EPPC selects Uhde for Port Said plant

12 May 2006

Germany's Uhde has been selected for the contract to build an integrated propane dehydrogenation (PDH) and polypropylene (PP) complex near Port Said for Egyptian Propylene & Polypropylene Company (EPPC).

The selection comes as progress continues to be made on arranging financing for the project (MEED 17:3:06).

Uhde will carry out the contract to build the 400,000-tonne-a-year PDH unit, which will feed a PP plant of the same capacity, on an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) basis.

Project completion is scheduled for 2008/09. Two other companies bid for the contract - Germany's Linde and Japan's Toyo Engineering Corporation.

A letter of intent has been issued by Union Gas Derivative Company (UGDC) - a joint venture of the UK's BP and Italy's Eni - to supply propane feedstock for the plant, says a source close to the project. It is understood that additional feedstock will come from Egyptian Natural Gas Company (Gasco). Progress is also being made on raising funding for the project, which will have a 65:35 debt/equity split, with a financial adviser now expected to be appointed by the end of May.

On the equity side, a shareholder structure has been agreed, with 75 per cent of the equity already allocated.

The local Oriental Weavers will be the single largest shareholder with a stake of 17 per cent, while its subsidiary Oriental Petrochemical Company will take a 5 per cent stake in EPPC.

State-owned Egyptian Petrochemicals Holding Company (ECHEM) and Gasco will each hold an 11 per cent stake while German development agency DEG will take 9 per cent of the equity. A group of regional investors will hold a 22 per cent share.

Negotiations are ongoing about the remaining 25 per cent equity stake, with two major regional investors understood to be close to signing an agreement, the source says.

Arrangements on the project's debt portion will be made once the financial adviser has been appointed (MEED, 17:3:06; 7:4:06).


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