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Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Is Egypt going to build two massive petrochem complexes in Ain Sokhna?

Ain Sokhna could be getting (another) huge USD 7.5 bn petchem complex: The Suez Canal Economic Zone has signed a USD 7.5 bn agreement with the Red Sea National Refining and Petrochemicals Company to build a petrochemical complex in the Ain Sokhna industrial zone, cabinet said in a statement out last Wednesday. The 3.56 mn sqm refinery — said to be the largest of its kind in Africa and the Middle East — will produce petroleum products including polyethylene, polypropylene, polyester, and bunker fuel, among others, and comes as part of Egypt’s efforts to become a regional energy hub, reducing its reliance on imported products and increasing exports.

Sound familiar? This isn’t Tahrir: The USD 11 bn Tahrir Petrochemicals Complex (TPC) being built by Carbon Holdings in Ain Sokhna is a separate project that remains underway, Carbon’s Managing Director of Corporate Finance and Investor Relations Karim Helal told us yesterday. Work on the TPC — planned to be the biggest naphtha cracker facility in the Middle East — began in 2019 and is expected to be completed in 2024. Helal declined to provide updates on the progress with TPC. Oil Ministry spokesperson Hamdy Abdel Aziz also confirmed to Enterprise that the Red Sea National Refining’s facility is a separate project from TPC.

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