Construction of Indian-Egyptian PET plant underway

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Following months of delays due to civil unrest, construction is in full swing for Egypt’s first polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plant, one that is expected to bolster Egypt’s economy by satisfying indigenous demand, as well as supplying exports.

Joint venture Egyptian Indian Polyester (EIPET) saw its foundation stone laid June 23 in Ain Sokhna, in Egypt’s northern Red Sea region, Nitin Puranik, managing director and chief executive officer of the new company told European Plastics News.

Set to begin production in December 2012, the facility will produce 420,000 metric tonnes of PET plastic chips each year, of which only 20% will be required for local manufacturing, said Mr Puranik. The rest would be exported to markets in Europe and America, which would shorten delivery time and lower freight costs, according to a communiqué from controlling Indian partner Dhunseri Petrochem & Tea Limited.

Mr Puranik stressed that exports would fuel Egypt’s economy, which has been ailing in wake of January’s revolution. “Apart from 500 direct and indirect employment, many employment opportunities will be created in the downstream industries,” he said. “As the PET resin is currently imported by all bottle manufactures in Egypt, once this raw material is available indigenously it will give a big boost to the bottle manufacturing industry in Egypt.”

Dhunseri Petrochem & Tea Limited has been hailed by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation to be “India’s second largest manufacturer of (PET).” Its share of the US dollar USD160 million project will be 70%, while two Egyptian agencies, Egyptian Petrochemical Holding Company (ECHEM) and Engineering for Process & Petroleum Industry (ENPPI), own 23% and 7% respectively.

“The project is part of…Egypt’s Petrochemical Master Plan and as such is an integral part of the government’s strategy,” wrote Mr Puranik, while suggesting the project will promote Indian investments in Egypt.

“India and Egypt always enjoyed an excellent mutual friendship,” he wrote. “This joint venture will further cement this friendship.”

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