Gazprom Neft and SIBUR Consolidate Efforts on Legislative Recognition of Compulsory Use of Polymer Bitumen

Moscow, August 11, 2009: JSC Gazprom Neft and OOO Sibur conducted a regular meeting of the working group on joint participation in promotion of polymer bitumen binders (PBB) substantially improving automobile roads’ quality and lifespan.

The participants of the meeting, involving representatives of JSC Soyuzdornii, discussed the issues of PBC production units launching and operating in the cities of Ufa (the Republic of Bashkiria), Bogoroditsk (the Tula Region) and Ivanteevka (the Moscow Region) in 2H2009. Production of PBB will be performed at the said units using DST-30-01 thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) produced by a SIBUR’s subsidiary JSC Voronezhsintezkauchuk.

In course of the work group meeting, the parties outlined further steps to be made in the sphere of cooperation with the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation within the framework of a draft polymer asphalt concrete GOST reviewing.

In April 2009, following the appropriate tests performance, there was a favorable conclusion on the utilization of Russian brands of TEPs for bitumen modification gained from the Dorservis Test Center Scientific and Research Oganization based in the city of Pavlovsk.

The working group intends to keep on working on PBB producers’ personnel advance training and undertake further seminars on the issues of PBB production, transportation, and storage and quality inspection.

Reference

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.