Egypt will launch a 10-billion-dollar project to boost petrochemical production and take advantage of the country's natural gas reserves, Oil Minister Sameh Fami said, as quoted Friday by state media.
The 20-year plan calls for the construction of 24 industrial complexes that will produce 15 million tons of petrochemical products each year, Fami said.
Some 100,000 new jobs are expected to be created in the petrochemical sector, mostly in Alexandria, Dumyat and the north of the Gulf of Suez.
"This enormous project is destined to cover the needs of the local market as well as exports," Fahmi said.
He said the project will eventually yield another 4 billion dollars a year in profits from exports, which will begin in 2005.
Fahmi announced in January that new gas deposits had been found in the Mediterranean, which will more than triple Egypt's reserves to 120 trillion cubic meters.
Of the reserves, the government will have 60 trillion cubic meters in natural gas, representing some 120 billion dollars, according to oil ministry officials -- CAIRO (AFP)
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