POLIEF, SIBUR's subsidiary, has completed its polyethylene terephthalate (PET) production expansion project, increasing its capacity from 140 ktpa to 210 ktpa.
The formal ceremony was attended by Rustem Khamitov, President of Bashkortostan, along with other representatives of the Republic's Administration, and Dmitry Konov, CEO of SIBUR, accompanied by several members of the Company's management team.
PET is used to produce packaging for soft drinks, dairy products, pharmaceuticals, household chemicals, etc. PET packages are unreactive to food products, carry no health risks, are environmentally friendly and wholly recyclable.
As part of the production expansion project, POLIEF has modernised its existing PET production lines and constructed a new line. The expansion is one of Bashkortostan’s priority projects and will enable POLIEF to process terephthalic acid of its own production into in-demand polymers and substitute imports in some Russian PET market segments.
In 2013, PET consumption in Russia amounted to 580 kt, compared with only 405 kt of domestic production, which was supplemented by imports. Food-grade PET consumption per capita in Russia is 4.1 kg compared with 6.6 kg in Western Europe and 9.5 kg in the US. The expansion of POLIEF's production capacity will reduce reliance on imported PET. On completion of the project, SIBUR’s total PET production capacity increased by one third to reach 285 ktpa.
The decision to expand the PET production capacity at POLIEF was made in December 2010. Construction and installation work began in December 2012 and lasted one year. The modernisation equipment was delivered from 35 countries: Russia, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the US, Japan, etc. More than 70 contractors worked on the project; 70% were Bashkortostan-based companies and the remaining 30% came from other Russian regions.
Guarantee tests on the upgraded and new PET lines were conducted with the technology licensors, BIO CHEMTEX (Italy) and UOP (Belgium). Investment in the project totalled RUB 1.9 bn.
The new advanced equipment will contribute to reducing the company’s environmental footprint and decreasing energy consumption. The modernisation will also improve control over the production process and the efficiency of the equipment.
POLIEF's PET fully complies with Russian and international quality standards for food contact materials. The Pira International Certificate of Conformity authorises POLIEF to sell its products in the European market.
Dmitry Konov said: “Expanding PET production is a major element of the Company's strategy to provide deep processing services for converting hydrocarbon production by-products into valuable petrochemicals. POLIEF's new capacities will enable us to meet the increasing market demand for high-quality safe products.”