Construction of $7 billion naphtha cracker to start soon in Egypt

Marwa Hussein, Thursday 18 Sep 2014

The new factory will be the largest liquid naphtha cracker in the Middle East, requiring investment of $7 billion

(Photo: Mohamed Mostafa)

Construction of Carbon Holding's Tahir Petrochemicals project is to start in six weeks, company chairman Basil El-Baz said on the margins of the Euromoney Egypt Conference on Wednesday.

The new factory will be the largest liquid naphtha cracker in the Middle East, costing $7 billion. Sixty-five percent of the required investment will come from bank loans, while the rest will be self-funded.

Naphtha is comprised of several hydrocarbons, which are extracted by processing it in steam crackers to ultimately produce petrochemicals used by industry.

"The factory will produce its own electricity and we have our own water desalination plant," El-Baz said, adding that his company chose not to depend on any subsidised source of energy to ensure the continuity of supply and to be able to compete in the international market. "We prefer to follow international prices so we know our real capability to compete in the international market."

El-Baz said that in the first years of production they would export the majority of their production.

"But our target is to sell to the local market. Our products can be used in all the products used in this building except steel, glass and marble."

The new company will produce 150 tonnes of polyethylene, 100,000 tonnes of propylene, 700,000 tonnes of benzene, 150,000 tonnes of light fuel oil and 159,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil.

"Our hope is that Egyptian entrepreneurs start manufacturing products that are currently imported, like the simple Ramadan lanterns we currently import from China," El-Baz said.

Production will start by the last quarter of 2019.

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