September 4, 2019 / 12:49 PM / 2 months ago

Russia's Sibur to slash LPG exports as it cranks up new Siberia plant

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Russia’s Sibur plans to reduce its exports of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to Europe to around 2 million tonnes next year as it holds back feedstock for its newly built plant in Siberia, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

Sibur exported 3.6 million tonnes of LPG last year and 1.9 million in the first half of 2019.

CEO Dmitry Konov told reporters the company planned to export slightly over 2 million tonnes of LPG to Europe next year mainly via the Baltic Sea port of Ust-Luga.

Sibur’s complex in western Siberia, known as ZapSibNefteKhim, will be one of the world’s five biggest petrochemical plants and is part of Russian plans to capture more value from the oil it produces.

Sibur will supply the plant with some of the LPG it produces. Konov said ZapSibNefteKhim was operating in test mode and is expected to reach its full production capacity in 2021.

Konov, asked if his company planned to join Irkutsk Oil Co in exporting LPG to China, said it was too expensive for Sibur to ship the petroleum gas there so the firm had no such plans.

Sibur’s owners include Leonid Mikhelson, head of gas firm Novatek, and Gennady Timchenko, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and owner of investment firm Volga Group.

Reporting by Olesya Astakhova; additional reporting by Damir Khalmetov; writing by Katya Golubkova; editing by Jason Neely

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