$6bn petrochemical plant gets the go-ahead in Egypt

The $6bn Tahrir petrochemical complex has been launched by the local authorities in the Suez Gulf Economic Zone. The project will entail the construction of a petrochemical industrial complex on an area of five square kilometres in Ain Sukhna, near the Red Sea. 

The complex is expected to become a vital part of Egypt’s future economy, generating annual revenue of $6bn and increasing the country’s overall exports by more than 25% when it becomes operational. 

The work is to be project managed by Foster Wheeler, the engineering conglomerate based in Reading in the UK. The US engineer KBR has been awarded the contract to carry out the front end engineering design the complex’s ammonium nitrate plant. 

Korean contractor SK E&C will construct a polyethylene plant, and the ethylene plant will be constructed by German gases group Linde. The contract, awarded to these two companies in December 2013, is worth $3.6bn. 

The engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning contract for the project’s utilities and offsite facilities was awarded to a consortium of Maire Tecnimont, Archirodon Group and Drake & Scull International (DSI).

The contract, awarded to the former two companies, is valued at $1.95bn and the contract awarded to DSI is valued at $600m. 

Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, the minister for industry and foreign trade, said he had taken special steps to support the project, adding that it was labour-intensive and would help fight unemployment.  

The project will provide 20,000 direct jobs and 100,000 indirect jobs during construction and when it is finished it will offer 3,000 direct and 50,000 indirect employment opportunities. 

Up to $3.4bn of funding and loan guarantees are expected to be provided by the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Export-Import Bank of Korea, the Korea Insurance Corporation and the Italian Export Credit Agency.  

A partnership between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirate investors will also supply funding.  Work on the scheme is to start next year, and the complex is expected to become operational in 2019. 


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