The consortium of Stone & Webster, part of the US’ Shaw Group, with Basell of Europe and Saudi Arabia’s Al-Zamil Group is understood to be withdrawing its offer for the fuel oil catalytic cracking (FOCC) plant and linear alkyl benzene (LAB) unit at Skikda because of a lack of capacity. As there is only one other bidder France’s Total with the local Societe Nationale de Raffinage de Petrole (Naftec) it is unclear whether the project can proceed.

For the integrated naphtha and condensate cracker at Skikda, for which technical bids were submitted by Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) and Japan’s Itochu Corporation, concerns have been raised over the scheme’s financial viability. ‘The feedstock is very expensive and it is uncertain if it will go ahead,’ says a source close to the project.

Technical bid evaluation is ongoing for three other schemes: a 1 million-tonne-a-year (t/y) ethane cracker, a 3,000 tonne-a-day methanol plant and propane dehydrogenation (PDH) and polypropylene (PP) complex. No dates have been set for the submission of commercial bids.

A sixth project covering a 253,000-t/y purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and polyethylene terephthalic (PET) complex at Skikda was scrapped after no proposals were received. The client for all projects

is Sonatrach.