Krakow, Poland – Egida plans to build a new facility near Moscow by the end of 2019 or by mid-2020, according to Timofey Kalinin.
Kalinin is chief of the innovation department of the Egida Group of Companies. He said his firm was hopes to make a decision on purchasing a machine at the upcoming UTECH Europe 2018 meeting in Maastricht.
A large mattress producer will build the factory in cooperation with Egidain Kovrov, about 260 km east from Moscow. 'The firm is growing and we want to be a real partner for them,' Kalinin said.
The plant will have capacity for around 20 kT/year polyurethane foam. Initially, the plant will produce around 12 kT/year and production will ramp up to fill the new capacity over time, he said.
Because space is tight, the factory is designed over two floors, said Kalinin. Viscofoams and other speciality grades will be made there.
Egida will make its own ancillary equipment such as racking, because its owners and senior managers come from an aero-engineering background.
Kalinin said that new factory will bring the company's number of foaming locations to three. The company also foams at Karaganda, Kazakhstan. This is 'well positioned to supply the large cities of Siberia'.
The new plant builds on Egida's presence in Moscow where it has operated a cutting plant since 2015. Compressed material is shipped from Kazan to the Moscow factory.
In 2017 the firm produced 34 kT foam across two plants, one in Kazan: the other in Kazakhstan. 'We did well' in 2017 Kalinin said.
The company grew 23% in 2017 compared with the previous year. . The growth came through working with top customers, a debottlenecking in Kazan.
'We decided to push the prices to reflect the price of isocyanate but we tried to protect the customers as much as possible. At the recent Mebel exhibition in Moscow, we had a presentation with our TDI suppliers and our customers. At the end of the presentation, our customers understood why prices were rising.'
Egida estimates show that the firm's share of the Russian market increased from 26% in 2016 to 33% in 2017. The company produces 48 grades of foam, but it simplified its offering in 2017. 'We pushed out the 16kg/m3 foam from our portfolio,' Kalinin said.
In the future the firm has would like to work with the Russian polyurethane foam association to build and improve the image of polyurethane in the country. 'We need to educate customers because the supply chain hides us from the end user.'
The company is aims to take a higher profile in the coming months with downstream customers.
Kalinin was speaking on the fringes of the EuroPUR annual meeting which was held in Krakow, Poland 12-13 April 2018.