InterviewRussia petchems to grow on proximity to China

20 November 2009 21:28  [Source: ICIS news]

By Ben DuBose

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Russia’s proximity to cheaper feedstocks and the growing end-market of China should increase petrochemical investment in the area within the next five years, executives with US engineering and construction firm Fluor said on Friday.

In particular, Russia offers an opportunity to construction firms because there is hardly any integration between refineries and petrochemical facilities, said Peter Oosterveer, group president of Fluor’s energy and chemicals division.

However, the exact date of that window of opportunity is unclear because of the immense damage the global financial crisis did to the country’s economy.

“Being optimistic, we could see a return to economic growth in 2011,” Oosterveer said. “They really were hit harder than almost anywhere else.”

At that point, the company said it expects substantial growth in the country and a flood of interest from producers as competition for Middle East natural gas supplies intensifies.

Fluor provides engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for chemical and other industrial companies.

In 2007, Fluor was picked by Russia’s oil major Tatneft to manage the construction of its $5.6bn (€3.8bn) petrochemical complex in Nizhnekamsk.

Since then, Fluor has also made “substantial inroads” into projects and discussions with major producer Sibur, Oosterveer said, adding that those factors make Fluor well positioned for when the country returns to economic growth during the next decade.

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By: Ben DuBose
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