Egypt’s investment authority signs biggest petrochemical deal since the Revolution

Ahram Online, Sunday 31 Jul 2011

LE2.7 billion is to be poured into a new plant on the northwest bank of the gulf of Suez, announces authority's chairman


Egypt’s General Authority for Investment (GAI) has signed the country's biggest deal in petrochemicals since the revolution. 

The Egyptian Hydrocarbon Corporation announced on Sunday a joint project on the northwest bank of the gulf of Suez producing ammonium nitrate and nitric acid. Paid capital is US$150 million (LE900m) while total investment will reach $454m (LE2.7 billion). 

Establishing the project will bring 3,000 job opportunities while around 500 sustainable job opportunities will later be available, the GAI said. 

Three financial institutions -- Ahli United Bank, Bank Misr, and Commercial International Bank (CIB) -- will provide $298 million for the project.

The signing ceremony was attended by investors and representatives of the business community as well as Egyptian and Arab banks.

GAI chairman, Osama Saleh, hailed the project as a vital step in building the trust of businessmen and investors in Egypt's troubled economy.

Saleh also stressed the economy's ability to survive the revolution, following losses that have spilled across many sectors, saying it has the potential to attact investors and a quick recovery is expected.

The chairman cited as proof other recent investments, such as that by Indonesian tire manufacturer Multistrada to invest $320 million establishing a factory in Amreya. In June, Pegas, Czech’s synthetic non-woven textiles producer, also announced industrial plans for Egypt worth $200 million.

Saleh said the continued financial support of Egyptian banks in investment projects was a refutation of reports about banks cutting back for fears of further losses after the start of the January 25 Revolution.

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