The Russian government has withdrawn the 6.5% export duty on polyethylene, with effect from May. The SIBUR holding had been lobbying for the removal of the export duty. Currently, its exports are insignificant, but are likely to increase with its recent acquisition of Kazanorgsintez.
In 2007, Russia produced 645,600 tons of high-pressure PE and exported 124,600 tons, and produced 600,600 tons of low-pressure PE and exported 106,000 tons. The largest consumers of Russian polyethylene in 2007 were Ukraine with 74,200 tons, China with 51,600 tons, Turkey with 21,200 tons, Kazakhstan with 16,600 tons and Belarus with 14,500 tons.
The SIBUR holding (through its Tomskneftekhim company) is the main Russian producer of the polymer and accounts for 45% exports. It is followed by Kazanorgsintez, Salavatnefteorgsintez, the Angara Petrochemical Complex and Ufaorgsintez. SIBUR does not produce low-pressure polyethylene. The leading producers of that substance are Stavrolen (controlled by LUKOIL) and Kazanorgsintez. SIBUR has an ambitious new program for polyethylene export in conjunction with Gazprom. It plans to invest 236 million rubles to study the feasibility of a 450,000-500,000 tpa polyethylene plant using feedstock supplied by the natural gas monopoly's subsidiary Astrakhangazprom. Production capacity is being increased at Tomskneftekhim and a facility to produce 600,000-650,000 topa of polyethylene using raw material from Orenburggazprom is under consideration.