Qalaa: ERC’s refinery will save Egypt $1.8 billion annually

The Egyptian Refining Company’s (ERC), anticipated oil refinery project will save Egypt between $1.5 billion and $1.8 billion annually, said founder of ERC parent company Qalaa Holdings, Ahmed Heikal on Monday.

The $3.7 billion oil refinery project will contribute to solve Egypt’s foreign currency shortage crisis, Heikal told online news portal Ahram Gate.

The refinery is located in Mostorod, about 10 km (6.2 miles) northeast of Cairo.

ERC will start test operation for the oil refinery in the first quarter of 2017, he added.

The refinery, the largest in Egypt, is expected to reduce present-day diesel import needs by 50 percent and help reduce Egypt’s annual subsidy bill.

Qalaa owns 20 percent of ERC, whose current shareholding includes the state-run Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), in addition to Egyptian and Arab private investors.

ERC’s refinery is the second-largest project ongoing in the country – smaller only than the $8.5 billion New Suez Canal – a second waterway designed to expand Egypt’s strategic shipping lane. It will process heavy fuel into diesel for local consumption, and once at capacity could supply 50 percent of the country’s requirements.