Another quarter, another bumper loss for the Egyptian Refining Company’s 81,500 b/d hydrocracker-based complex on the outskirts of Cairo. Developed at a cost of $4.4bn, construction was delayed on several occasions as funds ran dry (MEES, 12 July 2019). The project then finally started up in late 2019 just as the world was about to enter a global pandemic.

The plan was that debts which had hit $2.59bn when the plant began commercial operations at the end of 2019 (MEES, 24 January 2020) would be paid down once operations began in earnest. Needless to say, finances have moved in the opposite direction as the global pandemic has blown a hole in the ERC’s economic model of taking straight run fuel oil from Egypt’s clapped-out refining fleet and upgrading it to higher value distillates – diesel, gasoline and jet fuel. (CONTINUED - 1553 WORDS)