Russian polystyrene industry successfully manages with increasing output of standard products. The market is expecting a progress in the qualitative development.
VIII International Conference "Polystyrene and ABS- Plastics 2011" took place on Thursday, September, 20, 2011 at the Baltschug Kempinski Moscow Hotel. Sibur and Europlastic were golden sponsors of the Forum. The event passed with information center Cortes support. The polystyrene market is one of the few markets in Russian industries, which tendencies in development are stable and progressive. The audience of the conference is growing every year. From the middle of 2010 to the present the demand for all kinds of polystyrene is growing; construction industry and automobile industry show the biggest interest to this product. That`s why Creon company invited on the event representatives of all segments of the market: manufacturers, traders, distributers and processors. That was mentioned in welcome address by Sandjar Turgunov, CEO of Creon.
The review of the Russian polystyrene and ABS-plastics market that was made in collaboration of Creon and information center Cortes was presented by Anton Antonov, director of the conference. In 2010 there were produced 286 thousands tones of all kinds of polystyrene and ABS plastics in the country that is 12% more than in 2009. According to the forecasts for 2015, the total capacity for production of polystyrene and ABS plastics will be 277 thousand tons per year. The increasing of capacities is possible due to launch of new line of Expendable PS produced by Sibur-Khimprom and the growth of capacity of general-purpose polystyrene and Impact proof PS on Niznekamskneftekhim. This is especially important for Expandable PS, which output didn`t increase after the crisis. For impact proof polystyrene the situation is the opposite: in post-crisis period this kind of polymer has the maximum growth of capacities. There is also a tendency of export decrease, provided by recovery of consumers` activity and growth of demand on internal market. Mr. Antonov pointed out that export is reducing, and the main consumer (80%) of Russian polystyrenes outside of country is Belorussia. Generally it is typical for foreign trade to exchange brand products: export supply some brands are import supply other brands. Partly it is a result of lack or deficit of some high quality and special brands in Russia, partly - with distrust of Russian processors to Russian manufacturers. For example, despite the launch of new capacities for the production of Expendable PS in the country, import of this product has increased by 8% in 2010. Because of the decrease of building industry, where is polystyrene foam mainly used, the rapid restoration of the Expandable PS market is not expected in Russia; all the more this product compete with mineral wool and other alternative insulators. ABS-plastics are even more affected by import, because Korean LG Chem supplies half of the demand.
For the last year a great changes took place in the polystyrene foam market. In the end of the last year the new production of Expendable PS was launched by Sibur-Himprom in Perm. The launch of the new production has to improve reliability of quality polymer materials delivery to consumers and reduce the market dependence on import. Pavel Lyahovich, sales and marketing deputy director of plastics and organic synthesis Business Unit, told about perspectives of the Expendable PS Russian market development. According to him, the market growth is provided not only by increasing of construction, but implement energy efficiency programs. The main task now is to increase thermal efficiency of old houses that were built in Soviet Union period. This can provide full use of the second line of the production of Expendable PS with capacity of 50 thousand tones, which building is in progress now. The production will be started in 2012. The share of Sibur in Expendable PS market is 20%. Plastic factory in Uslovoy also produces Expendable PS. Alphapor Perm polystyrene is mainly used for insulation of buildings and also widely used in production of food packaging and decorative molded products.
Igor Nujdin, Senior Technician of Sibur-Khimprom enterprise, told about the launch of production of Expendable PS production. The construction of Expendable PS new facility with a capacity of 50 thousands in per year with Austrian technologies of Sunpor company began in 2008; start of the production began in November 2010. Mr. Nujdin reported about problems of the launching and about ways of solving them. Also the reporter answered questions of processors about rising of products quality.
The situation on European market of polystyrene is ambiguous, because the structure of demand differs depending on country. Tomash Biedrava, developing manager of Synthos, compared German and Polish polystyrene markets. The situation in Poland can be characterized as prevalence of quantity over quality: polystyrene is used in large quantities in construction area and packaging industry; in Germany there is a high proportion of more complex and high-quality styrene copolymers that are used in production of household appliances and cars. In European construction industry is mainly used Expendable PS with antipyretics; 42% of foam plastics are used in facade insulation, 21% - in floor insulation, 15% - in roof insulation.
Ruslan Borodin, Head of polystyrene production plant of the country`s largest producer, Nizhnekamskneftehim, declared about development of polystyrene production. The decision on creating polystyrene production was made in 2000, the launch of the first line was in 2003. Total capacity of the plant that produce more then 120 kinds of products is 180 thousands tones per year. The construction of the production line of ABS-plastics was begun in 2010. The basis of the production is HIPS and polystyrene of common use. Some of the marks are mainly used for interior cars trim, production of toys, packing, household appliances and electric appliance. Large-scale polystyrene processors (Indesit, Komus-upakovka), besides NKNH raw materials use also abroad production, because the plant can`t completely satisfy their needs.
The question of Russian polystyrene competitiveness also became the main theme of Maksim Nikiforov`s speech, Head of Sales department of company Evroplastik. According to Mr. Nikiforov the company provided half of deliveries of polystyrene in Russia in 2010. The situation with pricing in Russia, according to the expert, is composed of growing oil and gas prices, increasing of transportation rates that lead to unprofitableness of buying Russian raw materials. Besides Russian enterprises often don`t manufacture polystyrene which is necessary for processors. On top of that now is taking place strengthening of the ruble that provides the situation of increasing recourse to imported products mainly to Asian one. However Asian countries frequently demand prepayments, besides Russian manufactures can`t reckon on long-term contracts, and in addition delivery is carried out in 45 days. All this conditions provide the situation, in which processors purchase half of production from Russian manufactures and half from abroad manufactures. CEO of Evroplastik, Sergey Arbuzov, pointed out that the situation of ousting of import and its partial substitution by Russian production is possible only with continuous work of enterprises and the adjusted sales.
Purchasing department manager of the company Indesit International, Evgeniy Bukatin told about the choice of supplier and pointed out that still the company can`t replace definite brands of PS, purchased from Polimeri Europa, production of NKNH. The priority of imported production in this case is given due to the fact that processors are not able to work with raw materials that provide faultiness of products more than by 10%. However unlike the other large manufacturers of household appliances like LG, Vestel, Beco that work almost exclusively with foreign raw materials, Indesit purchases considerable part of production from NKNH (30-40%) and waits for the launch of manufacture of ABS-plastics on the enterprise.
Dmitriy Mihalidy, Head of TekhnoNIKOL XPS told about Ukrainian XPS market (extruded polystyrene). The company produces extruded polystyrene as well as mineral wool. According to the expert, 70% share of heat insulation material market in Ukraine is rock and glass wool, only 7% in XPS and 20% is EPS. Generally two thirds of XPS production in the CIS is shared by two companies: Penoplex and TekhnoNIKOL. On the base of these indicators its possible to suppose that Ukrainian and Russian markets now is in the stage when there is no understanding or possibility to use XPS as worthy replacement of wool, despite on the fact that this material provides preferably heat insulation. Still this material is widely used only in low-rise cottage construction.
Director of Polystyrene Manufacturers and Suppliers Association Yuri Savkyn also reported about advantages of use of polystyrene and its derivatives in low-rise building, which volumes recently have significantly increased. Besides, according to him, polystyrene is integrated into the energy-efficient technology solutions around the world. However in Russia the market of this polymer decreased from 6,5 billions cubic meters in 2008 to 4,6 billion cubic meters in 2009, now there is an increase of 10%, that is about 5.5 billion cubic meters. At the same time, three quarters of the market insulation is still occupied by glass wool and mineral wool. The share of EPS is only 16-18%, and XPS is about 9%. Such a low proportion of EPS is provided by the fact that this product is prohibited by Ministry of Emergency Situations for use in fa?ade strengthening. In connection with these events, the Association, in collaboration with several organizations, has prepared the first edition of the harmonized European polystyrene quality standard. In addition, to increase communication efficiency and to achieve common goals now is developed the Unified Code of Conduct for market of insulation materials participants.
Ivan Chernishov, Expert of Management Department of Investor Relations of SEZ IT Alabuga, told about activities of this special zone of industrial type. Alabuga was founded in 2005 and at the moment it is one of the most successful platform for organization of business, including manufacturers and suppliers of polystyrene products. Low rents and close location to NKNKh and to Naberezhnye Chelny, developed infrastructure, enterprises of automobile industry operating on the territory of the fleet, as well as nearby producing enterprises enhance attractiveness of area for investment in the processing of styrene copolymers to produce automotives and other products.
Despite on calm and positive atmosphere of the event, participants of the conference agreed that there is number of problems that are not being solving over the years. These is qualitative dominance of import, and unstable quality of final products, and the inability of Russian producers to satisfy the demand.