The Minister of Petroleum, Tarek El-Molla, said that work is continuing within the strategy toward developing the petrochemical industry, and to continue the expansion plans which aim to implement four new projects during the next four years with investments worth $1.5bn.
He noted that the ministry pays attention toward developing the national petrochemical industry, and gives the largest possible added value of petroleum and gas, as well as supporting payments and the national economy.
Those projects also help in supplying petrochemical products for the local market, and many industries, in addition to exports in order to provide foreign exchange.
The minister stressed the importance of speeding up the continuation of the new expansions and projects in order to increase the production capacity of petrochemicals, given their economic returns and their support toward maximising the optimum utilisation of the natural gas surplus production, after connecting new production phases.
During the general assembly of the Egyptian Ethylene and Derivatives Company (Ethydco), El-Molla pointed out that when properly utilised as a production input, gas achieves a higher added value to the national economy.
In a related context, Chairperson of Ethydco, Abdel Megeed Hegazy, said that the implementation of the industrial rubber factory project will be implemented with investments worth $100m, and with a capacity of 36,000 tonnes annually.
This comes within the new expansions in order to increase production capacity, as the product is used as an input in 12 industrial activities, most prominently is the industry of car tires and belts in factories and cars.
The technical assessment of the tender will be finalised soon to choose the general contractor for the project implementation.
Moreover, Hegazy said that the possibility of increasing the production capacity of Ethydco for polyethylene by 50% is being considered. This would happen through adding a third production line and increasing the factory’s production capacity by 130%.
He explained that the target production plan in 2018 was achieved by over 100%, with 381,000 tonnes of polyethylene, in addition to 19,000 tonnes of butadiene and its derivatives.
Furthermore, Hegazy said that the production helps maintain part of the needs of the local market and exporting some of it to foreign markets in order to bring dollar returns.
Over and above, he added that opening new export markets of polyethylene in west Africa and the Nile Basin countries has succeeded and led to an increase in the number of countries receiving the exports of the Ethydco complex to nearly 56 countries across the world.
The measures to establish the largest logistical support project for the petrochemical industry have started. It will be established in Alexandria, in cooperation with the Egyptian Petrochemicals Holding Company, Ethydco, and SIDPEC, according to Hegazy.
The new project is considered the required infrastructure for meeting the needs of petrochemical factories in Alexandria, through establishing a group of warehouses and connecting them by sea by shipping and unloading facilitations at the port, and by land in the petrochemical industry complex in the El Nahda area in Alexandria. This aims to increase the storage capacity of raw materials and in order to meet future needs.
Hegazy further explained that within the necessary measures for establishing this project, Solvay Alexandria Company for Sodium Carbonate was acquired and turned into a company offering petrochemical logistics services. Currently, work is ongoing on the initial designs of the project and its feasibility study which is planned to be completed by the end of this month.