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Egypt to promote $10 bn worth of petroleum projects at March conference: Ministry

The government hopes to attract massive investments in oil, LPG lines and petro-chemicals to jolt a faltering economy

Ahram Online , Tuesday 3 Mar 2015
Ismail
Egypt's Oil Minister Sherif Ismail (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt will present 12 petroleum, petrochemicals and minerals projects worth $10 billion at the economic development conference set for mid-March, the petroleum ministry has said.

These projects are aimed at raising Egypt’s local production of petroleum commodities and industrial chemicals in a bid to overcome the country's sharp energy shortages, the ministry added in a Tuesday statement.

The conference, due to take place in the resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh in South Sinai, is expected to lure back international investors scared off by four years of political turmoil since the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak

Egyptian investment banks will offer potential entrepreneurs seven projects worth $5 billion.These include a hydrocracking complex at the Assiut Oil Refinery Company at a cost of $2.8 billion, and a phosphate fertilisers and phosphoric acid plant worth $1.2 billion.

Other projects to be marketed at the global gathering include a $430 million complex with an annual production capacity of  375,500 tons of petroleum commodities.

Egypt would also be promoting a venture to construct a $299 million Bio Ethanol plant which will use rice straw to yield 150,000 tonnes of the bio fuel annually, as well as a $132 million molasses factory.

The government hopes to attract investments in LPG lines to secure energy supplies for  impoverished Upper Egypt governorates: a Sohag to Assiut line along 100 kilometres, as well as a Sohag to Aswan along 500 Kilometres, at a cost of $35 million and $201 million respectively.

The ministry of petroleum is set to market five other proposals at a total investment cost of $5 billion: a propylene production plant at a cost of $2.5 billion to lay out 250,000 tonnes of the gas annually; an aromatics and fertilisers complex at a cost of $2.13 billion to produce 1.4 million tonnes of industrial chemicals and fertilisers annually.
 
An industrial chemical formaldehyde project at a cost of $100 million to produce 70,000 tonnes annually will be on offer, as well as a new desalination unit in Amreya Oil Refinery Company which could produce 4.59 million tonnes of petroleum products annually at a cost of $250 million.

Finally, Egypt is set to promote a glass sand processing plant with a production target of 250,000 tonnes annually at a cost of $35 million.

The oil sector represents the most attractive area for foreign investments in Egypt, accounting for three quarters of all FDIs to the country in the last fiscal year 2013/14, central bank data shows.

But the tumultuous years following the Egyptian uprising in 2011 resulted in the accumulation of arrears to foreign oil companies hampering investments in the sector.

The government repaid $5 billion in November and December 2014 in outstanding debts that stand now at $3.1 billion 

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