New horizon: TAIF and Linde choose development vector until 2025
By preliminary estimates, investments in joint projects total €12bn
Tatarstan became the leader of the rating on the state of investment climate among Russian regions. Mainly flagship industries provide the attractiveness of the republic for investments. Particularly, a promising memorandum on strategic cooperation between TAIF Group of Companies and Linde AG was signed on the leading world site of business circles – at Petersburg International Economic Forum — to realise several investment programmes. Realnoe Vremya tells what the agreements signed by directors of the two big holdings in the presence of Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov and Prime Minister of Bavaria Horst Seehofer include.
15-year preparation for project
At the beginning of June, Christian Bruch who is responsible for Engineering Division and Director General of TAIF PJSC Albert Shigabutdinov signed a memorandum defining key areas of their joint work until 2025. As Realnoe Vremya told earlier, the memorandum means several contracts on gases division, technical gases and, most importantly, four stages of Ethylene Complex of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC, which is part of TAIF Group. A basic agreement on design and start-up of the first stage of Olefin Complex with a capacity with 1,200 tonnes of ethylene – new EP-500 factory – became the first step of the memorandum. Director General Albert Shigabutdinov told the preparation for the project of Olefin Complex had been lasting for 15 years and had been especially intense in the last 10 years. ''These efforts paid back by the first serious contract at almost €1bn,'' Albert Shigabutdinov said. He noted that tens of companies were candidates to this project first, but the German company was chosen. It offered best technologies at a reasonable price.
''It seems to everyone that we just upped and signed. But it is a huge job, it required a lot of energy, moral and physical strength, knowledge, meetings. We needed to go through many things, accomplish small projects first to gain experience and sign such a document. I think the projects will show high competitiveness not only in the country but also worldwide from the beginning,'' the TAIF director general forecasts. As far as it is known, the complex will consist of four stages 600,000 tonnes of ethylene per year each together with high marginal polymer manufacturing units where ethylene will be the basic feedstock. The sides agreed that Linde would help TAIF in further realisation of the second, third and fourth stages to produce high value added petrochemical goods.
According to the director general of Nizhnekamskneftekhim, at the moment, the company has to provide the financing of the project: together with the German side, they need to obtain confirmation of financing from investment insurance agencies, to get approval from banks. Then design works will start. Nizhnekamskneftekhim will have to create the design documentation and detailed design. Creation and delivery of the equipment will take place at the same time. ''It is planned to fulfil the project until 2021,'' Azat Bikmurzin told the plans for the first stage of Ethylene Complex.
Kazanorgsintez to build gas refinery
The memorandum will give an impetus to another project – Linde will help TAIF to build a gas refinery and petrochemical complex at Kazanorgsintez PJSC. KOS' further development programme is based on the creation of a new gas refinery with a capacity of 30 million cubic metres per year.
''Western Siberia has natural gas fields high in wet gases like ethane, propane, butane and even pentane, hexane and heptane. There is a corridor where a pipeline for the Kazan CHPP-3 was laid. We are going to lay a pipeline for the gas refinery in the same place. There is a site next to Kazanorgsintez that we booked for the new construction. Wet gases will emit hydrocarbons that will be used to make ethylene and other basic petrochemical products. Then ethylene will be applied to produce high-density and low-density polyethylene in operating and new polyethylene factories,'' head engineer of KOS Rafael Safarov explains.
In addition, the TAIF director general specifies gas pipes annually pumping 300bn cubic metres of natural gas will cross Tatarstan. Mainly it is the gas extracted in Urengoy in Yamal. The content of gas entities in the gas increases year after year: ethane, propane, butane, isobutene. In some fields, the level of presence of these entities reaches 14-15%, though earlier it did not exceed 0,5-1%.
''This is why we offered to consider the possibility of a joint decision with Gazprom, Sibur, Novatek on transportation of wet gases through a separate pipe to Tatarstan and refine them here,'' Albert Shigabutdinov explains. The technical possibity to deliver wet gas to Tatarstan was confirmed by Gazprom almost at the end of the last month. The company can lay a separate line for the new gas refinery in the republic. However, Director General of Gazprom Mezhregiongaz Kirill Seleznev claims not everything has been explained yet, it is early to discuss the details of the project.
TAIF Group of Companies and Linde AG agreed to consider further cooperation in project on delivery of industrial gases, gas refinery and petrochemical goods in Kazan and Nizhnekamsk.
Linde to open educational centre in Kazan
Linde AG also made an offer to open Linde Educational Centre in Kazan National Research Technological University for preparation and professional development of specialists and introduction of a dual educational system at Kazanorgsintez and Nizhnekamskneftekhim together with TAIF. The cooperation in engineering, science and education presupposes a joint work of companies on creation of R&D or a fleet of pilot units.
What is more, TAIF will consider the offer of Linde AG on the purchase of a hydrogen unit and air separation unit from TAIF-NK PJSC to manufacture and deliver industrial gases to TAIF enterprises on outsourcing terms. The TAIF director general noted during one of his visits to Munich at the beginning of April, the company was ready to sell the Linde hydrogen unit after 1-1,5 years of successful exploitation.
TAIF and Linde agreed to create a working group to design and coordinate all the projects. TAIF in advance estimates the volume of investments in realisation of projects at €12bn.