EXCLUSIVE: Four bidders prepare to compete for Egypt polypropylene plant

17 June 2019
Project is estimated to be worth $1.7bn

At least four contractors are preparing to submit bids for the Sidi Krier Petrochemicals Company (Sidpec) polypropylene plant due to be constructed in Alexandria, Egypt, according to industry sources.

The companies known to be preparing to submit bids are:

  • Samsung Engineering (South Korea)
  • Saipem (Italy)
  • Huanqiu Contracting & Engineering Corporation (HQC — China)
  • China Petroleum Engineering & Construction Company (CPECC — China)

Prequalification documents for the $1.7bn project were submitted in April and the contract for the front-end engineering and design (feed) has been awarded to New York-listed Jacobs Engineering Group.

Sidpec has partnered with the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum & Mineral Resources and Egyptian Petrochemicals Holding Company (Echem) for the project.

The project’s scope includes construction of a polypropylene plant with a capacity of 450,000 tonnes a year, as well as an air separating unit and associated facilities.

Sidpec is also tendering an Alexandria-based plant that will produce propylene and its derivatives.

The deadline for submitting commercial bids for the propylene facility is currently 1 July, after several extensions.

Sidpec had originally given companies until 30 April to submit bids for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract.

In June last year, Sidpec announced that it had selected Honeywell UOP’s C3 Oleflex technology for the facility.

The plant will have the capacity to produce 500,000 metric tonnes a year of propylene.

The US chemical company WR Grace will also license proprietary technology for the facility.

Both of the new facilities are part of a strategic expansion of Sidpec’s product portfolio designed to take advantage of domestically produced propane.

According to IHS Markit, annual demand for polypropylene in Africa was 1.9 million metric tonnes in 2016.

Due to rapid population growth and urbanisation, this demand is expected to rise by an additional 1 million metric tonnes in the next decade.

Egypt is the top consumer of polypropylene in Africa, consuming about 4.4kg per capita, and demand there is projected to grow by more than 5 per cent annually through 2022.

Under agreements signed last year, Egyptian Natural Gas Company (Gasco) will provide the feedstock for both facilities and Egyptian Ethylene & Derivatives Company (Ethydco) will supply the electricity.

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