Russia: start of a gigantic petrochemical project near China

Russian workers and officials pose for a photo on August 18, 2020, during the preliminary works of a gigantic petrochemical plant near Svobodnyy, in the Amur region, near China, a partner of this project. Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP

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The Russian number one in the petrochemical industry Sibur on Tuesday, August 18 launched the preliminary work on a gigantic petrochemical plant in the Amur region, in the Russian Far East, built in partnership with China.


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Over $ 10 billion. This is the estimated amount of the investment made in a joint venture between Sibur (60%) and the Chinese oil giant Sinopec (40%), also a shareholder of Sibur. Located in Svobodnyy, an industrial city in Russia's Amur region, the plant will produce polymers used in the manufacture of plastic products in high demand by the Middle Empire. The project confirms China's desire for greater economic cooperation with Russia.

This is both a sign of strengthening and a logical continuation as this complex is associated with another even more important project, which is that of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline, which joins the gas fields from Russia to China.  » , Analyzes Jean-François Dufour, director of the DCA-China cabinet, at the microphone of Altin Lazaj , of the Economics department of RFI.

The Sibur plant will be supplied by a gigantic Gazprom plant also under construction in Svobodnyy, itself connected to the Power of Siberia gas pipeline (Siberian Force), inaugurated at the end of 2019 in Blagoveshchensk, 150 km from Sobodnyy, and which delivers fuel. natural gas in China.

China diversifies its supply

In its new factory, named Amur GCC, Sibur aims to produce 2.7 tonnes per year of polymers - thus doubling its production - three quarters of which should be absorbed by China. Sibur expects an annual increase of more than 6% in Chinese demand for polymers. The factory, which should eventually employ a thousand people, will accommodate up to 30,000 during its construction. One of the partners on the site will be the German Linde.

For Jean-François Dufour, this plant “  is part of a strengthening of cooperation between China and Russia, which has as its starting point the supply of energy, which today continues in this area of ​​chemistry. China can find supplies elsewhere than in Russia, but the fact of also having this Russian possibility allows it on the one hand to meet part of its needs and on the other hand, to negotiate with its other suppliers. It is a way for it to diversify its supplies and to be able to play this Russian card compared to its other partners in the rest of the world.  "

To read also: Inauguration of the new “Siberian Force” gas pipeline linking Russia and China

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