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Reliance Industries today said it will invest USD 450 million (about Rs 2,000 crore) along with Russian petrochemical firm SIBUR in setting up a butyl rubber plant at Jamnagar in Gujarat (India).

“Reliance and the leading Russian petrochemical company SIBUR today announced a joint venture for the production of butyl rubber in India,” the company said in a statement here.

The agreement to this effect was signed during the visit of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to India.

“The joint venture facility will have an initial capacity of 100,000 tonnes of butyl rubber at RIL’s integrated refining-cum-petrochemical site in Jamnagar, India and is expected to be commissioned by 2013,” it said.

Estimated investment in the project will be USD 450 million. The plant will initially produce regular butyl rubber and is expected to manufacture other types of butyl rubber specialities in the future.

“SIBUR will provide its proprietary technology for butyl rubber polymerization and finishing, while RIL will supply monomers and provide the JV with world-class infrastructure and utilities,” it said. “RIL will have a majority stake in the joint venture.”

Commenting on this development, RIL Executive Director NR Meswani said: “This is a significant step towards Reliance’s commitment to service India’s growing automotive sector by bringing in complex technologies, available with only a very few companies globally.

“The setting up of domestic manufacturing of butyl rubber will fulfil a long standing demand of the Indian tyre and rubber industry and this investment is part of Reliance’s vision of emerging as a significant global payer in the synthetic rubber business.”

“We are satisfied with the dynamics of the creation of the joint venture and hope to begin construction soon,” said SIBUR’s President Dmitry Konov .

“SIBUR has unique technologies for the production of synthetic rubber, which in partnership with Reliance will cater the growing needs of the Indian tyre industry with high -quality raw material,” he said.

SIBUR is the largest petrochemical company in Russia and Eastern Europe.

21 December 2010