November 18, 2013 / 9:52 AM / 6 years ago

GE to support building of world's largest liquid cracker in Egypt

U.S. President Barack Obama (C) passes a turbine as he tours General Electric's birthplace in Schenectady, New York, January 21, 2011. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

CAIRO (Reuters) - General Electric Co (GE.N) and Egyptian private company Carbon Holdings signed a $500 million dollar agreement on Monday to provide support in the building of the world’s largest liquid cracker at a petrochemicals complex on the Gulf of Suez.

The naptha cracker project is part of the Tahrir Petrochemicals Complex worth $4.8 billion dollars, said Basil El-Baz, CEO of Carbon Holding, an industrial developer and operator implementing downstream and oil and gas projects in Egypt.

Baz said that the construction of the cracker would begin “sometime in 2014” and that construction was expected to take approximately 50 months.

GE Vice Chairman John Rice said that the company’s commitment to Egypt “cuts across all of our businesses” and said he looked forward to more projects in Egypt.

The two companies said that they would be providing “technology and equity support to the Greenfield naphtha cracker and olefins complex project of Tahrir Petrochemicals in Ain Sokhna,” an Egyptian energy hub.

They said the new plant would have an annual production capacity of 1,360,000 tonnes (1.1023 ton) of ethylene and polyethylene and “significant quantities of propylene, benzene, butadiene and linear alpha olefins.”

GE and Carbon Holdings will provide technologies for the new plant including “advanced aero-derivates gas turbines, steam turbines, generators, water filtration and desalination equipment, turbo machinery compressors.”

“The positive impact of this plant on our economy will be tremendous,” trade minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour told reporters.

Writing by Maggie Fick; editing by Keiron Henderson

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