Four state foreign banks commit $5.1bn for Egypt massive petchem project

Four state-owned U.S., British, German, and Canadian banks have agreed with Egypt’s Carbon Holdings to partially finance the country’s massive Tahrir petrochemical project.

The four banks will secure $5.1 billion in finance to build the $10.9 billion complex, President of the Suez Canal Economic Zone Authority of the Southern Region, Mahfouz Taha told Amwal Al Ghad on Saturday.

The complex is set to be the largest in the Middle East, a cabinet statement said, and is expected to create 48,000 jobs.

Taha said it would take three years and five months to build on a space of 5.1 million metres square in Ain Sokhna.

Carbon Holdings CEO Basil El-Baz told Reuters last year he saw the project helping to double Egypt’s exports within one year of coming online.

Tahrir will have to export all its production in the first year but as output increases, domestic manufacturers will be encouraged to expand and foreign ones will consider setting up next to the Suez Canal, he said.

Carbon Holdings already has a polypropylene plant and a mining grade ammonium nitrate plant.

Tahrir Petrochemicals is Egypt’s first naphtha cracker and will produce different types of petrochemicals used to make various consumer and industrial goods.

The complex will be divided into three sites. The first site will have the naphtha cracker facility, with an annual production capacity of up to 4 million tonnes, making it the biggest in the world. The second site will host facilities to produce associated oil derivatives, while the third site will house polyethylene units.

The third site’s maximum annual production capacity is expected to be 900,000 tonnes of propylene, 1.4 million tonnes of ethylene and polyethylene, 350,000 tonnes of gasoline, 250,000 tonnes of butadiene, and 100,000 tonnes of hexene-1.