Chinese construction experts build massive polymer factory in Russia

The construction of one of the world’s largest multi-billion-dollar gas-chemical complexes is underway by the shores of the Baltic Sea, close to Russia’s seaport of Ust-Luga. /CGTN

By the shores of the Baltic Sea, close to Russia’s seaport of Ust-Luga, the construction of one of the world’s largest multi-billion-dollar gas-chemical complexes is underway.

The Chinese contractor, China National Chemical Engineering & Construction Corporation Seven, or CC-7, is constructing a significant part of the complex. At hundreds of hectares close to the Ust-Luga port, heavy machines shovel dirt, laying the foundation for future roads and setting the stage for the arrival of thousands of workers.

On one side of the construction site, the Chinese workers assemble the living quarters for their colleagues that would arrive here in September. This endeavor is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, projects in this industry in Russia. When finished by the Chinese contractors, it’s expected to turn vast quantities of natural gas into synthetic polymers.

The project’s owner is the Russian private company RusGasDobycha, which uses its natural gas resources from Siberia and the Yamal Peninsula. Their officials say the comprehensive processing of hydrocarbon raw materials in one complex is a first for the industry.

“This type of gas-chemical complex is being created for the first time in the world.” Konstantin Makhov, CEO of RusGasDobycha, told CGTN.

“It will become the largest in Europe to produce liquefied natural gas with its capacity of 13 million tons (11.8 million tonnes) of LNG (liquefied natural gas). It will also be the world’s largest single capacity unit for the production of polyethylene of various grades – about 3 million tons.”

The facility in Ust-Luga is expected to deliver around 3 percent of the world’s entire polyethylene production, from high-density to low-density polyethylene, vital for impact-resistant and non-corrosive plastic used in almost all kinds of products. The euro-denominated project is worth 12 billion euros, or 14.6 billion U.S. dollars.

China’s CC-7 sees its participation as key to boosting its position as a principal contractor. As the President of China’s CC-7, Long Haiyang, told CGTN.

“CC-7 will also help a large number of other Chinese enterprises go out and make themselves known abroad. We will further enhance the core competitiveness of our company, and at the same time promote Sino-Russian relations.”

Construction of the complex began earlier this year. As it ramps up, some 30,000 workers will be deployed. Mechanical completion of the project is scheduled for December 2023.


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