined refining capacity of 15 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa).