Mubarak calls for national petrochemical planning authority
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has issued a formal request to his government that it draw up a decree for an authority that will oversee the development of the country’s chemical industries, and will be responsible for implementing a national program and supervising its planning, coordination and promotion.
According to Minister of Information Safwat Al-Sherif, the first stage of the project will provide about 1,000 job opportunities, though the figure will eventually increase to 100,000.
Mubarak’s announcement was made after he chaired a ministerial meeting to discuss the plan, which resulted from a study that had been commissioned to investigate alternatives for the development of the petrochemicals industry.
The participants at the meeting first heard a report by Oil Minister Sameh Fahmy, which broadly outlined the plan. They then heard the full report by the international consultancy firm that had carried out the study.
Fahmy said that Egypt presently has a proven gas reseve of 53 trillion cubic feet, and potential reserves of approximately 67 trillion cubic feet.
The study showed that most of the raw material needed by the Egyptian petrochemical industry are available locally. This fact, together with the country’s geographical location, proximity to world markets, local market, price structure and skilled labor pool, makes it likely that the country will be able to attract the investments necessary to push the project ahead.
The first stage of the plan, which will require an investment of $1.3 billion, involves the construction of a petrochemical complex that produces 300,000 tons of propylene and 900,000 tons of ethylene per annum. The annual return on the investment is estimated at $450 million. – (MENA Report)
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