Algerian state-owned Sonatrach intends to purchase a refinery abroad as a part of its plan to develop its own resources, Algeria Press Service reported.

“The project will make it possible for us to make huge savings in oil refining, to refine our own oil products and maintain our dynamics of investment abroad,” Sonatrach CEO, Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour, said. However, the project is “still in the stage of negotiations,” he added.

Algeria plans to develop its own resources and process its own oil and gas instead of selling it as crude.

In January, Sonatrach began refining oil in Italy. Ould Kaddour said that Sonatrach would rent the equipments of an Italian refining firm to conduct its refining operations, allowing the country to obtain processed fuels at a cheaper price.

About 11.5 million tons of fuel are currently refined in Algeria; however, annual consumption reached 15 million tons in 2017.

Ould Kaddour expects the Sidi R’zine refinery in Algiers to be completed before the end of 2018, adding that the refinery should reduce import bills.