State petchems firm Echem on 11 February signed a cooperation deal to develop a $6.7bn refining and petchems complex in the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) at Ain Sukhna. The deal was signed by Echem chairman Saad Helal and Bechtel chief executive Brendan Bechtel alongside oil minister Tarek El Molla. The agreement calls for Echem to prepare a detailed feasibility study for the “Suez Canal corridor petro-refinery complex,” with Bechtel to look into financing.

The ministry has big but slow-moving plans for the SCZone, including a refinery and petchems plants (MEES, 14 August 2015). One petchems and two fertilizer plants already operate there, while the long-delayed Tahrir petchems complex is awaiting final equity finance before construction starts (MEES, 7 February). (CONTINUED - 116 WORDS)