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on may 19 local time, the chinese group cntic/lpec sealed an engineering, procurement, and construction (epc) contract with algeria's national oil and gas company sonatrach in algiers, capital of algeria, to build a methyl tert-butyl ether (mtbe) production plant in oran, the largest city as well as the industrial and business center of western algeria.

the cntic/lpec group will be responsible for the designing, procurement, construction, installation, adjusting and testing, and trial run of integrated mtbe production equipment and supporting facilities. besides, the group will also provide technical support and quality guarantee for the project during the first year after it is put into operation.

with an estimated annual output of 200,000 tons, the project will generate significant social and economic benefits for the western regions of algeria. it will provide about 3,500 jobs for local residents during the construction period, and hire around 200 people for operation.

the signing ceremony for the project was held at the headquarters of sonatrach in hydra, algiers. economic and commercial counselor of the chinese embassy in algeria chen zhong, algerian minister of energy and mines mohamed arkab, and ceo of sonatrach toufik hakkar delivered speeches at the ceremony.

as a major contract between chinese and algerian companies, the mtbe project is of strategic significance for promoting cooperation and deepening friendship between china and algeria, chen said in his speech.

mohamed arkab congratulated the two sides on the signing of the mtbe project and pointed out that the project is going to further unlock the value of algeria's abundant natural resources, particularly oil and gas resources. the project is also one of the important projects included in the social and economic recovery plan adopted by the algerian government in 2020, and is expected to play an important role in improving algeria's petrochemical production capacity, he stressed.