Tendering for the first major project in the government’s 20-year petrochemicals masterplan has moved ahead quickly, and the project company is now evaluating bids from five international groups for the project management contract. The bidders for the contract, for which an award is expected before the end of December, are Germany’s Uhde, Canada’s SNC Lavalin, US-based Foster Wheeler, Paris-based Technipand the US’ Fluor Daniel, which is bidding with AMECof the UK.

A contract has already been awarded to the local Engineering for the Petroleum & Process Industries (Enppi)for the front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract, while Enppi and Petrojet, also local, will be responsible for the main engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) phase of the project. UOPof the US will supply the technology for the 80,000-tonne-a-year (t/y) plant. Alexandria National Refining & Petrochemicals Companywill supply the kerosine and benzene feedstock.

Offtake agreements have been signed with local Port Said Detergent & Chemical Industriesand German chemical distributor Helm.

The principal shareholders in the new company are Port Said, ECHEM, Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation, National Investment Bank(NIB) and Commercial International Bank(Egypt – CIB). 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.

The next major project in Egypt’s petrochemicals masterplan is a planned $225 million propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant, which will be developed alongside the 160,000-t/y polypropylene (PP) plant owned by Oriental Petrochemicals Company (OPC) on the Gulf of Suez. Japan’s Toyo Corporationhas been awarded the contract for the $80 million expansion of the PP facility, and is one of three bidders for the PDH plant. ECHEM is expected to complete company formation for the PDH project before the end of December.