The General Authority for Investment (GAFI) has provided a licence for an estimated $1,400 million polyolefins project to be set up in the Damietta free zone by the local Eatco Petrochemical Company. The company has conducted extensive studies into the application of the new methanol-to-olefins (MTO) technology developed by UOPof the US, with Norsk Hydroof Norway. Chairman Yahya el-Komi says Eatco is now looking to bring in strategic partners for the scheme, and is close to appointing a financial adviser (MEED 29:6:01).
Eatco's scheme will entail using natural gas to make methanol, which will then be processed, using MTO technology, into ethylene and propylene. The end-products will be 300,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of polyethylene and 200,000 t/y of polypropylene. Several prospective licensors have been identified for the methanol stage, says El-Komi. Dow Chemicaland PhillipsChevron, both of the US, and the European Basellare among the candidates for the polyolefin stages.
El-Komi says Eatco has held talks with Lurgi of Germany about a strategic partnership deal, and with Vinmar of the US about an offtake agreement.
The company has been allocated a 720,000-square-metre site in Damietta. Eatco is also a partner in Spanish Egyptian Gas Company, which is building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in Damietta.
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