CAIRO, EGYPT (September 14, 2004) – The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) awarded a $271,000 grant to the Egyptian Petrochemicals Holding Company (ECHEM) to partially fund a feasibility study on expanding the company’s production of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. The grant was conferred in a signing ceremony held at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. Dr. James Joy, Commercial Counselor at the U.S. Embassy, signed on behalf of the U.S. Government. Dr. Sherif Ismail, President and Chairman of the Board, signed the grant agreement on behalf of Echem.
The USTDA-funded study for the proposed $260 million plant upgrade will examine increasing ECHEM’s present output of PVC by modernizing operations and developing a new production line. Increased production of this widely used commercial chemical is a priority for Egypt’s strategically important petrochemicals industry. If implemented, the proposed expansion would meet domestic needs for PVC, generate foreign currency income, expand technological capacity and create skilled employment opportunities.
Today’s grant is the second partnership that USTDA has forged this year in Egypt’s petrochemical sector, where the rapid implementation success of two earlier project studies demonstrated the benefits of such partnerships. Continued USTDA engagement in the Egyptian petrochemicals sector also supports U.S. economic policy priorities for the region, including the Middle East Free Trade Area initiative and the promotion of private sector investment in Egypt.
ECHEM will competitively select a U.S. firm to conduct the feasibility study and will contribute additional resources toward its completion.