Thursday, November 5, 2015

[ Russian government to ensure import replacement in domestic technical textiles industry.]

The Russian government plans to focus on the development of the domestic technical textiles industry for the next several years. Technical textiles is considered the most promising segment of the Russian light industry, according to Denis Pak, head of the department of development of domestic trade, light industry and consumer market of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade. According to Denis Pak, linen and wool currently occupy a small share of the Russian market and it is steadily declining. In contrast to this trend, the consumption of polyester and viscose is steadily growing. Denis Pak, head of the department of development of domestic trade, light industry and consumer market of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade. “Historically, the Russian light industry was focused on natural raw materials, and in particular cotton, wool, linen, while the production of synthetic fibres and technical textile materials was insignificant. However, according to our calculations, technical textile industry could potentially provide the largest contribution to the national GDP and we are planning to focus on the development of this segment during the next several years,” commented Denis Pak. However, according to official data from the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, despite all the efforts that have been taken by the Russian government in recent years, the volume of the domestic technical textiles production still remains low, while up to 80% of the market accounts for imports. Still, according to the government’s plans, the current situation is going to be changed in the coming years. According to the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, the forthcoming implementation of a series of investment projects in the field of technical textiles in Russia should provide import replacement in the domestic technical textiles market that would amount to 70 billion rubles (US$1,2 billion) a year. It is expected that high demand for future technical textiles production will be evident in numerous segments of Russian industrial production, such as special protective clothing, the current consumption of which in Russia is by 3-4 times lower than in the EU states. The government also plans to allocate funds to further accelerate the R&D activities in the field of technical textiles and in particular those aimed at developing new types of synthetic fibres and yarns. It is planned that state funding will be provided to more than 30 scientific and industrial research centres in Russia and Belarus, which conduct research activities in this field. Successful completion of the research activities will allow to speed up the implementation of some important investment projects in the field of technical textiles that have been declared by the Russian government and private investors in recent years. The Russian government has great expectations about the building of the Ivanovo plant for the production of synthetic fibre, which should begin in the coming months. Inside production unit of Kurskhimvolokno enterprise. Due to the current financial crisis in Russia caused by sanctions imposed by Western countries, the implementation of the project that can become the most important project for the Russian technical textiles industry since the collapse of the USSR has faced serious difficulties, as Vnesheconombank, one of Russia’s largest banks, which should become the main lender of the project, had serious questions regarding the potential demand for future production of the plant. However, according to an official spokesman of the Ivanovo government, to date, all the financial issues have been resolved. The overall volume of investments in the project is estimated at RUB 20 billion (US$400 million). At the same time, in addition to Ivanovo project, the intention to establish new capacities of technical textiles was announced by SvetlogorskHimvolokno, one of Russia’s largest producers of artificial fibre. Valery Yudenko, head of SvetlogorskHimvolokno, said that the company plans to establish a new production of nonwoven polypropylene material during the next several months. The capacity of the plant at the initial stage will be 3000 tonnes with a possibility of a significant increase during the next several years. According to Yudenko, the majority of future production will account for membranes, both construction and hygienic. The new production will be used in the manufacture of sanitary goods, and diapers, as well as medical surgical kits, in particular. According to Dmitry Bisa, a senior engineer-technologist of SvetlogorskHimvolokno, the production of construction membranes will be executed using the method of ultrasonic adhesion, while hygienic membranes will be produced in the adhesive way. This will be a unique production that has no analogues in Russia. It will be officially commissioned in January 2016, while future production will be supplied both to the domestic and foreign markets. Finally, building of a large plant for the production of synthetic fibres and yarns will soon be started by LLC "Scientific and technical center" Elbrus, one of Russia’s largest research and production companies in the field of technical textiles. The new plant is expected to be built in the Kashira district of the Voronezh region. The volume of investments is 46 billion rubles, while the majority of funds are expected to be provided by state banks under the guarantees of the Russian government. The new plant will be located close to the Novovoronezh nuclear power plant, one of Russia’s largest nuclear power plants, which should ensure regular supplies of cheap electricity for its needs. The commissioning of the new plant is scheduled for 2018. The new plant has the capacity to produce up to 2,000 tonnes of hydrocellulose technical yarn, 100 tons of activated carbon fibre materials, as well as 60,000 tonnes of hydrocellulose rayon staple fibre per year. The new plant will be located on the area of 54 ha, while payback period of the project will be 5-10 years. It is planned that the commissioning of new production facilities will contribute to tightening of competition in the market. To date, the majority of Russia’s needs in technical yarn and chemical fibres has been met by Kurskhimvolokno enterprise, which was launched as far back as 1960. Author: Eugene Gerden

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