Tahrir complex will go ahead with or without EXIM

16 September 2014

Carbon Holdings says its $5bn project in Egypt will continue if US EXIM Bank is unwound

Carbon Holdings has said its $5bn Tahrir Petrochemical Complex will go ahead with or without financing from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM).

The project’s financing plan includes four national export credit agencies including US EXIM, which is under threat of being unwound.

Later this week the US House of Representatives is due to vote on the whether or not to reauthorise the bank, which sees its depression-era charter expire at the end of this month.

Critics of the bank in congress have accused it of crony capitalism and favouring big business.

EXIM is due to provide $1.4bn in financing for the Tahrir project, around a third of the $4.3bn in loans needed to get the project up and running.

If the bank is unwound Carbon Holdings will make new arrangements for procurement, according to CEO and Chairman Basil el-Baz, replacing items that were going to be purchased from the US with items procured from other countries and taking advantage of their national export credit agencies.

“I don’t think that [the winding down of US EXIM bank] is even a possibility, but if it was all we would do is reconfigure our procurement plan,” says el-Baz.

“Whatever was being bought from the US, we’d separate it between Korea and Italy.”

On 9 September house republicans revealed a short term budget bill that included a nine-month extension of the US EXIM bank – making it likely that the institution will survive the end of the month, and setting up another battle over its future in June 2015.


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