Moscow, Russion - Russian petrochemicals giant Sibur Holding has recently reached a cooperation agreement with RN - Asphalt, a subsidiary of Rosneft, to develop polymer based road construction materials.
The parties plan to develop a package of measures to stimulate domestic consumption of polymeric materials, including polymer-bitumen binders, for the road sector and to address the problems of material import substitution.
The deal, which will involve RN-Asphalt offshoot RN-Bitumen, was signed jointly by the chief executive of that company Paul Sterzhanov and Sibur managing director Mikhail Gordin.
A key project under the agreement will involve the construction of several pilot experimental road sections making use of the thermoplastic elastomer domestic activity of Sibur and Rosneft across Russia.
The partnership will tap the groups’ resources in several regions including Moscow, Leningrad and Voronezh as well as the Ryazan region in Russia’s Far East, according to Sibur.
Results from the experimental pilot sites will help to generate demand for products based on various climatic conditions and traffic loads.
The firms will also cooperate to improve regulatory and technical regulation of polymer material use to ensure greater durability of roads. They are also keen to develop related research activities in the field of application of the polymer based materials in road construction.
At Voronezh in western Russia, Sibur’s site includes a modern TPE production plant with an 85,000 tpa capacity turning out its ‘TEPov’ product.
An important application for this TPE is as a polymer-bitumen binder (PBB), used to improve the wear resistance of upper road surface layers, according to Sibur.
From the Voronezh plant TPE output, the firm could make up to two million tonnes of PBB, a volume sufficient to produce over 20,000 km of four-lane highway, which represents more than half Russia’s federal road network, explained Sibur.
Also there is a modern laboratory at Voronezh for testing polymer-bitumen material used in road construction, the group added in a recent news release.
Sibur is already a manufacturer of geosynthetic textile materials also used in highway construction.