Reliance-Sibur JV to start butyl rubber plant in Gujarat

Mumbai: The Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) said on Wednesday it has signed an MoU with Russian petrochemicals major Sibur to set up South Asias first butyl rubber halogenation unit at the Indian firm’s refinery site in Jamnagar, Gujarat.

“Reliance Industries Ltd. and Russian petrochemical giant Sibur signed a memorandum of understanding at the recently-concluded Vibrant Gujarat Summit at Gandhinagar, to set up South Asia’s first butyl rubber halogenation unit at RIL’s integrated petrochemical site in Jamnagar, Gujarat,” an RIL release here said.

The unit will produce 60,000 metric tonnes of halogenated butyl rubber, a key ingredient for manufacturing the inner liner of tubeless tyres, every year under Reliance Sibur Elastomers Pvt Ltd (RSEPL) – a joint venture (JV) of which RIL owns 74.9 per cent and Sibur 25.1 per cent, it said.

“Apart from the planned halogenation unit, the JV owns a 120,000 metric tonnes per annum butyl rubber plant, currently under construction at the same venue which will provide the necessary butyl rubber feed to the halogenation unit,” the statement added.

“Construction of the butyl rubber plant is in full swing at Jamnagar, and its commissioning targeted for 2018,” RIL said.

“Production from RSEPL will substitute imports and reduce outflow of valuable foreign exchange from India, providing impetus to the government’s Make in India initiative,” it added.

“RSEPL’s halogenated butyl rubber plant will be well-poised to capitalise on the significant surge in regional demand in tyre and pharmaceutical industries. India is expected to see a quantum jump in tyre production, with tyre majors gearing up to make capital investments of Rs 15,000 crore,” RIL Executive Director Nikhil Meswani said in the statement.

“India offers attractive investment opportunities given the growing local demand for synthetic rubbers and Gujarat’s’favourable investment environment. Sibur has a long track record of successful cooperation with RIL and Gujarat’s’government, which has provided us with a solid basis for expanding our footprint in India,” said the Sibur management board Chairman Dmitry Konov.