Chemical companies Rhodia and SIBUR announced they have signed a letter of intent to jointly develop specialty surfactants for the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) market—i.e., the regional organization consisting of former Soviet republics such as Russia, Belarus, the Ukraine and others. Such specialty surfactants particularly are used in the home and personal care, and oil and gas industries. According to Rhodia, the consumer demand for more sophisticated and segmented products such as shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, laundry and household detergents, and the need for high performance solutions in oil and gas extraction fields are driving volume growth of specialty surfactants in the CIS region.
Rhodia, as a leader in specialty surfactants, will reportedly provide expertise in surfactant technologies, knowledge of formulations and market applications, and its customer network, including key accounts with a strong presence in this region. SIBUR is a leading Russian and Eastern European leading petrochemical company that has vertically integrated production from gas processing to production of monomers, plastics and synthetic rubber. It will contribute its raw materials, production and logistics capabilities. With its longstanding experience of the Russian petrochemicals market, SIBUR will also support the development of the surfactants business in oil and gas markets in Russia and the CIS.
It is expected that the new 50:50 joint venture will site a local production in Russia at Dzerzhinsk, near SIBUR’s petrochemicals operations, 400 km east of Moscow, and is expected to be operational in 2013.