Hungarian oil and gas company MOL is building a rubber bitumen plant in the Republic of Tatarstan with the support of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The project will be implemented in partnership with TATNEFT, one of Russia’s largest oil and gas companies. Set to be completed in the first half of 2023, the new plant will have the capacity to produce 25,000 tonnes of rubber bitumen a year.
The official ceremony – attended by Rustam Minnikhanov, President of Tatarstan and Member of the Board of TATNEFT, Péter Szijjártó, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Nail Maganov, CEO and Member of the Board of TATNEFT – has started the joint project implementation.
The companies will build a rubber bitumen plant at the TANECO refinery complex – a subsidiary of TATNEFT – in the Republic of Tatarstan, about 1,000 kilometres from Moscow.
MOL and TANECO have agreed to establish a joint venture to build the plant, to produce and sell rubber bitumen, and to sell MOL’s technology license in the Commonwealth of Independent States. Fifty-one per cent of the joint venture share will belong to the MOL Group.
The total cost of the investment is estimated at around 11 million euros. The Hungarian Export Promotion Agency (HEPA) will provide a non-refundable loan to cover 50 per cent of the project’s total cost.
Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Péter Szijjártó underlined that a new chapter has begun in the history of Hungary’s open economy with the emergence of large Hungarian companies that establish a strong presence in foreign countries with competitive investment projects.
The investment is in line with MOL Group’s updated 2030+ SHAPE TOMORROW strategy, as the company aims to support the shift towards a more circular economy. The patented technology of rubber bitumen, which is the result of a collaboration between MOL and Hungary’s Pannon University, is a good example of this.
MOL’s technology can be used to build more durable asphalt roads (rubber bitumen has about 1.5 times longer lifecycle compared to conventional road construction bitumen) with higher load capacity and lower maintenance costs. It’s also produced using environmentally friendly technology and recycles waste rubber materials in accordance with EU guidelines. MOL is already operating a rubber bitumen plant in Hungary.
The rubber bitumen plant is the first downstream cooperation of MOL Group in the Commonwealth of Independent States. The Hungarian group has been present in the region for several decades, but so far it has mainly carried out upstream activities there.