RUSNANO to Invest in Production of Flexible Polymer Packaging

22 October 2009

The Supervisory Council of RUSNANO has approved the corporation’s participation in a project to establish Russia’s first full-cycle production of flexible barrier polymer packaging for consumer products. By modifying polymer materials with nanocomposites of its own production, this project will obtain new properties for its output and lower manufacturing costs.

Nanocomposites based on polymers and ceramics combine qualities of both heterogeneous elements: the flexibility, resilience, and processing properties of polymers with the hardness, temperature stability, and resistance to wear and tear characteristic of ceramics.

Nanocomposites in this project will be fabricated using a unique technology developed with the the Institute of Solid State Chemistry and Mechanochemistry, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
With realization of the project, new materials—flexible barrier polymer packaging and foamed polymer materials modified with nanocomposite—will be brought to the market.

Polymer film to be produced under the project will be used to make packaging for synthetic detergents, meat products, milk, and pasta, all items in mid-barrier packaging segment. (In April 2009 the Supervisory Council of RUSNANO approved the Danaflex project to manufacture high-barrier film packaging.) Application of the new technology will reduce cost of production while deriving material with mid-barrier properties to replace more costly traditional barrier products—polyamide, EVOH, and PVdC among others.

The project will be carried out in three stages. In the first (2009–2011), research and development of formulations for nanocomposites and their derivatives will be completed. Equipment required for production will be purchased and installed at the manufacturing facility in Sverdlovsk Oblast. During the second stage (2011), commercial output will be brought to 20,000 tons per year. In the third stage (2011–2014), the project company plans to increase its domestic market share of flexible barrier packaging and enter the world market.
Total investment in the project will be 2.3 billion rubles. RUSNANO will invest 576 million rubles in owners’ equity of the project company and provide a loan of 250 million rubles. Project co-investor Uralplastic will invest movable property and non-material assets valued at 624 million rubles. The project company will attract third-party financing in the form of leasing for production equipment worth up to 850 million rubles.

“In packaging, the direction of greatest interest is devising and developing efficient technologies for production of barrier materials and packaging made with them. The most promising area in the field today is modification of polymers with nanocomposites. Use of the project’s technology in producing flexible polymer packaging will give the end product high barrier characteristics, improve its physical-mechanical properties, and reduce cost of production,” RUSNANO Managing Director Konstantin Demetriou explained.