The Egyptian petrochemical market is booming as the industry continues to grow. The Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum attributes great attention to the petrochemical industry as well as petrochemical investments in Egypt, knowing its strategic importance.
Petrochemicals are chemical substances made from crude oil and natural gas. Egypt, as well as the Middle East, is significantly resourceful in petroleum. Petrochemicals are present in most of our daily goods, including cosmetics, rubbers, and plastics.
Petrochemical Industry Examples
Petrochemicals products are referred to as derivatives that are used as raw materials in manufacturing end-consumer goods. Examples of some of these derivatives include:
- Ethylene is one of the most commonly produced petrochemical products. It’s used in a wide variety of plastics as well as detergents and lubricants for machines such as industrial valves.
- Benzene is widely popular in the gasoline industry but is also used to make nylons which are omnipresent in the packaging and clothing industries.
- Propylene is also among the most frequently produced petrochemical derivatives and can be largely found in food commodities such as food preservatives.
Petrochemical Industry Process
The process of producing petrochemicals is called petrochemistry. The petrochemical industry process is generated using oil and natural gas as raw materials to produce a set of chemical derivatives.
The petrochemical production process starts in oil refineries, where crude oil is distilled and heated to different heat levels to produce the raw materials that will go into producing petrochemical production. Some examples of these raw materials include gasoline, naphtha, and kerosene.
Difference between Petrochemical and Oil and Gas Industry
Petrochemicals and petroleum are related yet not similar. The petrochemical industry uses oil and gas to manufacture petrochemical products using petrochemistry, while the oil and gas industry involves petroleum engineering, which includes the extraction of crude oil from fossil fuels.
When crude oil (petroleum) is removed from the fossilized animals and plants, it is transferred to oil refineries where it is separated to create useable petroleum products. Examples of these products include gasoline, distillates such as diesel fuel and heating oil, jet fuel, petrochemical feedstocks, waxes, lubricating oils, and asphalt.
Petrochemical Investment Corporation in Egypt
Egyptian petrochemical companies are becoming increasingly important in the region as the market gains strategic importance. Among the notable industry players is the leading petrochemical corporation Anchorage Investments.
The group is based in Egypt yet operates locally, regionally, and globally in the petrochemicals as well as the mining and beneficiation industry. Through innovative and state-of-the-art technologies and resources, the company is able to successfully supply market demand.
Anchorage Investments Latest News
The industrial pioneer’s latest projects involve a new petrochemical complex set to be built in the Suez Economic Zone of Egypt. The project, named Anchor Benitoite, hopes to become a domestic and regional petrochemical manufacturer. In addition, the chemical complex is estimated to offer more than 2,500 new jobs. The company has already shortlisted potential international contractors for the project, including Italy’s Technip Energy, Spain’s Tecnicas Reunidas, Samsung Engineering Ltd, and Hyundai Engineering and Construction.
In other additional news, the company took part earlier this year in one of the largest oil and gas exhibitions globally, EGYPS. The conference is attended by Egypt’s head of state, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, as well as industry leaders and experts. Anchorage Investments’ Founder and Managing Director, Dr. Ahmed Moharram, took part in one of the many panel discussions to speak on the importance of public and private sector partnerships in accelerating decarbonization.
Egypt’s Input and Output Amounts in Petrochemicals
According to industry news provider Egypt Oil & Gas, Saad Helal, Chairman of the Egyptian Petrochemicals Holding Company (ECHEM), reported that local production of petrochemicals exceeded 4.3 million tonnes annually in the 2021/2022 fiscal year, which doubled from roughly 2.1 million tonnes produced in 2015/2016.
Egypt is also known to be one of the fastest growing markets in the region. In 2021, the country exported $3.69 billion and imported $3.13 billion of crude petroleum.
To conclude, the Egyptian petrochemical and oil and gas market is seeing expansionary growth. Being a resourceful player in the region, the country exports and imports large amounts of crude oil, contributing to the mass production of petrochemicals. Anchorage Investments is a powerful industry leader growing the market further with their newest petrochemical project, Anchor Benitoite.