The Carbon Holdings Company has started the construction and delivery of facilities for the petrochemical project in the industrial area of Ain Sukhna, the largest petrochemical project in the Middle East, at an investment cost of $10.9bn.
The chairperson of the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) Mohab Mamish, said that the Economic Commission handed over the project’s land to the company in early March to start connecting the facilities and preparing the construction of the project on an area of 5.2msqm, which consists of the world-class naphtha cracker with an annual capacity of 3.5m tonnes. The output of the cracking process is used to produce various petrochemical products for domestic consumption and exports with an annual capacity of 1.3m tonnes of polyethylene, 662,000 tonnes of polypropylene, 414,000 tonnes of gasoline, and 214,000 tonnes of butadiene.
Chairperson of Carbon Holdings Bassel Al-Baz, said that the Tahrir Petrochemical Complex will contribute to a remarkable positive leap in the industrial development process in Egypt, and help double Egypt’s exports in a year, and as production increases, local manufacturers will be encouraged to expand.
Osama Kamal, a former petroleum minister and board member of Carbon Holdings, said that the petrochemical complex project provides 25,000 jobs during the construction period and 3,000 direct opportunities when operation starts.
He stressed that the project aims to meet the needs of the domestic market of petrochemical products and provide the needed raw materials for existing and future petrochemical projects in the Suez Canal region, and exporting the surplus.
The investment cost of the petrochemical project is estimated at $10.9bn, of which $5.5bn is funded by the United States Export and Import Bank, the British Export Finance Corporation, the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the German Export Development Bank, and others.
He added that 71 contracts and agreements were signed for the implementation of the project, including land, project consultants, raw material suppliers, product procurement, and license contracts. They were signed under the umbrella of financial and legal advisers and the US Export Development Bank.
The project documents include four usufruct contracts with the main development company in the economic zone and the Suez governorate for the land in the Sokhna port, as well as with the Red Sea Ports Authority and Al Sharqeyoun Petrochemicals Company.
In addition, 15 contracts have been signed for the establishment of various units of the project with international contractors, in addition to nine technology licensing contracts regarding the units of the project with international companies, as well as six contracts to exports raw materials, and 10 product-selling contracts, in addition to four technical services contracts, and 28 contracts for financial, legal, technical, international, and local consultants.
He explained that petrochemicals are one of the forms and derivatives of oil and gas, which is an industry that goes through five stages. The first phase is preparing raw materials, then processing and extracting some derivatives. The second phase is the production of main petrochemicals.
The final phase is the one where cloth, shoes, and pipes of all kinds are produced. This phase is one upon which small and medium industries are based. It is also one that creates economies. Some countries’ economies rely entirely on this stage, like Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Korea. These countries do not have the raw materials for production and have no oil and gas, but they import materials and manufacture them, or they establish their own refineries to get the final intermediate and final products.
Kamal said that Egypt has the opportunity and potential to establish five to seven huge complexes like this project for several reasons, the most important of which is the availability of raw materials, the strategic location, and the cumulative experience in the petrochemicals industry.