Galaxy Chemicals Creates Jobs, Boosts Confidence in Egypt

Despite his engineering degree, Mohamed Youssef Sallam, 27, faced dim job prospects—until he was recruited by Galaxy Chemicals Egypt, an IFC client. 

Galaxy changed his life, says Sallam. He is now an electrical engineer at Galaxy Chemicals, able to provide a better life for his wife and two-year-old son.

Our work with Galaxy demonstrates how IFC is helping restore investor confidence in the Middle East and North Africa, and providing comfort in an environment where perceptions of political risk are on the rise.

Galaxy Chemicals is a subsidiary of India’s Galaxy Surfactants, a manufacturer of specialty chemicals. The venture marked the Indian company’s first foray into an overseas market, mobilizing South-South investment and helping Egypt diversify its manufacturing base, says Galaxy Egypt Managing Director Vaijanath Kulkarni.

IFC provided $20 million in financing to the company, helping it set up a plant in the free trade zone near the Suez Canal. When complete, the factory will produce 92,000 metric tons per annum of foaming agents for home and personal-care products, such as toothpastes, shampoos, liquid soaps, and detergents.  

The project created 130 jobs and generated new employment opportunities in industries that supply the facility.  

Galaxy is replacing petroleum-based chemicals with sustainable plant-based chemicals made from palm kernel oil. By setting up the plant in Egypt and moving the finished product closer to the consumer, the company has significantly reduced its carbon footprint.

The company’s focus on employee health and safety and regular training also has raised standards for the industry