Jul 3

Sibur, Technip to License Technology For Better Plastic

Stephen Bierman
Jan 13, 2022
Image: Sibur

Sibur, the Russia-based petrochemicals giant, has announced an agreement with Technip Energies to license technology for a co-monomer that can reduce the amount of plastic required in some goods while retaining their quality.

The technology known as HEXSIB applies to making 1-hexene, a co-monomer used to make LLDPE and HDPE, two polymers that are key to many plastics. The partners expect to produce licensing agreements with international polyolefin makers and seeks to integrate the Sibur technology into complex design solutions to build new manufacturing capacities for advanced polyethylene grades.  

For Sibur, the partnership with global engineering company Technip marks the expansion of its ‘chemical tech’ solutions abroad. And this is good news for the global industry, as HEXSIB promises to create economic gains. While requiring less capital intensive equipment, it ensures high energy efficiency and low feedstock consumption compared with alternatives. It is able to produce polymer-grade hexene at a high selectivity, minimising the output of other olefins.

“SIBUR’s HEXSIB improves carbon efficiency and creates opportunities for efficient polymer production,” said Stan Knez, Technip’s Senior Vice President of Process Technology.                      

Petrochemical manufacturers globally have come under pressure to strengthen their sustainability credentials as countries battle mounting plastic waste. Plastics themselves offer a cheap and versatile solution to almost every modern-day need, from sterilization in medicine to food preservation, packaging and construction. Yet waste disposal and reducing emissions tied to production have become prominent regulatory issues.

Corporates have sought to ensure that they do not become a victim of their own success as proper waste disposal, recycling and other environmental issues gain focus. By making superior products in a more sustainable way, Sibur’s technology helps in this regard. The company itself has also focused on boosting its ESG (environment, social, governance) performance in addition to moving forward with research and technical advances.

Sibur announced today that its board had adopted a diversity and inclusion policy as part of the company’s broader sustainable development plan. The policy expresses Sibur’s commitment to the relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals and principles set out in the UN Global Compact and underpins its aspiration to promote diversity among employees at all levels, according to a company statement.

ESG has come under the spotlight in Russia and other emerging markets in recent years, as challenges tied to climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic brought corporate responsibility to the fore. Sibur became one of the first Russian companies to adopt a sustainable development policy in 2019. Most recently, the company strengthened its carbon emissions targets and launched a net-zero collaboration platfrom to help top global chemical companies coordinate climate change responses.

The move to license its HEXSIB technology internationally shows that Sibur is pursuing the sustainability agenda through market methods as well.

Stephen Bierman

Stephen Bierman is a finance and energy reporter with over 15 years of experience, including at Bloomberg News and Energy Intelligence.

Tweets at: @StephenBierman1

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