Egypt: Increased Gas Availability Boosts Petchems Producers

Major field start-ups have revived Egypt’s gas sector, vastly improving feedstock for petchems producers. But competition for the additional gas remains fierce.

Egypt’s gas supplies to petchems firms rebounded strongly last year as a string of field start-ups boosted output by over 1bn cfd, with Eni’s giant 24tcf Zohr field the most recent addition ( MEES, 15 December 2017 ).

Canada’s Methanex, operator (50%) of the 1.26mn t/y EMethanex methanol plant at Damietta on the Mediterranean, has received full gas allocations since late-2016. A lack of gas forced it to shut down for several months in both 2015 and 2016.

EMethanex produced 1.068mn t of methanol in 2017, just behind 2013’s record 1.091mn t. These figures imply that the plant has been receiving 100mn cfd of methane since late 2016 (with the exception of a Q3 2017 turnaround – see charts). Other Egyptian petchems firms – most state-owned – have yet to release comparable 2017 data. But EKHolding, which operates the 1.2mn t/y-capacity AlexFert plant in Alexandria, saw output rise 51% to 669,000 t for Q1-3 2017.


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