Four global companies shortlisted for $2bn petrochemicals complex in Egypt

Anchorage Investments has selected Hyundai, Samsung, Technip Energies and Tecnicas Reunidas to compete to be the main contractor for Ain Sokhna project

An aerial view of the Suez Canal Economic Zone in Ain Sokhna on Egypt's Red Sea. Photo: Anchorage Investments
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Egypt’s Anchorage Investments has shortlisted four international companies to construct a $2 billion petrochemicals complex in the Suez Canal Economic Zone on the Red Sea.

These are South Korea's Hyundai and Samsung, Italy's Technip Energies and Spain's Tecnicas Reunidas, Anchorage Investments said on Tuesday.

Anchorage Investments, which develops and invests in industrial projects within the downstream oil and gas and mining-driven manufacturing sectors, had issued a tender for the Anchor Benitoite project in Ain Sokhna in March.

“The international companies that qualified for the second phase are world-class contractors who have proven track records and global experience,” said Ahmed Moharram, founder and managing director of Anchorage Investments.

“Our selection reflects how Anchorage Investments is keen to make the Anchor Benitoite project a lighthouse project that meets international standards and delivers for investors who are looking to strengthen their presence in Egypt.”

Scheduled to be completed within three years after the front-end engineering and design phase, the project aims to contribute to Egypt’s gross domestic project and increase its chemical exports and foreign direct investments.

Petrochemicals are derived from crude oil processed in a refinery. The derivatives are used to produce industrial chemicals, plastic products and synthetic rubber.

Egypt’s exports of petrochemicals and fertilisers rose 45 per cent last year, compared to 2020, to about $6.7bn, according to Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El Molla.

The Mena region has shown a strong appetite for directing more funds to petrochemicals, the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation said in a report in June.

For Egypt, the focus is “import substitution and value chain integration and monetisation”, such as producing materials that feed into other sectors like industry and agriculture and even aid in the green energy transition such as solar energy components, the Mena Energy Investment Outlook 2022-2026 report found.

Petrochemical complexes make up four of Egypt’s top 10 energy projects by value.

These are an $8.5bn El Alamein petrochemical complex, a $7.5bn petrochemical complex in Suez, a $4.29bn Suez Oil refining and petrochemical complex and a $3.71bn crude oil refining and petrochemical complex in Ain Sokhna, according to Apicorp.

The Anchor Benitoite project encompasses a number of production units producing a total of 1.75 million tonnes per year of petrochemical products and intermediates.

Meanwhile, the SCZone, which covers a 460-kilometre area, has so far signed nine memorandums of understanding with several global partners for the production of green fuel.

The economic zone said in a statement earlier this week that it expects to sign more MoUs “within the next few days to reach the largest possible number of final contracts by the Cop27 summit” that will be held at Red Sea resort Sharm El Sheikh in November.

Updated: August 23, 2022, 11:35 AM
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