ABOUT ECHEM

HISTORY


The history of the petrochemical industry actually dates back to ancient Egypt. Products we know today as ethylene and polyethylene were made by the ancient Egyptians. They were smart enough to know that when the fig plant was gassed, it would stimulate ripening, and this process released the ethylene which was produced organically in the plant. Moreover, traces of bitumen were found as material used in building the pyramids. In addition to various products used in embalming.

In 1872 the first chemical to be made from petroleum, carbon black, was formed by the partial combustion of natural gas in air. Carbon black is used primarily in the production of synthetic rubber. The modern petrochemical industry started in 1920 with the opening of the Standard Oil Company plant in New Jersey which produced propylene.

However, such industry faced some obstacles; one of the most emerging was the collapse of the American Stock Exchange in 1929. But it resumed its activity in 1980s where petrochemical costs rose with oil and gas prices and Middle Eastern countries began to develop their own petrochemical plants. During this period only 5 percent of the crude oil and 3 percent of the natural gas were used to make petrochemicals products.

The petrochemical industry was not only in USA but it is also spread among all countries of the Middle East as it acquires more than the third of the global energy stocks...

Egypt has the crucial features necessary for setting up and developing the petrochemicals industry, the availability of feed stock and natural resources, skilled working force, strategic geographic location, facilitate promoting petrochemical products to the European and Mediterranean markets.

The petrochemical industry started in Egypt in the mid- forties with the establishment of AlAhleya Plastic Company. With the beginning of the fifties, Suez governate witnessed the production of fertilizers from the surpluses of ammonia by the refinery units of Abboud plants in Ataka.

In the mid-fifties, Egypt established one of the earliest production units of nylon worldwide in Kafr-El- Dawar . Moreover in the mid-seventies, Talkha and Alexandria witnessed the establishment of 2 urea plants.

In the eighties, the petrochemical industry moved to a further step by the establishment of the Egyptian Petrochemical Company (EPC) at Amereya - Alexandria as a public sector company owned by the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), EPC produces polyvinyl chloride with a total capacity of 80 thousand T/Y, on which the plastic industry depends. EPC was regarded as the core for the petrochemical industry in Egypt.

The nineties witnessed a further leap forward of the petrochemicals era by the establishment of Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals Company (SIDPEC), used to produce ethylene and polyethylene with a plant capacity of 225 thousand T/Y Ethylene. It is worth mentioning that the local gas feedstock, retrieved from the western desert, was used by EPC to cover local market demand of Ethylene, while exporting the surplus.

After restructure of the petroleum sector in the year 2000, Echem was established to execute the 20 years master plan to establish 14 petrochemical complexes (24 plants, 50 production units) with total investment cost of 20 billion USD, aiming to optimize the value added of natural resources. Since the establishment of the Egyptian Petrochemicals Holding Company (ECHEM) in 2002, the company follows a sophisticated methodology in implementing the plan.


TimeLine

  • 1872

    In 1872 the first chemical to be made from petroleum, carbon black, was formed by the partial combustion of natural gas in air. Carbon black is used primarily in the production of synthetic rubber.

  • 1920


    The modern petrochemical industry started in 1920 with the opening of the Standard Oil Company plant in New Jersey which produced propylene.



  • 1945


    The petrochemical industry started in Egypt in the mid- forties with the establishment of AlAhleya Plastic Company.



  • 1950


    With the beginning of the fifties, Suez governate witnessed the production of fertilizers from the surpluses of ammonia by the refinery units of Abboud plants in Ataka.



  • 1955


    In the mid-fifties, Egypt established one of the earliest production units of nylon worldwide in Kafr-El- Dawar.



  • 1975


    Moreover in the mid-seventies, Talkha and Alexandria witnessed the establishment of 2 urea plants.



  • 1980


    In the eighties, the petrochemical industry moved to a further step by the establishment of the Egyptian Petrochemical Company (EPC) at Amereya - Alexandria as a public sector company owned by the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), EPC produces polyvinyl chloride with a total capacity of 80 thousand T/Y, on which the plastic industry depends. EPC was regarded as the core for the petrochemical industry in Egypt.

  • 1990


    The nineties witnessed a further leap forward of the petrochemicals era by the establishment of Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals Company (SIDPEC), used to produce ethylene and polyethylene with a plant capacity of 225 thousand T/Y Ethylene. It is worth mentioning that the local gas feedstock, retrieved from the western desert, was used by EPC to cover local market demand of Ethylene, while exporting the surplus.

  • 2000


    After restructure of the petroleum sector in the year 2000, Echem was established to execute the 20 years master plan to establish 14 petrochemical complexes (24 plants, 50 production units) with total investment cost of 20 billion USD, aiming to optimize the value added of natural resources.

  • 2002


    Since the establishment of the Egyptian Petrochemicals Holding Company  in 2002, the company follows a sophisticated methodology in implementing the plan.