Al-Ahram, Egypt's oldest news organisation, will establish an EGP 1.25 billion paper plant north of Cairo in partnership with a leading Chinese paper company.
The new factory in Egypt's northern governorate of Beheira will manufacture paper from rice straw. The project is expected to produce 300,000 tons of paper pulp and 100,000 tons of paper, saving approx. $1 billion per year in foreign currency spending on paper imports, according to Beheira governor Mohamed Sultan.
The "eco-friendly" project, which aims to improve the local economy, will create 350 direct and 1,000 indirect jobs and help boost the income of rice farmers, Sultan added in a statement on Wednesday. It will also help eliminate the common practice of burning rice straw in Beheira and neighbouring governorates, he added.
The signing of the project contract with the Chinese company took place Thursday at Al-Ahram headquarters in downtown Cairo.
Beheira harvests 166,000 feddans (172,308 acres) of rice annually, generating 500,000 tons of rice straw.
Ahram's chairman Ahmed Al-Naggar and a Chinese delegation visited the site of the project in the industrial zone of the governorate's coastal city of Rosetta on Wednesday.