Egypt signed a deal to construct a $7.5 billion petrochemical complex in Ain Sokhna on the Gulf of Suez, the government said in a statement on Wednesday.
The deal, between the Red Sea National Refining and Petrochemicals Company and the Suez Canal Economic Zone's development company, is part of the government’s plan to meet the needs of the local market for petroleum and petrochemical products.
In addition to company representatives, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Tarek Al Mulla, minister of petroleum and mineral resources, attended the signing ceremony.
The project will have an area of 3.56 million square metres, Mr Al Mulla said.
It will provide many direct and indirect employment opportunities, attract foreign investment and help Egypt become a regional centre for oil and gas trading, he said.
The industrial complex is being built to reduce the volume of imports, as well as create export opportunities. Products to be made at the site include polyethylene, polypropylene, polyester, ship fuel and other petroleum and chemical products.
The Suez Canal Economic Zone's development arm is working to develop an area of over 20 square kilometres in Ain Sokhna's industrial zone.
In 2020, Egypt led the region in petrochemical sector investment, followed by Iran and Saudi Arabia, according to a report by the Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation. Egypt has more than $35bn worth of projects planned over the next five years, according to Apicorp.
Earlier this year, Egypt signed nine oil and gas exploration deals worth $1bn with local and international energy companies to conduct exploration along the eastern and western Mediterranean as well as the Red Sea.