Emerson to buy stake in $6.9bn petchem complex

US-based technology and automation company Emerson said on Wednesday it would buy a share in a $6.9bn downstream complex in Egypt.The so called Tahrir Petrochemical Project is currently under construction and when completed, will be the largest petchem plant in the country with the world’s largest naphtha cracker.

It will produce 1.5 million metric tonnes per year of ethylene that will then be further processed into polyethylene. Other major products will include propylene, polypropylene, hexene, butadiene, benzene, and styrene. The deal was signed with Egypt’s Carbon Holdings, a privately owned downstream investment firm, and the company behind the project. Under the agreement, Emerson Process Automation, the company’s technology division, was awarded a $150mn contract to automate the plant.

“We are excited to help Carbon Holdings realize its vision of creating a world-class petrochemical complex that can be a catalyst for economic development in Egypt,” said David Farr, chairman and CEO of Emerson. “With Emerson’s technologies, experience, and expertise, Carbon Holdings has positioned itself for top quartile performance – not only in project execution, but ongoing operations as well,” he added. “Investments of this size require us to select partners that have a long history of handling large, complex projects and the expertise to produce a reliable plant with dependable output,” said Carbon Holdings’ El-Baz. “We chose Emerson for its proven ability to deliver a successful automation project that results in an efficient, high-availability operation.”

The Tahrir Petrochemicals complex will be constructed in Egypt’s Suez Special Economic Development Zone, with raw materials received and products shipped from the Gulf of Suez. Once operational, the plant’s products will be supplied to both local and export markets. Financing for the mega-project is expected to come from the export credit agencies of the United States, Korea, Italy and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, as well as direct investors.

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