The factory will be operated by Alexandria Acrylic Fibre Company (AAFC), which was established under a joint venture agreement signed in Cairo in mid-September. The shareholders of the new company are Damman-based Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp), Saudi Egyptian Industrial Investments Company, both of which will take 10 per cent stakes in the new company, and Aditya Birla Groupof India, which will hold a 55 per cent stake. Local companies Sidi Krier Petrochemical Company and Alexandria Carbon Black Company will own 20 per cent and 5 per cent respectively.

Production at the Al-Amriyah plant will start up 20 months after construction begins and initial output is set for 18,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of acrylic fibres. Shareholders of AAFC plan to increase production at a later date, but the timing and scale of the expansion will be decided later, sources close to the project say.

Acrylontrile, the principal feedstock, will be sourced from major suppliers in Europe and the US, and output from the plant will be used in the manufacturing of cloth, carpets and other consumer goods. The factory will supply not only the local market but will also produce fibres for the wider Middle East and African markets.