Gazpromneft BM, operator of the Gazprom Neft bitumen business, has completed the initial phase of modernisation of the Ryazan Bitumen Binders Plant. Work to be undertaken during the second phase of the project envisages the automation of production as well as the establishment of a scientific—research centre. Total investment to 2020 is expected to reach RUB300 million.
The first phase of the investment programme, the core objective of which is technological improvements in production and product distribution, has seen the plant facilitating the pouring of bitumen materials into a technologically innovative form of packaging, Clovertainers,* and their transportation by rail. Packaging of products for transportation by road has also been automated. The fulfilment of a project on improving the quality of high-technology bitumen materials has allowed the company, from as early as 2014, to develop bespoke blends consistent with specific orders, and to commence production of new brands of polymer-modified bitumen binders (PMBs)** meeting Russian and European quality standards. Total production of PMBs in 2014 increased by more than one third year-on-year, exceeding 33,000 tonnes.
The second phase of the investment programme envisages the plant being further equipped with the latest technologies, as well as the establishment of the company’s own scientific—research centre for the development and implementation of cutting-edge technologies in the production of bitumens, PMBs, bitumen emulsions, and the by-products of these. The laboratory at the Ryazan plant is expected to investigate not just the characteristics and properties of bitumen binders, but also asphalt concrete produced with the application of PMBs.
Anatoly Cherner, Gazprom Neft Deputy CEO for Logistics, Processing and Sales commented: “Gazprom Neft’s strategy is focussed on achieving technological leadership in the Russian bitumens market. To that end, we are constantly implementing the most advanced technologies, and continually improving the operational effectiveness of the company’s bitumens business, to ensure we can provide our clients with high-tech materials in the construction of modern, high-quality roads. Experts expect the use of polymer-modified bitumens in road construction throughout Russia to increase more than three-fold by 2025.”
Established in October 2014, Gazpromneft Bitumen Materials (Gazpromneft BM LLC) is a subsidiary of Gazprom Neft, specialising in the production and sale of bitumen products and leading the domestic market, achieving sales of 1.8 million tonnes of bitumen materials in 2014. The company’s key production facilities are based in the Moscow, Omsk, Yaroslavl and Ryazan Oblasts, as well as in Serbia and Kazakhstan. The company produces road, construction and roofing bitumens, as well as polymer-modified bitumens and binders (specifically G-Way Styrelf), and a range of emulsions and fillers.
GPN uses a variety of transport solutions to ensure the supply of bitumen materials throughout Russia, the CIS, and abroad. The company’s facilities in Omsk, Yaroslavl and Ryazan are equipped with specialist packaging production lines allowing the transportation of bitumen products throughout the country’s most remote and inaccessible regions.
* The Clovertainer® is a 1,000-litre-capacity laminated carton. Packaging bitumens in Clovertainers allows the transportation, storage and preservation of bitumens with no loss of quality, allowing their long-distance delivery, year-round.
* Polymer—bitumen binders are based on traditional bitumens, with the addition of styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) polymers and a plasticizer. Polymer—bitumen binders demonstrate better quality in comparison with traditional bitumens, including greater resistance to warping, better endurance under extreme temperatures, and greater resistance against deterioration.
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