Petro-Gas Chemistry in Russia’s East: Growth Driver or Ballast?
The article discusses problems in the development of petro-gas (petroleum) chemistry in Russia’s East. The main modern features of the Russian petrochemical industry and key forks of further development are considered, taking into account the alternative of the domestic and foreign markets. Both sectoral and regional aspects of new projects are analyzed compared to the current foreign approaches to including petrochemicals in socioeconomic development of territories. A typical (model) project involving polymers for the conditions of the Far East is assessed from an economic standpoint, demonstrating its lagging efficiency due to high costs. The technological lag of the Russian petrochemical industry has been noted as one of the most important related problems, and some ways of overcoming it via import substitution combined with effective cooperation with foreign partners are indicated, including formation of industrial petrochemical clusters in the eastern regions of the country. The authors conclude that it is necessary to strengthen the coordinating role of the state in implementing expensive petroleum chemical projects in the East. This will make it possible to rationalize costs, increase the economic efficiency of projects, and expand the possibilities of interregional and intersectoral interactions.