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EGYPT - Petrochemical Sector To Reach 15M T/Y.

The petrochemical sector in Egypt has grown rapidly in recent years. Under a 20-year, $10 bn plan adopted in late 2000, another expansion in this sector will raise the country's production of petrochemicals to 15 million tons per annum for the local market and for export, with new ventures to involve both the private sector and a new state-owned holding company for this business.

The increasing availability of natural gas has been an important factor behind the expansions and the new plan. Based on a masterplan drawn after recommendations were presented to the government in Sept. 2000 by Chem Systems, the plan calls for 24 petrochemical complexes to be built in big industrial zones along the Mediterranean and Suez/Red Sea coastlines.

Egypt's petrochemical plants now are concentrated at Ameriya, 30ykm from Alexandria. Plenty of gas feedstocks are available at Ameriya, piped mainly from the Western Desert gas fields. Private petrochemical ventures are under construction in the Suez area and the Nile Delta port of Damietta where free zone facilities provide very attractive tax breaks and other incentives.

The petrochemical sector was developed late, relative to the country's extensive capabilities in other industries. The first step towards establishing a petrochemical industry was taken in 1979, with an agreement between EGPC and Montedison of Italy to build a complex at Ameriya. Montedison later pulled out. In 1982 EGPC decided to go ahead with the project on its own. Egyptian Petrochemical Co. (EPC), a fully-owned unit of EGPC, was formed in the same year to undertake the Ameriya project.

With local demand for petrochemicals expected to grow at an annual rate of 5-10% over the next ten years, projects worth billions of dollars are under construction or planned for this business, involving private investors from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
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Publication:APS Review Downstream Trends
Date:Jan 14, 2002
Previous Article:EGYPT - Middle East Oil Refineries (Midor).
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