Egypt’s Carbon Holdings signs financing deal for petrochemicals projects

DUBAI – Egypt’s privately owned Carbon Holdings has signed a debt financing deal with the UAE’s Gulf Capital ahead of the planned construction later this year of a major petrochemicals complex at Ain Sokna on the Suez Canal.

The five-year Dirham 92 million (US$25 million) loan will finance the development and expansion of three of Carbon Holdings’ key projects, the company said Tuesday.

The signing of the loan facility means Gulf Capital becomes Carbon Holdings’ first institutional investor, ahead of a planned public offering on the Cairo stock exchange.

The projects cover the Egypt Hydrocarbon Corp. ammonium nitrate facility; Oriental Petrochemicals, which produces polypropylene; and the Tahrir Petrochemicals Corp., an estimated US$6 billion greenfield naphtha cracker and olefins complex.

Combined, the company hopes these new and expanded facilities will transform Egypt’s petrochemicals industry.

Tahrir Petrochemicals, which was first launched in 2011, is Egypt’s largest petrochemicals project and is finally due to start construction in the third quarter of 2015.

It will include a 1.5 million mt/year naphtha cracker, producing 1.35 million mt/year of polyethylene, as well as 600,000 mt/year of propylene, 210,000 mt/year of butadiene and 420,000 mt/year of benzene.

The complex’s naphtha feedstock will be supplied by Transammonia along with the product offtake.

Originally due for completion in 2017, construction is now not expected until late 2015 or early 2016 and Carbon Holdings hopes the complex will be ready for commissioning in 2019.

Carbon Holdings is also planning further downstream expansion, with designs already under way for a new 350,000 mt/year polypropylene plant and a 400,000 mt/year ethyl-benzene and styrene unit also planned.