Moscow – Rosneft, Pirelli SpA and Synthos SA have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to study the creation of a synthetic rubber joint venture as part of the three companies’ investment in a plant in Nakhodka, Russia.
According to a Rosneft press release on 22 Oct, the three parties took a step closer to finalising the feasibility study for the synthetic rubber plant construction with officials from the companies signing the MoU in Verona, Italy.
The signed memorandum, said Rosneft, confirms the possibility of the creation of a joint venture between Rosneft and Synthos in the area of synthetic rubber production in Nakhodka, and the implementation of joint R&D with Pirelli in the area of tire materials.
The document also envisages the potential for Pirelli to become the key off take customer of synthetic rubber in line with a memorandum signed between Rosneft and the tire-maker in May 2014.
The MoU also calls for the approval of the feasibility study of the project.
The proposed rubber plant is part of Rosneft’s FEPCO petrochemical project, which aims to use the Russian far-eastern port of Nakhodka, near Vladivostok, to access to high margin markets of the Asia-Pacific region.
“The agreement will allow us not only to build the most advanced synthetic rubber plants… but also to successfully supply Chinese and other Asian automotive tire markets for years to come,” said Rosneft chairman Igor Sechin.
“Pirelli’s involvement in the process of developing this advanced regional production hub, both on the R&D side and eventually as a key customer, underlines our belief in and commitment to the entire Russian market,” added Pirelli vice-chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera.
Pirelli and Rosneft signed an agreement in May 2014 to produce synthetic rubber in Nakhodka and supply Pirelli tire-making facilities in Asia-Pacific region.
In April 2015, the two companies appointed Polish chemical manufacturer Synthos as their technology partner to carry out research, and study production and supply relating to the rubber plant.