Commissioning is underway at the 500-kilotonne-per-annum (ktpa) polypropylene unit at Sibur's ZapSibNeftekhim petrochemical complex, according to the Russian petrochemicals company.
The deep hydrocarbon conversion plant is 99.8% complete, as systems are undergoing functional testing and safety mechanisms are being checked for proper performance, Sibur said in a statement 13 March.
During commissioning, the unit produced a pilot batch of polypropylene granules from third-party feedstock.
“We have only produced several tonnes of polypropylene as part of a test run,” stated Andrei Germashev, head of Production at ZapSibNeftekhim.
This, said Germashev, confirms that the facility is “ready for operation.”
According to Sibur, the technology employed at the facility enables the production of all polypropylene (PP) types, for “all market segments”.
Once fully operational, the unit will raise Sibur's total PP production capacity to 1 million tonnes per annum in Tobolsk, which is also home to Sibur Tobolsk, the company's existing polymer production facility.
Sibur claims that the combined capacity in Tobolsk will make it the biggest PP operation in Russia, and one of the largest in the world.
Overall, Sibur expects ZapSibNeftekhim to help substitute 85–95% of Russia's current polymer imports – mainly from China and Europe.
ZapSibNeftekhim's polypropylene is to be used in a range of applications, including medical products, construction materials and packaging.