Methanex sells 10% stake in Egypt methanol JV

Methanex has completed its sale of a 10% equity share in Egyptian Methanex Methanol Company (EMethanex) to Arab Petroleum Investments Corp. (ABICORP) for $110 million, the company said on Friday.

The agreement was first announced in October.

 "We are pleased to complete this transaction on schedule," said John Floren, CEO of Methanex. "We look forward to continuing to work with APICORP and the Ministry of Petroleum to enhance our operations in Egypt."

This deal increases APICORP's ownership in the joint venture to approximately 17%, while Methanex will remain the operator and majority shareholder of EMethanex with just over 50% ownership. 

The remaining interest is held by Egyptian Petrochemical Holding Company (12%); Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (12%); and Egyptian National Gas Company (9%).

"Egypt is a key focus in our current investment diversification program, one of whose many aims is to support the development of the region's capabilities to manufacture hydrocarbon derivatives," said Ahmad Bin Hamad Al Nuaimi, APICORP's chief executive  "Furthermore, as part of our mandate to support Arab energy industry development, we seek to support projects like EMethanex that can deliver tangible economic value and growth. This investment is a good fit for our strategy of deepening support for midstream and downstream sectors."

With Methanex remaining the majority shareholder of EMethanex, there is no change in governance or impact on its operations. 

"This is a positive transaction for EMethanex and Egypt," said Eng. Sherif Ismail, Egypt's Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources. "APICORP has been a shareholder of EMethanex since the project's inception and a partner in many other successful projects in Egypt in the oil and gas sector. Its increased ownership in EMethanex reflects our fruitful mutual cooperation and reinforces APICORP's confidence in Egypt's economy."

The plant started commercial operations in 2011 and is located in Damietta, Egypt on the Mediterranean Sea. It is among the most energy efficient methanol plants in the world. The plant, which can produce 1.3 million tpy of methanol, supplies both the local and global methanol markets and integrates into Methanex's global methanol supply chain.

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