Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and its Russian partner Sibur have begun construction of a $450 million butyl rubber plant at Jamnagar in Gujarat.

RIL and Sibur, Eastern Europe's largest maker of petrochemicals, had last year formed a joint venture company—Reliance Sibur Elastomers Pvt Ltd. (RESPL)— with a view to become the fourth largest global supplier of butyl rubber. “RSEPL on Friday began construction of their new butyl rubber plant, in Jamnagar,” RIL said in a statement here.

The JV will manufacture 100,000 tonnes of butyl rubber per year to meet demand for synthetic rubber from the Indian automotive industry, whose current requirement for more than 75,000 tonnes per year is satisfied by imports.

RIL owns 74.9 per cent in the JV, while Sibur has the remaining. “When commissioned in 2015, the new plant will be India's only manufacturer of butyl rubber and the JV will be among the world's top five manufacturers of butyl rubber,” the statement added.

RIL and Sibur have signed a technology licence agreement that allows the use of the Russian firm's proprietary butyl rubber production technology at the new facility. The Mukesh Ambani-run firm will supply monomer and provide the JV with world-class infrastructure and utilities.

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