Sibur Thermoplastic Elastomer Production Plant, Voronezh, Russia
Russia-based petrochemical company Sibur commissioned its new chemical complex at Voronezh in the south-west of the country in May 2013. The complex reached its full production capacity of 50,000t of TPEs per annum in August 2013.
The complex is located within the vicinity of the Voronezh rubber plant, Varonezh-Sintez-Kauchuk. The facility was constructed over the old and decommissioned facilities that existed earlier.
The new plant has increased Sibur's production of TPEs from 35,000t yearly to 85,000t a year.
Construction of the plant started in June 2011. The total investment on the plant was approximately 3.8 billion rubles ($120m). The project generated employment for about 160 people.
Purpose of Sibur's expansion project
Sibur's production capacity prior to the new plant's commissioning was 35,000t of thermoplastic elastometers, which did not meet the demand in the market. The company initiated the expansion programme to benefit from the existing demand for the product.
The project was also undertaken to realise the potential of thermoplastic elastomers for road construction. TPE is primarily used for producing polymer asphalt cement (PAC), which is a major component used in coating the top layer of roads.
PAC is used in the construction of roads as it provides crack resistance, heat resistance and shear buckling resistance, including protection from water and frost, which are common in Russia.
The TPE produced from the complex is utilised for improving the quality of road surfaces and increasing the lifespan of roads from the present three / four years to seven / ten years. TPE also has other utilities, serving as roofing materials, mastics, adhesives and sealants.
Technology used at the Voronezh plant
Butadiene-styrene thermoplastic elastomers (TPE-s) belong to the thermoplastic rubbers group. They are processed through techniques such as injection moulding, extrusion, calendaring and blow moulding.
The annual production from the plant will be 25t of thermoplastic elastomers ACT30-01, which are similar to SBS-3201 and 25t of thermoplastic elastomers ACT30P-01 which have close resemblance with S-401.
ACT30-01 and ACT30P-01 are thermoplastic elastomers based on styrene and butadiene containing non-staining intoxicant. In the case of ACT30-01 the styrene content will be 30%.
ACT30P-01 has the tendency to show certain properties of vulcanised rubbers at standard temperature. However, vulcanisation or curing are not required for processing them.
Components of the Russian chemical complex
The plant features several production units, building and storage facilities. There are a tank farm and a pumping station for resolvers, including a catalyst pig receiver and facilities for dilatation.
It also features a processing aid preparation unit, including a resolver preparation area and a cleaning area for monomers.
Also featured are a polymerisation unit, a oil degasser unit, a crumb slurry pig receiver, separation area, drying area and a packing area.
Separate units were installed for waste gas purification and sewage treatment. Special areas for finished products update, storage and shipment were also constructed.
The complex is further equipped with administration and on-site quarters featuring laboratories, a central control facility and various department racks.
Contractors involved with Sibur's plant
Promstroi Group was involved in carrying out civil construction, installation of various technological equipments, electrical installations, special construction works, special works (EC&I, DCS), commissioning of the plant and procurement activities.
Rustep assisted Sibur with the construction.
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