Zimmer’s contract, described as ‘semi-turnkey’, is valued at DM 173 million ($79 million). It includes engineering, procurement and the provision of technical services. Other elements of the project will be handled by the client and local contractors. Zimmer bid for the contract in competition with a team of Chemtexand DuPont Company, both of the US, Mitsubishi Corporationof Japan and a South Korean contractor (MEED 29:6:01).

In the initial phase, for completion in 28 months, the plant will produce 450 tonnes a day of partially oriented yarn, and polyester staple fibre, filament and chips. Most of the output will be sold to local textile companies, including those in the Oriental Weavers Group. The purified terephthalic acid and mono-ethylene glycol feedstock will be imported. The company says that it has long-term plans to manufacture these materials locally.

Zimmer has agreed to take a 10 per cent stake in the new venture. The German development bank, DEG, and a group of Arab investors have also taken 10 per cent stakes. The remaining 70 per cent is held by Oriental Weavers and other end users of polyester in Egypt.