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logo_MRCcisIn 2012, Russian producers reduced their production volumes of large polymers by 1% to 3,480,000 tonnes. Last year, the output  of polyolefins dropped, while the production volumes of PVC, polystyrene (PS) and PET increased, according to MRC.

2012 proved to be quite a successful year for Russian makers of large polymers. The growth of domestic demand allowed producers to increase their output. The only exception made producers of polyolefins (polyethylene and polypropylene) that reduced their capacity utilization last year. The implementation of several projects for the start-up of new polymer plants with the total capacity of 1,720,000 tonnes per year were announced for the next five years.

In 2012, the total output of polyethylene by Russian producers made 1,389,000 tonnes, down  10% year-on-year. At the same time, the production volumes of high density polyethylene (HDPE) made 733,000 tonnes, down 13% year-on-year. The output of LDPE and LLDPE fell to the level of 626,000 tonness and 31,000 tonnes, respectively.

The main reason for such a serious decline in the HDPE production was due to a lengthy outage at Stavrolen (Lukoil group). Also, because of the extended turnaround, Gazprom neftekhim Salavat reduced its HDPE production. Last year, Tomskneftekhim, Ufaorgsintez and Angarsk polymer plant reduced their capacity utilization for the production of LDPE, while NefteKhimSevilen completely shut production of polyethylene in February. Only Nizhnekamskneftekhim announced a launch of new facilities in the next five years, said while, the company plans to build another production site with the capacity of 600,000 tonnes per year.

The volume of polypropylene production did not fall that significantly last year. The fairly rapid resumption of production at Stavrolen and growth of capacity utilization at the other sites (Nizhnekamsknftehim, Tomskneftekhim, Ufaorgsintez and Neftekhimia) allowed to reach the total production rate of more than 660,000 tonnes.

The launch the production of polypropylene is expected to take place at two new sites in the second quarter of this year: in Omsk (Polyom) with the capacity of 180,000 tonnes per year, and in Tobolsk (Tobolsk-Polymer) with the capacity of 500,000 tonnes per year. Sibur (the managing company of Tobolsk-Polymer) has already officially announced its intention to start up the new plant in April.

In 2012, the output of unblended PVC (suspension and emulsion PVC) rose by 7% to 616,000 tonnes. The main increase in production was due to Sayanskkhimplast and Kaustik (Sterlitamk). Both plants announced the further expansion of the existing sites. In 2014, a new plant for suspension PVC production with the capacity of 330,000 tonnes per year is expected to be launched in the Nizhny Novgorod region on the basis of the joint venture of Solvin and Sibur”s RusVinyl.

Last year, the production volume of polystyrene in Russia amounted to about 362,000 tonnes, up 12% year-on-year. The main increase in output secured Sibur-Khimprom (Sibur) due to the launch of the second production line of expandable polystyrene with the capacity of 50,000 tonnes per year. This year, Nizhnekamskneftekhim plans to launch a new production of ABS plastics with the annual capacity of 60,000 tonnes.

The output of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) by Russian producers increased by 14% to 397,000 tonnes. Such a significant surge in production was due to an increase of capacity utilization at Alco-Naphtha and Senezh plants. This year, the Bashkir plant Polief (Sibur) is going to expand its capacity to 80,000 tonnes. Given the increased capacities in Bashkiria, the total production capacities of Russian PET producers will make 600,000 tonnes per year.

Margaret Volkova (Market Report Company)

31 January 2013