EXCLUSIVE: Contractors to start work on biggest Egypt petrochemicals plant this year

16 July 2019
Discussions about technical schedule are ongoing

The main contractors are expected to start work on the biggest-ever Egypt petrochemicals project this year, according to James Bishop, managing director of finance at the project's developer Carbon Holdings.

On 30 June last year, the project management consultancy (PMC) contract and four separate engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts were signed for the $10.9bn Tahrir Petrochemical Complex (TPC).

Execution of the EPC contracts is yet to start as Carbon Holdings, the company behind the project, is still seeking equity financing for the project.

It is also still discussing and finalising technical schedules and other details that are associated with the EPC contracts.

“The EPC contractors will not start to execute their contracts until the project reaches financial close,” Bishop tells MEED.

“Equity funding is yet to be finalised. The technical schedules and the details are currently being worked out with EPC contractors.

“We are hoping to mobilise the EPC contractors, and see them start to execute their packages, before the end of the year.”

Originally, the project was expected to be completed in 2017, but has been subject to several setbacks and delays.

Some of the delays were connected to Egypt’s revolution and the subsequent turmoil. More recent delays have been connected to financing problems.

International team

US-based Bechtel signed the PMC contract and the four separate EPC contracts were signed by Bechtel, Germany’s Linde, Italy’s Maire Tecnimont, the local company Hassan Allam Construction and Greece’s Archirodon.

In a statement released last year, Egypt’s cabinet said the project would cover an area of 5 million square metres and provide 48,000 jobs.

The TPC scheme includes the construction of a 1.5 million tonne-a-year (t/y) ethylene cracker and a polyethylene facility with a capacity of about 1.4 million t/y.

Other major products will include propylene, polypropylene, hexene, butadiene, benzene and styrene. When completed, it is expected to be the largest naphtha cracker plant in the world.

Designed to serve local and export markets, TPC will be constructed in Egypt’s Suez Special Economic Development Zone, with raw materials received and products shipped from the Gulf of Suez.

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