Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp) is providing $250m of financing to Algeria’s national oil company Sonatrach for its Italian refinery Sonatrach Raffineria Italiana.

The multinational Arab development bank has agreed two loans with Sonatrach subsidiary Sonatrach Petroleum Investment Corporation (Spic).

A $100m loan will be used to fund maintenance of the Sonatrach Raffineria Italiana complex in Sicily, Italy, which Sonatrach acquired from ExxonMobil in 2018.

Apicorp is also providing a $150m letter of credit (LOC) to Sonatrach Raffineria Italiana for the purchase of crude from Saudi Arabia’s national oil company Saudi Aramco.

Energy sector development

“Apicorp is committed to supporting and financing Sonatrach in its first overseas acquisition,” said Apicorp CEO Ahmed Ali Attiga in a statement.

“This is part of our mission to continue playing an active role in the development of our member countries’ broader energy sector and contribute to diversification and geographic expansion,” he said.

“As a trusted financial partner to the region’s energy sector, we remain steadfast in our mission to continue exploring opportunities in Algeria and other member states and provide solutions that drive innovation and bolster the sustainability of this vital industry.”

Nordine Bouteldja, managing director of Spic, said: “Our strategic investment in international refining through Sonatrach Raffinera Italiana will contribute to meeting local energy demand and address imbalances in petroleum supplies.

“This is of key importance to our efforts to diversify our energy assets and secure reliable supplies of crude oil, as part of our drive to meet local energy demand and address imbalances in petroleum supplies to the domestic market,” said Bouteldja.

Strategic acquisition 

The Sonatrach Raffineria Italiana complex is an integrated refinery complex that has access to the major global shipping routes through the Mediterranean Sea.

It has the capacity to process 200,000 barrels of crude oil a day and can produce a wide range of downstream products, including gasoline, distillates, fuel oils, lubricants, asphalts and chemicals.

Earlier this year, Sonatrach designated Apicorp as one of a select group of financial institutions to provide advisory on project management and financing-related matters.

International legal firm Allen & Ovary’s Paris office was the legal adviser to Apicorp on the transactions.