St Petersburg, Russia – Sibur Holding and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) are extending their rubber cooperation with an agreement to resume talks for a second nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) production plant and a deal to produce SEBS (styrene, ethylene and butylene-based block copolymers).
The two companies signed the agreements during a 17 Sept meeting between the Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev and the Chinese premier Li Keqiang in Saint Petersburg, Sibur announced.
The parties signed a memorandum of understanding to revive a previously announced NBR joint venture in China.
To be based in Shanghai, the JV will be 60% owned by Sinopec and 40% owned by Sibur and is estimated to have a capacity of 50 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa).
The two companies already run an NBR production joint venture, with a 42.5ktpa production capacity, in Kransoyarsk, Siberia (pictured).
It is planned, that the new unit, like the Russian facility, will also feed growing demand for NBR in China and South East Asia.
“We have resumed our efforts to set up a JV on the back of strong consumer demand for NBR in China, and we plan to leverage this opportunity to expand our business in the growing market,” said Pavel Lyakhovich, managing director at Sibur.
Separately, the two companies signed a framework cooperation agreement to build a 20ktpa plant in Russia to produce SEBS.
The 50:50 joint venture will be Russia’s first SEBS production facility and will aim to reduce the country’s reliance on imports, according to Lyakhovich.
SEBS is a pelletised modifier for thermoplastics used to impart elasticity to plastic materials or as a primary polymer to produce elastic components.
The product offers high durability and is used in a variety of applications such as plastics and bitumen modification, adhesives, modification compounds, and toys.