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Eugene Gerden

Expert Opinion

6th June 2017, Moscow

Moglino to become new centre of Russian technical textiles production

Moglino, a special economic zone located in Russia’s Pskov region, is expected to become one of the centres of technical textiles production in Russia in the coming years, thanks to the planned commissioning of at least two new production facilities by the end of this year.

The first of these facilities will be built by Istrem LLC, one of Russia’s leading technical textiles producers, which plans to invest up to RUB 1,2 billion (US$ 20 million) in the new plant. Under the terms of the project, this will be jointly implemented with Finentrep, a French executive consulting and project management company. The new factory will focus on the production of technical textiles with polyurethane covering.

Moglino special economic zone.

Istrem LLC hopes that the new plant will be officially commissioned in the middle of next year and will have the capacity to produce up to 1 million square metres of technical textiles per year. Finished products will be supplied for the needs of various industries.

It is planned that the new plant will be one of a kind in Russia and will supply its products both to domestic and foreign markets. The project will create more than 100 new jobs.

At the same time, a second facility for the technical textiles production in Moglino will be built by Strimteks, which is another leading Russian technical textiles producer. Similar to Istrem, the project will be implemented in the cooperation with the French investment company NEFI development, while the volume of investments is estimated at US$16 million at the initial stage.

Construction works will start by the end of this year. At the initial stage, the plant will produce up to 1.5 million square metres of technical textiles per year and will reach the capacity of 3 million square metres during the next 1,5 years. Future production will be supplied for the needs of the domestic and the EU markets.

According to Vincent Aubrey, head of NEFI Development, the range that will be produced at the facility will be fully innovative for Russia. He also added that the new material has many advantages, one of the most important of which is high fire stability. According to an official spokesman of Strimteks, future production of the plant can be used in building and finishing of public facilities and real estate, since it is non-toxic and does not support combustion. The enterprise will work exclusively with natural dyes.

The spokesman of the company also added that Strimteks will be able to fill the niche in the Russian market, as well as offer its new products to Western countries.

Moglino special economic zone.

Finally, in addition to two technical textiles facilities, a new plant for the production of continuous basalt fibre will be also established in Moglino by the local JSC Basalt Projects. The volume of investments in the project is estimated at RUB 2.7 billion, while building of the plant is expected to be completed by the beginning of 2019. According to the company, Russia currently produces about 3,000 tonnes of basalt fibre per year and there is a possibility that the launch of the new plant will allow to significantly increase these figures.

Prospects of technical textiles in Russia

In the meantime, implementation of these projects is part of the government plans for the development of technical textiles industry in Russia during the next several years, according to recent statements of the press-service of the Russian President Vladimir Putin. He made these announcements during the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, one of the most important annual business events in Europe, which concluded last week.

As part of these plans, a new road map for the development of technical textiles industry in Russia will soon be designed and sent to the Russian government for consideration. This has recently been confirmed by Pavel Konkov, the governor of the Ivanovo region.

According to Konkov, the new road map is known as TechNet, and its design will be carried out with the participation of Russia’s leading enterprises in the field of technical textiles and state analysts.

“In recent years technical textiles have become a basis of new technical solutions, which are used in many Russian industrial segments. The list of products, which involve the use of technical textiles in includes conductive elements, antennas, prosthetic blood vessels, road surfaces, so the creation of modern textile technologies is relevant for virtually all sectors of the Russian economy,” Pavel Konkov commented.

Currently, the Russian technical textiles industry experiences an investment boom, which is reflected by a significant increase of investment projects and the arrival of large-scale investors, both foreign and domestic. One of them is AFK Systema, Russian financial conglomerate, which is  owned by the Russian billionaire Vladimir Evtushenkov.

According to Mikhail Shamolin, president of AFK Systema, the current potential of the Russian technical textiles market is estimated at more than RUB 100 billion (US$2 billion).

“Currently, the annual volume of technical textiles imports in Russia is estimated at about RUB 95 billion (US$2 billion), the majority of which is still imported from China. At present, Russia mainly specialises in importing ready-made fabrics, which are further used for the production of clothing for army, police, and workers. Currently, the domestic special clothing market is very large both in volume and value terms. According to our plans, Russia has all the needed conditions for the production of these fabrics within the country, despite the fact that the country will have to continue imports of chemical yarns, due to the lack of strong domestic chemical production,” said Mikhail Shamolin.

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