MOSCOW (MRC) -- SIBUR's Polief site in Blagoveshchensk, Republic of Bashkortostan, launches the production of green polyethylene terephthalate (PET) granules, which, among other materials, will rely on some 34 kt of recycled plastics annually, according to the company's press release.
PET flakes derived from used food packaging will serve as an input for primary polymers. Compliant with the highest standards, Polief green granules will help satisfy growing demand for eco-friendly PET packaging while providing the manufacturer with a comprehensive solution combining primary and secondary PET. On top of that, reusing valuable feedstock to make high-quality products will cut specific electricity consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, as a result.
PET is utilised to manufacture packaging for soft drinks, dairy products, pharmaceuticals, household chemicals, and much more. PET packages are inert to foods, safe for people and the environment, and fully recyclable.
Maxim Remchukov, Head of Sustainable Development at SIBUR said: “Involving recyclables in PET production is a vital part of SIBUR’s 2025 Sustainability Strategy. SIBUR remains focused on boosting process efficiency, improving its grade range, enhancing product properties and developing new solutions. By using recycled feedstock, the Company will help promote the circular economy, while also cutting its greenhouse gas emissions per tonne of end products.”
SIBUR has signed relevant cooperation agreements with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Russian Environmental Operator on the sidelines of EEF 2019. The investment project provides for installing the equipment to further treat and sort flakes, which will make it possible to feed the recycled feedstock into the existing production line. The design and engineering documentation will leverage the latest solutions and technologies from global leaders in industrial polymer processing. The project is on the priority list of SIBUR's Blagoveshchensk site for 2020–2022.
Evgeny Semenko, CEO of Polief said: “We expect to start using recycled polyethylene terephthalate packaging at POLIEF by mid-2022. This will enable us to offer both primary and secondary PET and contribute to promoting the circular economy. The processing method allows for the polymer break-down and repeated use of feedstock. The approved technology for using secondary PET (PET flakes) in the primary PET production is an eco-friendly advanced way of industrial PET recycling, unique in Russia.”
PET flakes will come from different parts of Russia, with Bashkortostan and the neighbouring regions having priority. The project will rely on intermediates from processed bottles washed and prepared by suppliers at their own sites. The incoming feedstock will be checked for compliance with quality standards. Bashkortostan currently collects 4 kt of used PET bottles per year, with the figure to potentially reach 20 ktpa if measures are taken to improve collection rates and the sorting quality.
As MRC reported before, in early December 2019, on the margins of the meeting at SIBUR’s PolyLab R&D Centre, SIBUR, the largest petrochemical comples in Russia and Eastern Europe, and BASF, Geman petrochemical major, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) formalizing their partnership on sustainable development and circular economy agenda further to the companies’ environmental talks held back in June 2019. The memorandum is set to strengthen the partners’ commitment to long-term sustainable development goals. BASF and SIBUR agreed to collaborate more closely on water efficiency, carbon footprint management and chemicals recycling along with joining forces in implementing international environmental initiatives.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PET consumption totalled 367,720 tonnes in the first six months of 2020, up by 19% year on year. Russian companies processed 62,910 tonnes in June. Russian plants reduced their PET output in January-June 2020 by 25% year on year. Overall PET chips production at four Russian plants reached 281,100 tonnes in January-June 2020.
Polief JSC (Blagoveshchensk, Republic of Bashkortostan) is the only producer of terephthalic acid (PTA) and the largest supplier of PET in Russia. SIBUR began the reconstruction of the production of PTA in Blagoveshchensk in December 2017. The capacity for the production of PTA after modernisation is 350,000 tonnes per year, PET - 219,000 tonnes per year.
SIBUR is the largest integrated petrochemicals company in Russia. The Group sells its petrochemical products on the Russian and international markets in two business segments: Olefins & Polyolefins (polypropylene, polyethylene, BOPP films, etc.) Plastics, Elastomers & Intermediates (synthetic rubbers, EPS, PET, etc.). SIBUR’s petrochemicals business utilises mainly own feedstock, which is produced by the Midstream segment using by-products purchased from oil and gas companies. More than 26,000 employees working in SIBUR contribute to the success of customers engaged in the chemical, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), automotive, construction, energy and other industries in 80 countries worldwide. In 2018, SIBUR reported revenue of USD 9.1 billion and adjusted EBITDA of USD 3.3 billion.