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Egypt refinery plan weathers financial turbulence

The financing for Citadel Capital’s ambitious Cairo refinery project would be impossible to assemble in Egypt’s current economic and political climate of a looming balance of payments crisis and President Mohamed Morsi’s growing unpopularity. A key element of the Egyptian Refining Company (ERC) deal for lenders and shareholders was a financial guarantee ensuring that Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) will pay the plant’s builder and operator even if the country’s dire foreign reserves situation persists. ERC chief executive Tom Thomason says there is no risk that his company will join oil companies owed significant arrears by the oil and gas parastatal.

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