Aleksandr Kurganov, Chairman of the Association and General Director of Solagran Son noted that the association enables its participants to stay within one information realm, exchange practical experience on the market, interact with large customers and together search for applications of closely related products developed b y different companies. The association has all necessary expertise – from design and research to engineering and manufacturing of final high-margin products for domestic and foreign markets.
Members of the association highlighted several important trends, currently affecting the business. The first is that chemical industry is entering the ranks of high growth industries in Russia (annual growth of 7%), deploys new manufacturing facilities and successfully sells chemical products. The second trend is that the Volga regions have increased their activity in offering relocation benefits to companies that would like to relocate or deploy new facilities: Significant tax benefits, reduced administrative barriers and other services.
The third trend is that petroleum industry is once again putting priority on the quality of products even despite its high cost. As a reminder, in April this year, Reasib became the resident of the northern site of the Tomsk industrial park with its manufacturing project of low viscosity oil for drilling muds for petroleum industry. At the same time, further development of fine chemicals companies in the Tomsk region may be related to the development of deep oil refining resulting in high-margin products. It is important to note that one of the Association members has a highly deployment-ready investment project to launch production of catalysts in the Tomsk region.
The fourth trend is that member-companies retain their connection to industrial clusters of the Tomsk region in the form of joint initiatives and projects. For example, Solagran has joint work with Asino pulp and paper plant on the launch of a new project.
The fifth trend is that expertiese is being created in the R&D sector, including Tomsk State University, on the interaction with the industry. This was reported by Oleg Magaev, Head of Catalytic research laboratory of TSU. According to him, over the last two years the university opened four new laboratories, created a chemical center for applied research, actively worked with its industrial partners resulting in more contracts and the number of partners. Scientific and laboratory infrastructure has been significantly modernized. According to Mr. Magaev, the laboratory currently has wide range of contemporary equipment for analysis and research enabling it to attract professionals and improve the quality of R&D.
The Association members also highlighted a series of problems that hinder the development of the industry. In particular, Russia has no raw materials for tests and no transportation companies that can transport hazard class 3 assorted cargo, as well as license limitations and unavailability of tax benefits that would reduce the payback time of a project to two years or less.
Liana Kobzeva, President of the Association, noted that in the long-term perspective those sectors of economy win, in which business relied on soft consolidation of interest in the form of association, entrepreneurial clubs, industrial and cross-industrial unions. At the same time, the full-fledged program of association’s activities is elaborated on its 2nd-3rd year of operation. According to Ms. Kobzeva, special attention will be paid to interaction of the association and regional authorities to improve investment environment for fine chemical industry companies.
As a reminder, the Association of fine chemical industry manufacturers was established in 2016. The decision to establish it was made during the strategical session on the updating of INO Tomsk Concept roadmap. The Association aims to develop partnerships among small and medium fine chemical companies to implement hi-tech industrial projects using the intellectual property of companies, universities and scientific organizations to develop petrochemical industry in the Tomsk region.