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IFC invests US$25 million in Egyptian petrochemicals

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, will invest US$25 million in Carbon Holdings, an Egyptian developer and operator of manufacturing projects for downstream petrochemicals required in a range of industries, including mining, food packaging, and automotive parts.

Egypt is a large net importer of petrochemicals products, despite having the raw materials to develop the country into an exporter, and create local downstream manufacturing capacity and new jobs. Specifically, the company plans to increase production of ingredients used in plastics, tyres and automotive parts and food packaging, among others.

“We look forward to partnering with IFC and tapping the potential for Egypt’s chemicals sector to grow and make a meaningful contribution to job creation and tax revenues in a country where unemployment is very high,” said Basil El Baz, CEO of Carbon Holdings.

The investment is part of World Bank Group and IFC strategy in Egypt to encourage private investment while providing much needed long term foreign currency financing and helping to increase the country’s competitiveness.

Carbon Holdings currently employs over 500 people directly. IFC evaluations of other chemical projects indicate that for every direct employee of a manufacturing facility, as many as 11 more jobs are supported as smaller manufacturers enter the supply chain.

“This investment will support the development of a range of manufacturing industries that rely on chemical inputs that would otherwise have to be imported,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “This is in line with our strategy to support local entrepreneurs and increase their access to capital, boosting investors’ confidence and spurring much needed growth in Egypt.”

From FY11 through FY15, IFC’s investments in Egypt totalled close to US$1.2 billion, including mobilisation funds. These investments covered 18 projects across a host of sectors, including financial markets, infrastructure, oil and gas, agribusiness, manufacturing, and health care.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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