Algerian LNG plant at Arzew orders new equipment from US for upgrade

Tuesday, 15 September 2020
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Air Products receives order from Sonatrach to supply four cryogenic heat-exchangers

LNG News Editor

Air Products said it received an order from Algerian national energy company Sonatrach to supply four cryogenic heat-exchangers for one of the North African nation’s liquefaction plants on the Mediterranean Coast.

The LeHigh Valley, Pennsylvania-based company said the heat-exchangers would be manufactured at its plant in Florida and will replace the original ones supplied by Air Products more than 40 years ago.


Air Products is the world’s leader in LNG technology and equipment and the latest order will head for Sonatrach’s GL1Z LNG facility in Arzew, northern Algeria.

“The four heat exchangers will each have 1.3 million tonnes per year production capacity and will replace four previous heat exchangers supplied by Air Products in the late 1970s, which are some of the longest operating MCHEs in the world,” said the US company.

The four MCHEs to be supplied by Air Products will be installed at the heart of the proprietary AP-C3MR™ propane pre-cooled mixed refrigerant liquefaction process at the multi-Train facility.

The original six MCHE’s at the Sonatrach facility were supplied by Air Products in 1977.

Since that time, the location has undergone multiple rejuvenation projects and the original MCHEs are still in service.

The new exchangers will incorporate the latest advances in design and manufacture which have been developed by Air Products over the past four decades.

“This is a very significant contract for Air Products to have won with a very important customer, Sonatrach, who has been a valuable customer of ours for many years,” said Samir J. Serhan, Chief Operating Officer at Air Products.

“This is another important milestone in our commitment to work with Sonatrach in Algeria and deliver the best heat-exchanger technology in the LNG industry,” he added.

“Air Products is very proud that we built the original heat-exchangers, which are still operating at the Arzew facility in Algeria and have been for over four decades,” explained Serhan.

“Air Products’ goal is to provide excellent customer service and develop long-standing relationships with our customers and our continuous work with Sonatrach in Algeria is a perfect example of doing just that,” stated Serhan.

Toufik Hakkar, Sonatrach’s Chief Executive, said the supply, installation, supervision, and commissioning of the four MCHEs is part of Sonatrach’s plan to revamp its LNG plants.

“This project will help reduce maintenance costs, reduce gas consumption rates and maintain LNG gas production at the GL1Z facility,” added Hakkar.

“We have confidence in the expertise and capacity of Air Products as a Sonatrach LNG technology traditional provider, and as a partner in the gas industry to manage the contract in a way that matches our plan,” stated the Sonatrach’s CEO.

Additionally, beyond the supply of the equipment, Air Products said it would be responsible for overseeing the installation of the equipment and also provide advisory services and engineering studies.

Air Products will build the LNG heat-exchangers at its Port Manatee, Florida manufacturing facility.

Air Products opened its Port Manatee plant in January 2014 and completed a 60 percent expansion in October 2019 to meet the needs of the ever-growing LNG industry.

“In October 2018, Air Products dedicated a new LNG equipment test facility (ETF), which will enable Air Products to improve the reliability and yield produced from its LNG equipment and to design new equipment,” the US company noted.

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