The company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the local Port Said Detergent & Chemical Industriesto act as the principal offtaker, and is understood to be preparing to sign an export agreement with at least one international trading company. The kerosine and benzene feedstock is expected to come from Alexandria National Refining & Petrochemicals Company.

An MoU has also been signed with the local Engineering for the Petroleum & Process Industries (Enppi) for the front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract, and to evaluate expressions of interest from international companies for the technology contract, for which UOPof the US is understood to be frontrunner.

The local offtaker will take a 5 per cent stake in the holding company responsible for the 80,000-tonne-a-year project, which also includes Echem with 35 per cent, Egyptian General Petroleum Corporationwith 10 per cent, National Investment Bank(NIB) with 40 per cent and Commercial International Bank(Egypt – CIB), which will take a 10 per cent stake.

The equity covers 35 per cent of the total project costs. The remaining $127.5 million is expected to be covered by international debt financing, to be arranged by CIB and NIB.