Russia’s Sibur reveals plans for 1m tonne/year gas cracker

I’ve just interviewed Dmitry Konov, the young president of Russian petchem giant, Sibur. He celebrates his 40th birthday tomorrow (2 September) and has been in charge at Sibur since 2006. I also turned 40 this year but have not had quite so meteoric a career so far.
Konov has really put Sibur into a period of major expansion. He revealed plans to build a pyrolysis gas processing cracker that will produce over 1m tonnes/year of ethylene at the existing Tobolsk-Neftekhim site at Tobolsk, in western Siberia (see map for location of Tobolsk).
A decision about the project will be made late in 2011. If approved, Konov said the project would become operational by 2015-2016.
After Sibur’s current group of projects is completed, from 2013 the company will show “healthy, positive cash flow”, which will help fund the project, according to Konov.
The plant will process natural gas liquids (NGLs) containing ethane, propane and butane into ethylene.
Russia’s feedstock supplies tend to be located far from domestic or export markets, leaving chemical producers there with the dilemma of locating either near to markets or feedstocks, but not both.
“The project site is located in western Siberia, where the climate is not overly severe. While it’s not ideally situated in terms of either domestic or export markets, this is a very good position in terms of obtaining its feedstocks,” said Konov.
“We would transport the production by either train or truck. Our existing NGL processing plant is located at this same site,” he said.

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