The Russian chemical industry is having a difficult time importing machinery and equipment due to the sanctions that have been imposed on Russia. These sanctions, primary imposed by the US and EU, are concentrated on high-powered individuals within the country. However, the sanctions also include bans on imports of particular oil production and exploration equipment, arms and other dual-use technologies that are used in the chemical industry.
Many chemical production companies in Russia have already had interruptions or total suspensions of deliveries of equipment from the EU. These disruptions are preventing chemical production plants from employing modernization techniques which have been a major focus in recent years. President of the Russian Union of Chemists, Victor Ivanov, says that most of the largest chemical manufacturers in Russia have bought brand new equipment in order to complement their production processes around the world.
Ivanov states that a large proportion of the equipment is bought at exhibitions such as Interplastic in Moscow. Unfortunately, because of the difficulty the industry is having with imports, the volume of equipment that will be presented in 2015 will be greatly reduced, and this will limit the ability of chemical companies to access the most innovative machinery. Ivanov also says that the sanctions imposed on Russia have suspended imports of several high-tech chemical products. This suspension includes specialty chemical products along with chemical reagents.
Farid Minigulov, who is the General Director of Kazanorgsintez, the leading polyethylene producer in Russia, says that the sanctions have had an impact on the amount of documentation and paperwork its trade partners require. According to Minigulov, company suppliers and partners involved with imported spare parts and equipment now require additional documentation and paperwork, because they are being pressured by their governments – particularly in the EU. This is especially true of partners in Germany, as this is where the majority of chemical equipment suppliers to Russia is located.
Minigulov says that they want to see certificates and other documents that confirm the products and equipment Kazanorgsintez require are not dual-purpose and will not be used for any type of military operation, or as military equipment. Additionally, some equipment is not exported to Russia at all even though it does not have much to do with dual-purpose products, says Minigulov. The Russian Union of Chemists claims that the sanctions are also beginning to affect the supplies of some of the raw materials that are needed in the chemical production industry. Not only is trade related to equipment being impacted, but the supply of catalysts, specialty oils and other similar products is also being affected.