Polymer bitumen binder (PBB) is one of the compounds of modern roads bituminous surfacing carpet, which prolongs the roads’ lifespan from 3-4 years (with road bitumen) to 7-10 years. PBB manufacture involves styrene butadiene thermostatic elastomers, which adds enhanced characteristics to conventional bitumen. PBB significantly upgrades the pavement’s strength, cracking resistance, heat resistance, shear resistance, water resistance and frost tolerance. While using PBB, the appreciation, however, does not exceed 1 per cent of the automobile road construction budget.
Utilization of PBB serves the purposes of the state target program for Development of the Transport System in Russia, pursuant to which there should be little less than 20 thousand kilometers of up-to-date automobile roads constructed within the country by 2030. The existing practice of conventional bitumen utilization in road construction leads to rapid road bed wear resulting in the state funds steering into roads repairs rather than into new roads construction. Using PBB in the process of old roads repairs provides for rarer roads repairs, while the released funds can be spent on construction of new routs capable of unclogging old roads and extending their lifespan.
The practice of PBB use is widely spread in the USA, Europe and China. In Russia, there is a special GOST R 52056-2003 “On Polimer Road Bitumen Binders on Basis of Block Copolymers of Styrene Butadiene Styrene Type” accepted aimed at extensive use of modern scientific achievements in the sphere of road construction.
SIBUR projects to extend the capacities of its subsidiary JSC Voronezhsintezkauchuk by means of building a new TEP production facility. There was a license agreement on transfer of production technology of thermoplastic elastomers complying with the best world practice signed between the Company and a Taiwanese TSRC Corporation.
Gazprom Neft keeps working on PBB production organization at the Omsk Refinery (SIBUR is to come out as the key polymer raw materials supplier). Besides, on July 23, 2009, the Company concluded an Agreement for Cooperation with the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation in the sphere of production and use of oil road bitumen of new generation in Russia. In particular, the Ministry of Transport together with Gazprom Neft plans to jointly enhance the system of bitumen materials production and execute activities on improving of the bitumen materials and road construction quality. Besides, the parties will develop cooperation in the sphere of building of bitumen materials production units within the areas of active road construction in Russia.
SIBUR together with Gazprom Neft takes measures on PBB promotion project. To this effect, at the beginning of 2009, there was a special working group set up, which also included JSC Soyuzdornii’s and FGU Rosdortekhnologiya’s representatives.