SIBUR plans MTBE expansion at Togliattikauchuk

Russian conglomerate OAO SIBUR Holding, Moscow, has started preparatory work for a project designed to expand production capacity for methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) at its Togliattikauchuk petrochemical complex in Togliatti in Russia’s Samara region.

The project, which involves construction of a new unit, will increase MTBE production capacity at the plant to 135,000 tonnes/year from its current 75,000 tpy, SIBUR said.

As part of the expansion, SIBUR will install 58 pieces of equipment, as well as upgrade existing equipment, with automated process-control systems to improve efficiency and safety at the site, the company said.

Feedstock for Togliatti’s expanded MTBE production will come from the plant’s own output of isobutane–isobutylene fraction, which SIBUR said it will boost to 130,000 tpy from its current 105,000 tpy.

Preparation of the construction site is under way, as is development of project documents for an upcoming tender the company plans to issue for the purchase long-lead equipment, SIBUR said.

The expansion project comes as part of SIBUR’s company-wide initiative to expand its MTBE production capacities to help meet industry demand in regional fuel markets for octane-enhancing additives, the petrochemical producer said.

SIBUR disclosed no details regarding when the expanded plant would be commissioned.

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