North West | Industry, manufacturing | Technology & innovation
Virial continues its $60m St. Pete nano-ceramics expansion
22 Aug '11
A new line to manufacture hi-tech nanostructured ceramics and metal ceramics has been just launched in St. Petersburg, RIA Novosti reports, citing a source in Russia’s nanotech giant, Rusnano.
Virial, one of Rusnano’s project companies, is the project owner.
“Virial products’ competitive advantages include increased durability, a broader-than-usual range of operating temperatures, and applicability in uses with intense abrasive and chemical impact,” Rusnano claims.
For the project with a reported $60m price tag, Rusnano anted up $23.2m; the rest came from co-investors that included Finnish PE fund CapMan and Russian company Siberian Organics.
The project team hopes that the launch of the new line will enable Virial to boost production to 1.2 million pieces this year already, thus increasing sales to $25+m, up 20% from last year, the source said.
Also this year, Virial has plans to secure a St. Pete special economic zone (SEZ) residency status and start in early 2012 construction of a new factory in the SEZ. According to Rusnano president Anatoly Chubais, this would help Virial reach its projected peak capacity of 2.5 million pieces a year by 2015 and ensure $96+m sales.
Set up in 1991, Virial makes wear-resistant parts and units using nanostructured ceramics and metal ceramics. With an estimated 40% of Russia’s market for submersible oil production pumps components, the firm reportedly has to compete with international suppliers of such products.
Rusnano approved its participation in Virial’s expansion project in mid-2009; Finland’s CapMan joined this past spring.
Rusnano in its present status has been in the market since March 2011 after the government-run nanotech corporation was reorganized. Now the joint-stock company, it is still 100% owned by the RF.