ZapSibNeftekhim, Russia’s largest petrochemical facility, is about to offer its customers an even larger range of grades of high-density polyethylene, a vital element in the production of many popular products. The construction of an additional activator for chromium-based catalysts involved in the production of polyethylene is drawing to a close at the site. Once this is launched, the enterprise will be able to produce more than 232 thousand tonnes of premium polyethylene grades per year. The first 10 thousand tonnes of products manufactured using the additional catalyst activator will be sent to customers for homologation in 2022.
Acting Director of ZapSibNeftekhim’s polyethylene plant
“With the existing catalyst activator, ZapSibNeftekhim can produce over 400 thousand tonnes of products per year, including two high-density polyethylene grades, HD 10530 LB and HD 10500 FE. The former is highly resistant to aggressive environments and slow cracking; it is also highly rigid and can be used for up to 60-litre blow-moulded containers such as barrels, cans, and so on. The latter offers high impact and tensile strength, which makes it highly sought after for manufacturing films, shopping bags, and refuse bags,” noted Sergey Solotkin, Acting Director of ZapSibNeftekhim’s polyethylene plant. “Once the twin catalyst activator is launched, we will be able to produce grades using chromium-based catalysts and suspension polymerisation, thereby expanding our product mix.
ZapSibNeftekhim’s annual design capacity is 1.5 million tonnes of polyethylene, Russia’s highest. In 2021, the enterprise launched the production of 26 grades of polyethylene. A total of 47% of polyethylene produced by ZapSibNeftekhim is used in films, with a further 28% going to pipe and tubular solutions, as well as blow-moulded products. Close to 25% is used in casting products.
ZapSibNeftekhim is the first Russian business to use two different polyethylene production solutions at once: gas-phase and suspension polymerisation. The enterprise leverages this combination to flexibly respond to customer demand. The construction of an additional chromium-based catalyst activator will sharpen the enterprise’s customer focus and competitive edge,” emphasised Maxim Rogov, CEO of ZapSibNeftekhim. “Over one half of the polymer products manufactured in Tobolsk in 2021 were supplied to the Russian market, expanding the range of advanced polymer materials available to the domestic manufacturing industry while bringing the country’s dependence on imports of popular polymers almost to zero.”