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Eugene Gerden

Expert Opinion

14th March 2019, Moscow

SvetlogorskKhimvolokno announces significant expansion

The company aims to at least double its exports in the next several years. SvetlogorskKhimvolokno, one of the largest technical textiles and man-made fibres producers in Belarus, has announced plans for a significant expansion of its nonwovens production this year, with the aim of becoming a leading materials producer in the country by 2021.

The project is part of the company’s largest ever corporate programme set out in 2016, which involves investing up to US$ 300 million in further developing the company until 2020. The main priority of the programme is the increase of the technical textiles and nonwovens production, with a focus on materials with improved characteristics for various industrial applications.

In the case of nonwovens, the planned expansion involves the commissioning of a new production facility that will have the capacity to produce up to 20,000 tonnes of spunbonded and hydroentangled nonwovens per year at the initial stage, according to Alexander Nadeyko, Head of the Main Directorate for Prospective Development and Investments of Belneftekhim, a leading petrochemicals producer in Belarus and the parent company of SvetlogorskKhimvolokno. It is expected that the line capacity could be doubled during the next few years. The investment is estimated at BYR 50 million (US$ 25 million).

Most of the new line’s future output is expected to be supplied for the needs of the Belarusian construction industry, with the rest intended to be exported to the EU countries and the Asia Pacific region, particularly China, where the demand for Belarusian technical textiles and nonwovens has increased significantly in recent years.

The commissioning of the new line is part of SvetlogorskKhimvolokno’s ambition to become a leading producer of nonwovens in Belarus and one of the largest in Eastern Europe. As well as nonwovens, the company also plans to diversify its range. Last year it successfully increased its polypropylene fabrics production.

In addition, by the end of this year, a new large-scale production of high-strength polyester textile yarns will be launched by SvetlogorskKhimvolokno. The company also intends to increase the carbon fibres and viscose staple fibres production during the next several years. 

At present, SvetlogorskKhimvolokno is one of the most efficient nonwovens and technical textiles producers in Belarus. This is mainly due to a set of measures implemented by the company in recent years that resulted in the increase in production and the decline of costs.

The company’s current annual exports are estimated at US$ 100 million in value terms, however, the manufacturer aims to at least double this number in the next several years. Currently, the company supplies its products to more than 40 countries worldwide and is ready to expand the destination markets, with a special focus on the Asia Pacific region.

Finally, part of the investment will be dedicated to boosting the company’s research activities. SvetlogorskKhimvolokno is known for its innovation activities, which have resulted in the development of some innovative products in recent years. One of such products is an innovative smartphone cover. According to the company, a mobile phone placed in this cover is completely protected so the voice information and its transmissions cannot be intercepted by third parties via cellular channels.

The use of the cover also eliminates the possibility of detecting the location of the phone by blocking all incoming signals (GSM, GPS, etc.). It is made of carbon material based on viscose, which is capable of electromagnetic shielding in a wide frequency range (from 0.15 to 1000 MHz).

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