PARIS - Rhodia and SIBUR have signed a letter of intent to create a joint venture in specialty surfactants. This alliance will focus on creating a leader in the CIS market, where specialty surfactants are used particularly in the home and personal care and the oil and gas industries. The surfactants sector is growing at more than six percent per year in this market.

Rhodia, as a worldwide leader in specialty surfactants, will provide its expertise in surfactant technologies, its knowledge of formulations and market applications, and its customer network, including global key accounts with a strong presence in this region.

SIBUR, a leading petrochemical company in Russia, will contribute its raw materials, production and logistics capabilities. With its longstanding experience in the Russian petrochemicals market, SIBUR will also support the development of the surfactants business in oil and gas markets in Russia and the CIS.

It is expected that the new 50:50 joint venture will site local production in Russia at Dzerzhinsk, near SIBUR’s petrochemicals operations, 400 kilometers east of Moscow. It is expected to be operational in 2013.