The 50,000 tpa EPS unit, located at Perm in Russia's Ural mountain region, represents the initial stage of a project which will eventually have a 100,000 tpa capacity.
Khimprom is targeting the domestic market through 2011 aiming to reduce Russian imports of the material from Europe and Asia. The plant's output of its Alphapor products will be used for applications including food packaging and wall and ceiling insulation in the construction sector.
The new facility, which cost around €44.5m to set up, is making use of technology developed by the Norwegian company Sunpor Technology, part of the Sunde group.
The EPS unit launch coincided with the completion of a new 220,000 tpa ethyl benzene raw materials plant, replacing a 120,000 tpa facility with outdated technology, as well as a 135,000 tpa styrene production unit, based on a reconstructed and expanded 100,000 tpa plant.
"The new 'Alphapor' polymer insulation, manufactured under European license, increases the energy efficiency of housing when properly used. In addition, the technological updating of the Perm site substantially reduces the negative impact on the environment," commented Sibur group's president Dmitry Konov.