Contractors have submitted technical and bids for the deal to build a major $2bn petrochemicals complex at Alexandria, on Egypt’s northern Mediterranean coast.

At least four international engineering firms submitted proposals to state-owned Egyptian Petrochemicals Holding Company (Echem) by the 28 February deadline. Bidding firms say they are yet to hold further talks with Echem and no commercial bid deadline has been set.

Firms biding on the deal include:

  • Saipem (Italy)
  • Tecnimont (Italian)
  • Toyo Engineering & Construction (Japan)
  • Samsung Engineering & Construction (South Korea).

The plant will crack ethane, a component of natural gas, breaking it down into the chemical ethylene, which will be used to produce the basic plastic polyethylene. The plant will produce 750,000-1 million tonnes a year (t/y) of ethylene. The technology for the complex will be supplied by the US’ ABB Lummus, according to a senior executive at one technology firm, which applied to take part in the scheme.

Echem is responsible for implementing the country’s 20-year petrochemicals masterplan, which was unveiled in 2002. Despite being one of the biggest oil and gas producers in the world, the country’s petrochemicals production totalled just 600,000 t/y in 2002. The plan involves investments of $10-20bn (MEED 17:7:08).