BRICS Bank Investment in Russia: Investing $300 million in petrochemical giant Sibur
In Russia, petrochemical giant Sibur has received a loan of 300 million US dollars to construct the country's largest synthetic polymer factory. The project is aimed at expanding Russia's exports beyond oil and gas. CGTN's Aljosa Milenkovic paid a visit to the construction site and brings us this report.
After a three-hour flight towards the East from Moscow – passing over the Ural Mountains -- is the picturesque medieval town of Tobolsk. With a population of around 100,000, the town is home to the famous 17th-century Tobolsk Kremlin. On its outskirts is a massive facility that produces two very important synthetic polymers -- polyethylene and polypropylene. Sibur is an industry giant. For the last 20 years, it has helped revive the local petrochemical industry and breathe new life into the region.
ALEKSANDAR MOOR GOVERNOR, TYUMEN REGION "Over the past few years, billions of US dollars have been invested in the project. Now, the latest one is in its final stage. It has a colossal effect on the economy, not only in Tobolsk, but also the entire Tyumen Region. It is bringing new highly skilled and paid jobs, as well as a synergy effect on small and medium-sized businesses."
This investment is not just a local project. It has attracted investors and subcontractors from other countries as well.
ALJOSA MILENKOVIC TOBOLSK "Twenty-eight thousand people from Russia, China and Turkey have been working on the construction of a factory that'll become Russia's largest polyethylene and polypropylene producer. Construction is now in its final stages and is set for completion by the end of 2019."
The project aims to not only make Russia fully independent from polymer imports, but to also make it a significant exporter.
The factory's design capacity is one-point-five million tons of polyethylene and 500-thousand tons of polypropylene.
SERGEY SERGEEV PRE-COMMISSIONING & COMMISSIONING WORKS DIRECTOR ZAPSIBNEFTEKHIM LLC "Now, we have already started production tests at the polypropylene plant. Construction has been completed, and the commissioning of this part is ongoing. Installation of the polyethylene facility behind me is currently being commissioned. We've already produced the first batch of granules."
With this project, Russia is expanding its export options beyond raw oil and gas -- something that will help the country keep up the pace with leading world economies.
But this is not where Russia plans to stop. More project proposals are already on the table -- now with Chinese partners like oil and gas enterprise Sinopec.
SERGEY KOMYSHAN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SIBUR "We've signed a term sheet with Sinopec to create a joint venture on the basis of the Amur gas and chemical project that we've been working on for two years. It's going to be a steam cracker coupled with the several polymer units, polyethylene units, and hopefully then polypropylene."
While we witness this beautiful Siberian sunset, a new economic sunrise is coming to Tobolsk and the entire Tyumen region -- thanks to Sibur and a little help from friends at the BRICS. Aljosa Milenkovic, CGTN, Tobolsk.