Plans for a major integrated PET polymer and bioriented PET film complex in western Russia were delayed after the company behind the project was forced to dispel local fears of environmental damage.
GC Titan JSC, behind the €258m Titan-Polymer project due to take shape in Russia’s Pskov region, was obliged to mount a large-scale public information campaign in response to alarm spread over possible pollution from the PET granule production unit.
Public concerns centred on a proposed site for the complex within the Moglino Special Economic Zone but situated close to the Tymshan poultry factory. Titan opened an information centre in Pskov city and its senior executives responded to fears voiced at protest rallies in the area.
Finally, Titan agreed to lease an alternative site for the complex with the Moglino SEZ. The Omsk, Siberia-based firm had hoped to launch the first phase of its two stage development, which comprises a two-line 70,000tpa BOPET film extruding plant, by this year.
However, Titan admitted its project has been set back several months after the prolonged process of concluding a suitable site. Group chairman Mikhail Sutyaginskiy said this month his group now expects to receive construction planning consent for the BOPET films operation by mid November.
Titan-Polymer had received formal public health safety approval for the BOPET films plant - a low risk category project - from the Russian authorities in September this year, according to its director German Petrushko.
The federal health and safety agency confirmed that a 100m wide sanitary protection zone around the BOPET films plant would be sufficient for the first stage of the development to be approved.
Once it gets the construction green light in November, Titan-Polymer aims to start work on the new site. It expects to complete the scheme’s films production unit by April 2020, Petrushko said in a recent interview.
He made clear Titan plans to start work on the PET polymer production phase of the scheme in 2020, once this has passed a formal environmental review and public hearings. He admitted fears had been expressed by residents and poultry plant workers of contamination if the PET complex was built nearby.
Titan-Polymer switched sites so as to “remove any questions about the sanitary protection zone around the production of PET granules”, Petrushko explained.
The initial development phase of the industrial complex includes two 35,000tpa BOPET film lines supplied by the German supplier Dornier. Phase two of the project, primarily the core 170,000tpa PET polymer plant, also includes a pilot plant to develop co polyesters with particular properties.
The Titan-Polymer complex, set to be fully operational by 2022, is the key import-substituting industrial project of the Moglino SEZ. This complex is set to create a total of 500 jobs directly, with up to 2,000 to follow on as the processing cluster grows around it.
Moglino SEZ, covering 215ha, straddles the main highway route between St Petersburg and the Latvian capital Riga. It is a zone aimed at attracting in particular enterprises within the automotive, electrical and agricultural equipment as well as construction materials sectors.
Currently, it is accommodating 11 industrial operations established by companies from Russia, France, Finland, Germany and the UK.