Sonatrach officially becomes owner of the Augusta refinery in Italy
The national oil & Gas group Sonatrach, through its subsidiary ” Sonatrach Raffineria Italiana Srl ”, has officially become the owner of the assets of the Augusta refinery in Italy from Saturday, December 1/2018, according to a Sonatrach Group press release .
The Sonatrach Group and ESSO Italiana (a subsidiary of the US group Exxon Mobil) closed the transaction in Milan (Italy) for the Augusta refinery and its three oil terminals in Palermo, Naples and Augusta. as well as stakes in pipelines linking the refinery to the various terminals, the source said.
Thus, after a six-month transition process, in which Sonatrach lifted all suspensive conditions, particularly those related to anti-trust agreements, the national oil company has just strengthened, through this acquisition, a new additional refining capacity.
With its 10 million tonnes of treatments per year, the Augusta refinery is ranked second after Skikda, which has a capacity of 16 million tonnes per year.
As a reminder, when Sonatrach signed the agreement with Esso Italiana in Rome in May 2018 for this acquisition, the takeover had raised concerns from the Italian environmental association “Legambiente” and the refinery workers’ unions.
This concern, revealed by Maghreb Emergent, concerned the contamination of soil and groundwater of the refinery by various pollutants.
Information confirmed by the adviser of the CEO of Sonatrach, Ahmed Mazigui, who confessed at a press conference held on May 23, 2018 at Sonatrach headquarters, following this media scandal, that only 20 hectares of the Augusta refinery’s soil surfaces are contaminated.
The same manager confirmed that Sonatrach was aware of the soil contamination problem of the Italian refinery and that “this has been evaluated from the beginning of the negotiations of this acquisition by the technical expertise”.
Regarding the acquisition price of the Augusta refinery, which has been criticized by some observers as excessive, Sonatrach has always kept a total blur on the subject.
During his visit to the national radio, the acting vice president of marketing at Sonatrach, Ahmed Mazigui, refused to reveal the exact purchase price of the refinery, stating only that “the refinery of Augusta would have cost Sonatrach one-sixth the price of a new one.