The Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade has designed a package of measures, aimed at supporting the countryâ€™s technical textiles and nonwovens industries that is steadily growing. This is reflected by the number of new investment projects announced for implementation in recent months. The increase in production of technical textiles is part of the ambitious plans of the Russian government for the increase of the share of domestically made technical textiles - up to 80% of the local market by 2020.
Balashov textile mill (Baltex), one of Russiaâ€™s leading producers of technical textiles and nonwovens has recently announced one such project which involves investing up to RUB 10 billion (US$200 million) in the expansion of the production of polyamide fibres and fabrics during the next few years.
Implementation of the project has already been confirmed by Alexander Melnikov, director of Baltex and vice-president of the Russian Union of Chemists.
At present the company is experiencing a shortage of raw materials, which is preventing a further increase in production, but the commissioning of a new factory should help to partially solve this problem.
Currently the level of utilization of the companyâ€™s production capacities is estimated at 30%, however there is a possibility that this figure will significantly increase in the coming years. The increase in production of raw materials will create conditions for a significant increase of production of technical textiles by the company by 2017-2018.
Apart from Baltex, other leading Russian producers of technical textiles and nonwovens are Kuibyshevazot, Kurskhimvolokno as well as BTK Group, who have also announced their plans for Russian expansion.
According to Arina Slynko, board member at BTK, one of Russiaâ€™s leading technical textiles producers, the company continues to increase personnel for its new plant, which is located in the city of Shahty (Rostov region) and will specialize in the production of technical textiles. There is a possibility that the new plant may be already commissioned by the end of the current year.
At the same time, implementation of another large-scale industry project has already been started. The project is being executed by the National Investment and Finance Corporation (NIFC), one of Russiaâ€™s largest investment corporations, and involves the establishment of a large cluster for the production of textile and technical textile products in the Russian Ryazan region.
At present the Russian technical textiles market is estimated at RUB 70-80 billion (US$2 billion), of which the share of domestic production does not exceed 15% - 17%. The same situation is currently observed with the raw materials base, which is reflected by the fact that the share of imports of synthetic fibres and yarns in the domestic market is estimated at about 71% according to estimates by analysts of the Russian BTK Group,
Currently, foreign companies are still dominating the Russian market of technical textiles and nonwovens and many of which are considering further expansion. For example, US headquartered DuPont plans to build several facilities for the production of technical textiles and nonwovens in some cities in Siberia.
There is a possibility that similar plans may soon be announced by the Finlandâ€™s Ahlstrom Oyj Corporation, one of the EUâ€™s largest producers of glass fibre, which operates a plant for the production of glass cloth in the Tver region, which was opened in 2008.
At the same time US based companies Kimberly-Clark and Proctor & Gamble have been operating plants for the production of diapers in Russia and have also not ruled out the possibility of their expansion during the next few years.
So far, Russia has had only two projects, which have involved large-scale production of technical textiles, and in particular those, implemented by the BTK group in the Rostov region and a cluster for the production of polyester fibres in the Ivanovo region, which should be commissioned in 2016-2017.
The latter project is expected to be one of the most ambitious in the Russian technical textiles industry in recent years. According to Andrew Razbrodin, head of the Russian Union of Textile and Light Industry Producers (Soyuzlegprom), this is an extremely promising project and if everything goes ahead the new production will be able to reach its design capacity during the next 3-4 years. In this case, any false move can easily ruin the whole process.
According to Paul Konkov, the governor of the Ivanovo Region, local company Ivregionsintez, (which is responsible for the implementation of the project) has already completed investment documentation for the project and has already sent it for the consideration of Vnesheconombank, one of Russiaâ€™s largest banks, which is expected to provide the majority of funding for the project.
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