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Petrochemicals in Africa

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


BMI believes that Algeria is set for a surge in petrochemicals output growth this year, but this will only be the case if plans go according to schedule. BMI has also said that with a lacklustre domestic market, producers will be reliant on export markets to fill orders.

When it comes to GDP in the country, BMI expects it to be 3.2% for the year, as it believes the economy will grow below its potential over the medium term. Also, BMI has said that given continued delays in energy sector investment, net hydrocarbons exports will remain flat over the coming years. For 2014 – 2018 BMI has said that it expects read GDP growth to average 3.6%.

Turning back to the petrochemicals sector, the domestic market, is expected by BMI, to absorb some of the rise in output that is due to come from new petrochemical plants, the expansion of the sector is predicated on growth in the European market, which has remained in the doldrums. BMI do believe that new capacity will be rudimentary by most standards and will lack sufficient processing capacity, so the country will depend on imports of semi finished and finished plastic products.


According to BMI, the Egyptian petrochemicals sector is beginning to make small steps towards expansion in spite of lingering uncertainty under the current interim government. However, BMI has also said that while the risks are high, the local market’s potential and the plentiful domestic supply of ethane still makes it an attractive place for long term investment. But, it is the lack of new investment that could have an impact on the startup of new companies and then, as a result, Egypt’s manufacturing sector and polyolefins demand. BMI has also said that the central bank’s poor standing could also present difficulties for converters when they attempt to open letters of credit recognised by international banks, which are essential for the purchase of petrochemical products.

When it comes to new projects in the country, BMI have reported that The Egyptian-Indian Polyester Company has commissioned a polyethylene terephthalate plant which will have a processing capacity of 420 000 tpy. Also, Carbon Holdings is reportedly looking for funding for a major project in Ain Sokhna, Suez. The petrochemicals project is expected to house a world class naphtha cracker and be the first facility of its type in Egypt.

Edited for web by Claira Lloyd

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