Sonatrach boss makes surprise visit to London
Sonatrach CEO Toufik Hakkar made a surprise appearance at International Energy Week last month. But that was not the only reason for his brief visit to London.
Despite the authorities' wish to see production get under way at the zinc and lead mine, local citizens' associations consider that the project represents a danger to the environment. There are also concerns about the financial health of the Australian company due to lead operations.
The oil giant, via its subsidiary AEC, is on the front line in the battle against summer water shortages that can lead to social unrest. It plans to procure emergency seawater desalination units, has embarked on the construction of miniature desalination plants, and has called on international firms to rehabilitate its existing infrastructure.
Several Chinese companies which have been active in Algeria for several years have bid for the giant phosphate exploitation project in the south of the country. They are up against construction heavyweights from the United States and Indonesia.
Chinese giant Citic, shortlisted by Sonatrach in 2018 but then dropped, is scrambling to get back into its good books. The Algerian state-owned firm is looking for a new partner for a massive project to exploit the country's phosphate reserves, and Citic wants to be the chosen one.