Egypt’s Carbon Holding eyes $4 bln loan by for petchem project

Egypt's Carbon Holdings hopes to conclude a $4 billion debt financing with export credit agencies to back its $7.4 billion Tahrir Petrochemicals project by the end of this year, its chief executive said on Monday.

One of the biggest petrochemical projects ever in Egypt, it will be situated at the southern end of the Suez Canal at Ain Sokhna. The scheme will comprise a 4 million tonnes per annum naphtha cracker and petrochemical plant, according to Project Finance International, a Thomson Reuters unit.

The 17-year debt facility is being provided by five organisations, Basil El-Baz, Carbon Holdings' chief executive, told reporters on the sidelines of a press event in Abu Dhabi.

They are the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Export-Import Bank of Korea, Korea Trade Insurance Corporation, Sace of Italy and the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

"We are expecting to be in a position to sign all our debt facilities before the end of this year. We are at a very, very advanced stage of the project," Baz said. He did not detail how the rest of the project cost would be met.

Baz added he expected construction of the scheme to begin in the first quarter of 2016, with the first products expected five years after that "if you want to be conservative".

A consortium of Italy's Maire Tecnimont, Dutch firm Archirodon, Korea's SK E&C and Germany's Linde are involved in building the plant, Baz said.

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