Propylene, LAB schemes get licences

06 September 2002

The Investment Authority has awarded licences for two new petrochemical projects, one for the production of propylene, the other for linear alkyl benzene (LAB). Total investment in the two schemes is estimated at $417 million.

The propylene scheme is being carried out in the new Suez industrial zone by a group of investors led by Oriental Petrochemicals Company (OPC)and the Egyptian Petrochemicals Holding Company (Echem). The propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant is expected to use technology licensed by UOPof the US. Bids from Lurgi of Germany and a team of Toyo Engineering Corporationof Japan and Samsung Corporation of South Korea are under evaluation. Germany's Lindeis also understood to have proposed its PDH technology for the scheme.

The estimated $231 million plant will have a capacity to produce 350,000 tonnes a year (t/y) of propylene that will be used as feedstock for OPC's polypropylene plant (MEED 19:4:02).

Echem is also understood to be involved in the estimated $186 million LAB scheme, to be carried out in Alexandria, with a group of local and Gulf private investors. It is planned to produce 80,000 t/y of LAB, mainly for the local detergent industry. The benzene feedstock is expected to come from Alexandria National Refining & Petrochemicals Company. UOP is in line to provide the technology (MEED 26:4:02).

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