A chronic gas shortage may stymie Egypt's petchem ramp-up plans.

The Ethydco subsidiary of Egyptian state petrochemicals firm Echem is ready to start up the 460,000 tons/year ethylene cracker at the heart of the ethylene and polyethylene complex it has been building at Alexandria on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast.

Oil Minister Tariq al-Mulla visited the site this week and was told that test operations only await a supply of gas from state utility Egas.

The new cracker will require...