More capacity: Kazanorgsintez to build Polyethylene-Vinyl Acetate Plant

More capacity: Kazanorgsintez to build Polyethylene-Vinyl Acetate Plant
Photo: Roman Khasaev

A new plant is going to appear on the territory of Kazanorgsintez PJSC. By 2025, the company plans to launch the production of polyethylene-vinyl acetate with a capacity of 100 thousand tonnes a year. The implementation of the project will allow replacing outdated equipment and increasing product output. The licensor will be the Japanese company Sumitomo Chemical, part of Sumitomo Group Corporation — which is one of the largest and oldest financial and industrial groups in Japan.

What is polyethylene-vinyl acetate and why is it needed?

A batch of polyethylene-vinyl acetate was released at Kazanorgsintez in 1980. It was launched after the modernisation of the first stage of high-pressure polyethylene. The products are sold under the brand name of EVA, or savilen. It is similar to polyethylene, but differs in greater transparency, elasticity, durability and resistance to external influences.

Savilen has a wide range of applications — from agriculture, consumer goods, shoe industry to medicine. In everyday life, one encounters this material all the time — excellent boots with shock-absorbing properties are made of it or car mats that are suitable even for a premium car. They are elastic and do not wear out for a long time.

The product is also used in the sports industry. Soft floors in gyms, modular flooring for swimming pools and saunas, water aerobics equipment and gym mats — all this is made with the use of savilene.

The material is also used to make goods for children: wheels for carts, strollers, knee pads, children's protective helmets and toys, playground coverings. In agriculture, polyethylene-vinyl acetate is necessary for the production of film for greenhouses, pet products, thermal insulation sheets, pipes for feeding feed and water. In medicine, savilen is used in the manufacture of dentures, teeth protectors for dental and orthopedic shoes.

At Kazanorgsintez, savilen is produced by about 20 different brands, including low-molecular. It is suitable for the production of rubber compounds for various purposes and is used in the rubber industry.

About 20 different brands of savilen are produced at Kazanorgsintez. Photo: Kazanorgsintez PJSC

Now Kazanorgsintez is the only manufacturer of savilens on the territory of Russia and the countries of the former republics of the USSR, which produces exclusively film brands. The company occupies about 20% of the domestic market of polyethylene-vinyl acetate, and the remaining volumes are supplied by foreign manufacturers. In 2019, Kazanorgsintez produced 11,600 tonnes of savilen.

The new production will allow, if necessary, not only to replace imported products in the domestic market, but also to enter foreign markets.

“The introduction of new technologies and new joint ventures will allow them to maintain our leading positions in the market. The strategic development programme, which was adopted by the board of directors, is currently being implemented," Farid Minigulov, the director general of Kazanorgsintez, told the president of Tatarstan during the visit of Rustam Minnikhanov to the company in May 2020.

Broad perspectives

It will be possible to realise ambitious plans only when replacing the old equipment — now the capacity allows to produce no more than 13,000 tonnes of polyethylene-vinyl acetate a year.

The new production facility is going to replace the existing plant. This will increase the production of savilen by 7,5 times, that is, the capacity of the plant will be 100,000 tonnes a year. The plant will be built using Japanese technology. It is considered universal and gives the opportunity to produce both polyethylene-vinyl acetate and LDPE on the same equipment. The technology was tested in Japan and Singapore, and in 2015, a plant with a capacity of 150,000 tonnes a year was launched.

Sumitomo Chemical is part of Sumitomo Group Financial and Industrial Corporation. Photo: Kazanorgsintez PJSC

The licensor will be Sumitomo Chemical, part of Sumitomo Group Financial and Industrial Corporation. It was founded in 1913 and has not only a rich history but also a solid reputation. One of Japan's largest and oldest financial and industrial groups owns 82 industrial and scientific facilities worldwide and 182 subsidiaries. The number of employees of the group reaches 33,000 people.

Sumitomo Chemical Group operates businesses in five sectors: petrochemicals and plastics, energy, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals related to information technology.

Project details

The production complex is to appear on the territory of Kazanorgsintez by 2025. It will be built at the company's own expense, part of the financing will be provided by borrowed money.

The new plant, installed at the factory, will be based on the use of a reactor unit of a special design based on an autoclave reactor. This technical solution was adopted in order to ensure a more efficient use of raw materials and energy resources.

Additional advantages include a reduction in the cost of production and a reduction in the negative impact on the environment. At the same time, the quality of the product will compete with products made according to the highest international standards.

The appearance of such production facilities is important for the republic and for the country as a whole, Rustam Minnikhanov believes. Photo: Roman Khasaev

Despite the pandemic and the associated economic difficulties, the project is planned to be completed on time. According to the president of Tatarstan, the emergence of such industries is important for the republic and for the country as a whole.

“This is not the first time we have had a crisis, but we have always found solutions. The main thing is to preserve the existing production staff and continue to develop investment projects of TAIF Group, strategically important not only for the economy of the Republic of Tatarstan but also of the Russian Federation," Rustam Minnikhanov emphasised at a board meeting of TAIF JSC.

By Alsu Gusmanova
Tatarstan