Economy

Naftal plans to build a pipeline to transport butane and propane gas from Arzew to the capital

Naftal CEO, Mourad Menouar, announced Thursday a project to build a pipeline to transport butane and propane gas from Arzew to Algiers to improve the distribution of these energy products and reduce their cost.

In an interview with the newspaper Al-Khabar, Mr. Menouar said that Naftal plans to carry out a “major project to build a pipeline for the transport of butane and propane gas directly from Arzew to the capital,” explaining that the cities located on its path and with storage centers can be supplied directly from the pipeline.

The capital is currently supplied by ships from Arzew. Once unloaded, part of the cargo is transported by land to other cities, such as Chlef, said the official, stressing that the pipeline will provide “sustainable” solutions, as transport by truck involves risks such accidents and environmental pollution.

The CEO of Naftal assured that all necessary measures and arrangements had been made to supply the population with butane gas, including in remote areas, to avoid any supply crisis, especially in winter when demand soars.

“The situation is under control, except in cases of force majeure,” he said, explaining that “all measures have been taken and the basic supply plans and alternative plans for each region have been put in place, with the possibility of switching quickly from one alternative to another.”

Regarding the supply of remote areas with no distribution points of butane, he said that the company has concluded agreements with the presidents of the municipalities, to allocate spaces as storage points, adding that Naftal “has drawn lessons” from the previously recorded crises.

For Mr. Menouar, the production capacity of Naftal regarding the loading of gas cylinders can reach two million cylinders daily if three teams are used daily and the loading centers are running all day long.

Nevertheless, according to Menouar, the highest level of consumption and sales currently is 650,000 cylinders per day “and usually occurs in the year only once or twice”.

He said, on the other hand, that the number of cylinders in circulation currently on the market is 20 million units, but Naftal is forced to acquire 500,000 cylinders each year and puts them on the market to replace damaged cylinders, in order to avoid any disruption in marketing, which is another financial burden on the company.

Naftal sales increase by 9% in 2021

Answering a question about vehicles equipped with Sirgaz (Naftal kits running on liquefied petroleum gas fuel LPG), Mr. Menouar said that their number has reached since the beginning of the project, 660,000 vehicles, including 200,000 vehicles whose kits were assembled by Naftal with its own means in its centers, while the company contributes indirectly in the remaining 400,000, through the provision of kits or through the training of staff for assembly.

According to the CEO, the stations that provide liquefied petroleum gas fuel LPGc represent about 45% of the total stations of Naftal.

Regarding the balance sheet of the company of last year, Mr. Menouar reported an increase of 9% in sales of Naftal compared to 2020, saying that this rate remains far from that of 2019.

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