By Vladislav Vorotnikov, Russia correspondent
Nizhnekamsk, Russia - JSC Himtrast, a foam manufacturing company in the Urals, is targeting sales at converters in the Siberian region and expects to sell 1800 tonne/year into the region by the end of 2013, said Ruslan Eganov in an interview.
Himtrast has opened a warehouse for its rigid-foam polyols in Novosibirsk and has tested samples with local businesses, Eganov said.
"We found our first clients in the autumn of 2012, but found that despite the clear competitive advantages in price and quality, customers here are not willing to buy and ship products from Nizhnekamsk," Eganov said. Nizhnekamsk is Himtrast's main production site in the Urals.
He added that customers in "Novosibirsk, Omsk and Krasnoyarsk" found "vehicle transportation costs three to four times more expensive than rail and rail freight takes three to four weeks. Our competitors from other parts of Russia have already solved the problem by opening a store in Novosibirsk, the capital of Siberia, so did we."
The polyurethanes market in Siberia is rapidly developing, with annual demand growth between 10 - 15%/year, according to local data. Currently, there are few local players; one of the main ones is Dow-Izolan.
A delegation from Himtrast visited several companies that make pre-insulated pipes, panels and insulated pipe covering. including the largest player in this sector: Siberian Yard.
"All the companies we visited were happy that there was another supplier in their region and there would be a warehouse from which they could collect raw materials at any time," said Eganov.
Egaov said this is a good time to enter the Siberian market. He said Siberia is very promising and that foreign companies, particularly from China are likely to try to gain market share.
"We understood that if we did not come to Siberia with our developments and our products, the Chinese companies in a couple of years will conquer this market, and to win is always more difficult than to defend our own market. We will work here and look forwards to hitting our target of 150 tonne/month by the end of the year," said Eganov.