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Russian petrochemicals

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

In a recent report, BMI have said that Russian petrochemicals capacity expansion over the medium term will be stimulated by expansion of non-oil industrial sectors and domestic market growth. BMI also believe that a structural change in the Russian economy towards domestic demand led growth should benefit the petrochemicals industry, and domestically driven growth should ensure expansion does not lead to an imbalance between supply and demand, although in some segments there is the prospect of exports.

2013 production

Statistic from the Russian Federal State Statistics Service say that in H113, Russian production of chemicals rose by 3.3% year on year, while rubber and plastics grew 7.8%. This performance placed the chemicals and petrochemicals industries well ahead of overall manufacturing performance which saw zero growth over the same period and total industrial growth of just 0.1% year on year. During the first 10 months of last year, plastic in primary forms was up 14% year on year to 5 million t while synthetic rubber grew 5.1% to 1.2 million t. Between 2013 and 2017, polymer per capita consumer spending is predicted to be boosted, particularly in the polyethylene segment, by 59%, compared with a regional growth average of 42%.

Expansion plans

After planned capacity expansions this year, Russia will become a next exporter of polypropylene (PP), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyethylene (PE) capacities will continue to keep pace with growing demand. There are further major development plans for the polymers sector including Sibur’s expansion of its Tomskneftekhim (TNKh) subsidiary through a debottlenecking programme that will raise PP by 10 000 tpa and HDPE by 40 000 tpy by 2016. Gazprom is constructing a 1 million tpa naphtha cracker an downstream units at Salavat and Rosneft is also planning a naphtha cracker with capacities of 1.4 million tpa ethylene as well as more than 600 00 tpa propylene and 200 000 tpa butadiene. The facility is expected to come online by 2016 and will be engaged in polymers production and will produce a range of other petrochemical products.

Future of ethylene

BMI expect ethylene capacities to total 7.7 million tpa in 2018. However, some segments will see little or no movement, notably styrenics and some intermediates such as EO/EG and ethylbensene. There is plenty of naphtha and ethane feedstock availability from the expansion of refineries and the opportunities presented by the growing gas sector. 

Adapted from a press release by Claira Lloyd.

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