Saad Helal, chairman of Egypt state petchems firm Echem outlined his firm’s strategy in a 4 April meeting with oil minister Tarek El Molla: boost supplies to local manufacturers and increase exports.

Abdel Mageed Hegazy, CEO of Alexandria-based Ethydco, also present at the meeting, says his firm is moving forward with a long-planned synthetic rubber plant, awarding the key construction contract to Egypt’s Petrojet and Italy’s Saipem. The new plant will produce 26,000 t/y of polybutadiene from butadiene monomer feedstock delivered from a unit within Ethydco’s complex at Alexandria, which comprises a 460,000 t/y ethylene plant and linked 400,000 t/y polyethylene (PE) plant (MEES, 7 February). The polybutadiene plant will cost $180mn and take two years to build. (CONTINUED - 619 WORDS)