Bids invited for Suez PDH plant

19 April 2002

International companies have been invited to bid for the contract to build a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant in Suez that will provide feedstock for the nearby polypropylene plant of Oriental Petrochemicals Company(OPC- MEED 18:1:02).

The PDH project will be carried out by a company now under formation. OPC and its affiliate , Oriental Weavers Group, will hold a portion of the equity in the new venture. A group of Gulf investors will also hold a significant stake, and the remainder will be held by the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (Egas), the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporationand the Egyptian Petrochemical Holding Company.

Four groups have been invited to quote according to the process licensed by UOPof the US. They are Lurgiof Germany, LG Engineering & Constructionof South Korea, Paris-based Technip-Coflexip, and a team of Toyo Engineering Corporationof Japan and Samsung Corporationof South Korea. Proposals based on the technologies of US-based ABB Lummus Global and Germany's Lindeare also to be considered.

The plant will have a capacity to produce 350,000 tonnes a year of propylene. Negotiations about the supply of most of the propane feedstock are being held with United Gas Derivatives Company, which is building a natural gas liquids (NGL) plant in Damietta. This company is owned by Egyptian Gas Company (Gasco), Agipof Italy and BPof the UK. The balance of the propane required will come either from Alexandria or from a new associated gas treatment plant to be set up on the Gulf of Suez by a joint venture between Egas and Bahrain-based investors.

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