Egypt’s Carbon Holdings is aiming to complete the financing for its $5bn-plus Tahrir Petrochemicals complex by the end of the year before starting construction in 2015, the private company said as it outlined its plans at MEED’s Mena Petrochemicals conference in Dubai on 25 March.

Carbon Holdings will secure about $3.3bn of funding from export credit agencies (ECAs) led by the US-based Export-Import Bank (Exim Bank).

“This will leave us with $2bn or so of equity, with half of this already committed to by strategic partners,” said a senior manager from Carbon Holdings.

“We will be going to the market in the second half of the year to top up equity from investors in the Gulf, Asia and elsewhere. We are looking at completing the financing package by the year-end and giving the order for commissioning early next year,” he added.

The megaproject – which includes Egypt’s first naphtha cracker – will create 50,000 jobs during the construction phase, Carbon Holdings said. It will be located at Ain Sokhna in the Suez region of eastern Egypt.

Once complete, the project will comprise a 4 million tonne-a-year (t/y) naphtha cracker and downstream plants with the capacity to produce 1.4 million t/y polyethylene, 900,000 t/y propylene, 250,000 t/y butadiene and 350,000 t/y benzene.

The complex will be self-standing in terms of utilities, disconnected from Egypt’s water, electricity and steam grids. Construction is due to start in April or May 2015, with the first units expected to come onstream towards the end of 2018.

Carbon Holdings has selected Germany’s Linde Group to provide the front-end engineering & design (feed), cracker technology and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) supported by South Korea’s SK Engineering & Construction, according to reports. Foster Wheeler was selected as the scheme’s project management consulting (PMC) contractor.

In November 2013, the company also signed a $500m contract with US-based General Electric to provide technical and financial support for the project.

Carbon Holdings anticipated the project will be a driving force for other petrochemicals and downstream projects in Egypt and could create up to 100,000 direct and indirect jobs in related industries.

Carbon Holdings expects to begin production in 2014 at its 1.1 million tonne-a-year (t/y) ammonium nitrate plant at Suez. The company said it was also considering building a methanol plant in Egypt.