MOSCOW (MRC) -- A giant Russian gas chemical complex, due to produce nearly 3m tonnes of polymer-grade ethylene annually, will soon begin taking shape near Ust-Luga on the country’s Baltic coast, said Plasticsnewseurope.
Slated to become the world’s biggest ethylene integration project, RusGazDobycha’s Baltic Chemical Complex is set to include two steam cracking sites, each capable of turning out 1.4m tpa.
The complex will also include six polyethylene lines with combined yearly processing capacity of 480,000 tonnes.
Baltic Chemical Complex is linked to another major upstream project, set to emerge nearby on the Gulf of Finland coast close to Ust-Luga in Russia’s Leningrad region.
Russian oil and gas company RusGazDobycha and the country’s gas giant Gazprom signed a partnership deal in March 2019 which included detailed planning for a liquid natural gas (LNG) project, also to manufacture ethane and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) at Ust-Luga.
The €100m RusKhimAlyans joint venture is set to process 45 billion m3 of natural gas to produce 13 million tonnes of LNG, around 2.4 million tonnes of LPG and up to 3.8 million tonnes of ethane fraction. Ethane output will feed the ethylene crackers at RusGazDobycha’s nearby chemical complex, according to Gazprom.
The venture, which is due to create more than 5,000 permanent jobs, will draw the ethane-containing natural gas from the Achimov and Valanginian deposits of Nadym-Pur-Taz in northern Russia to be supplied by Gazprom.
The LNG complex’s full plant construction south of the port of Ust-Luga, is scheduled to take around five years to complete with the first stage ready by the second half of 2023 and the second phase finished in late 2024.
Recent media reports pointed out the Gazprom/RusGasDobycha LNG project as an example of Russia’s recent strategy of limiting the effects of tougher western sanctions. Russia is said to be steering clear of cooperation deals with western energy companies to avoid becoming dependent on western technology or financing.
Gazprom was formerly in talks with Shell about the Baltic LNG project but then, suddenly earlier this year, Gazprom teamed up instead with RusGazDobycha. Shell dropped out of the proposed project soon afterwards.
This complex will go some way to meeting high and growing demand for ethane in Russia’s domestic market. Production capacity at the complex is expected to increase in the future. It will also allow Russia to export both LNG and LPG.
Meanwhile, Chinese engineering management and expertise feature in the construction of the RusGazDobycha ethylene complex.
Last month (Nov), Baltic Chemical and China National Chemical Engineering No.7 Construction Co., the general contractor for the RusGazDobycha ethylene complex, awarded contracts to the US firm McDermott International Inc. for its Lummus ethylene steam cracking technology licensing and engineering at that site.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,724,670 tonnes in the first ten months of 2019, up by 7% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. The estimated PP consumption in the Russian market in January-October 2019 totalled 1,066,520 tonnes, up by 7% year on year. Supply of block copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymer) and homopolymer of propylene (homopolymer PP) increased, demand for statistical copolymers (PP random copolymer) decreased.