China launches investments in Belarus

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China is preparing to invest in a major bottle grade PET production project planned by the Belarus PET and polyester fibers producer Mogilevkhimvolokno to start up by 2016.

As part of a bi-lateral strategic partnership between the countries, Belarus invited the Chinese government to join in the construction of a new 200,000 metric tons per year PET plant at the state-owned polyester firm’s site in Mogilev, Belarus.

A draft partnership contract is being drawn up following a visit to Belarus by a top level Chinese delegation in June. Belarus Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich invited further discussion on details of the project when he met Chinese government members in the Belarus capital Minsk.

Belarus has already sealed a separate infrastructure investment deal with China to create the Chinese-Belarusian Industrial Park in the Smolevichi District near Minsk. Occupying 8,048 hectares the site will initially employ 25,000 people. The foundation stone was laid at a ceremony last month.

A Chinese partner company in the Szao Industrial Park Development, responsible for creating the Smolevichi park, is CAMC Engineering which is also reported to be involved in a fledgling PET joint venture with Mogilevkhimvolokno, according to Belarus media.    

Mogilevkhimvolokno, an offshoot of the state petrochemicals group Belneftekhim, aims to upgrade and expand its polyester production. The PET facility is one element of a new integrated PET and polyester fibres complex it plans, upgrading technology from a dimethyl terephthalate (DMT) raw material base to terephthalic acid (PTA).     

Mogilevkhimvolokno already signed an upstream partnership deal with the Kazakhstan oil and gas producer KazMunayGas (KMG) for the supply of intermediate paraxylene, required by the Belarus polyester complex.