Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC establishes its own production of methanol

TAIF PSC have signed contracts with the Danish company Haldor Topsoe and NIIK JSC, the city of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, for the construction of a new methanol production facility with a capacity of 500,000 tonnes a year

Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC establishes its own production of methanol
Photo: Rinat Nazmetdinov

TAIF PSC intends to exclude dependence on external prices for methanol — one of the necessary components for the production of formaldehyde, necessary for the production of isoprene. Three contracts related to the implementation of the project of construction of a new production facility with a capacity of 500k tonnes of methanol a year were signed in the head office of the company in the presence of Director General of the holding Albert Shigabutdinov and the delegation of the management of TAIF Group on January 14. Two — with the Danish company Haldor Topsoe: for the provision of licenses and engineering services for new production technology, and another — with NIIK JSC, a large Russian engineering company from Nizhny Novgorod ready to take on the development of design and working documentation for the construction project of a new production. Read more in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Haldor Topsoe and TAIF PSC: a new stage of long-standing cooperation

TAIF PSC has been cooperating with the Danish company Haldor Topsoe — the world leader in catalysis and the study of physical and chemical properties of surface — already for a long time. Now the long-standing partnership is reaching a new level: after the thorough analysis of proposals for participation in the new project of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC, received from a number of major global participants in the engineering market, the Tatarstan group of companies invited the Danes to meet to discuss joint work on the construction, in fact, of a new enterprise — the production of methanol (methyl alcohol) with an annual capacity of 500k tonnes. The preliminary discussion of the project began last year, and by this day the specialists of the companies have already prepared the necessary documents.

''The teams have worked very closely for several months, carefully, so that this signing took place today,'' said Bjarne Steffen Klausen, the president of Haldor Topsoe.

Partnership of TAIF PSC with Danish company Haldor Topsoe is entering a new level

''TAIF is a very well-known company, it is one of the largest companies. We also know Nizhnekamskneftekhim well. Throughout all those years that we know about each other, we have really wanted to work with you, because we, of course, have projects in Russia and the Republic of Tatarstan, now we have a joint project with you,'' said Mr. Klausen.

Albert Shigabutdinov: ''One of the basic tasks of the next few years is to achieve optimization of production processes and the economic effect of isoprene production''

''One of our main issues is the production of synthetic rubber. We produce about 50 percent of the world's isoprene, a substitute for natural rubber. Due to the instability in the world markets, this has a very strong impact on the raw materials from which synthetic rubber is produced. So, one of the basic tasks of the next few years is to optimize production processes, technologies and to achieve a significant economic effect both from the main production and from the production of isoprene. One of the components of production is methanol,'' said Director General of TAIF PSC Albert Shigabutdinov.

Bjarne Klausen: ''The technology and scheme offered by Nizhnekamskneftekhim fully meet the objectives''

According to the president of the Danish company, his subordinates pay special attention to the effectiveness of the proposed technologies, and the scheme that is proposed to Nizhnekamskneftekhim fully meets the tasks set by Albert Shigabutdinov.

Albert Shigabutdinov: together with Gazprom and its division in Tatarstan, we managed to solve the problem of natural gas supply – the raw material for methanol production

The need for in-house methanol production is long overdue. The production requires significant amounts of the raw material. But until recently, the decision to build its own production of methanol was constrained by the limited supply of natural gas — the raw material for the production of methanol. Today the situation has changed:

''Together with Gazprom and its divisions in Tatarstan, we have successfully solved this problem. Traditionally, gas was supplied from the southern regions of the Soviet Union, then — from Russia. There were certain issues — economic, political, which seriously hampered the situation. Now this problem is being addressed: there will be a bridge between the North Stream and South Stream in Tatarstan. Therefore, we can safely go to the construction of its own production of methanol. The decision was made a year ago. Many companies were considered, but in the end the decision was made, and Mr. Presnyakov and Mr. Bikmurzin were recommended to work with the company Haldor Topsoe. Not only taking into account the proposed price and payment schedule, but also the company's experience in technology, in terms of the volume of built production in different countries,'' explained Albert Shigabutdinov.

Azat Bikmurzin: ''Our own methanol production will allow us to be more competitive in the market''

''For us, this is a very important project, as the production of methanol adds another component. It is the production of methanol, which we now purchase from various companies, will allow us to be more competitive in the market. If now we have a chain of formaldehyde-isobutylene-isoprene-synthetic rubber, then after the implementation of the project methanol will be added. From it, we will produce formaldehyde and so we will complete the entire cycle for the production of synthetic isoprene rubber,'' explained Azat Bikmurzin, the director general of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC.

The parties signed two contracts: for the provision of licenses and engineering services under the methanol production technology. The documents were signed by Azat Bikmurzin, the director general of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC, and Bjarne Steffen Klausen, the president of Haldor Topsoe. In addition, the parties discussed the need to conclude another contract: to support Haldor Topsoe specialists in the implementation of the project at all its stages, before commissioning.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC and Haldor Topsoe signed two contracts

Partnership with a view to cooperation development

''We have a lot that we can offer TAIF Group. We hope that this project will serve as the beginning of a new stage of our mutually beneficial cooperation,'' Mr. Klausen said during the meeting.

There are no objections to further development of cooperation on the part of TAIF Group. The holding systematically develops and increases its production volumes, expanding its product line. Such approach is strongly supported by the leadership of the republic and personally by President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov. The leader of the republic is aware of the meeting and its results. Moreover, through Albert Shigaboutdinov he shared with the Danes their plans:

''In March, it is scheduled a visit of our President Rustam Minnikhanov to Denmark. The leader of Tatarstan plans to meet with the prime minister of Denmark and intends to include a meeting with you in the schedule of the visit,'' said the director general of TAIF PSC to the president of Haldor Topsoe.

''I am very glad that Mr. Minnikhanov is going to visit Denmark, and I will be happy to meet him again. We have already met several times, and I very much hope that this meeting will also take place. I will be glad to see in our head office not only the president of Tatarstan, but also you,'' Mr. Klausen responded.

TAIF PSC and Haldor Topsoe intend to develop cooperation

However, the next meeting of the management and specialists of TAIF PSC and Haldor Topsoe is likely to take place in Tatarstan. Albert Shigabutdinov said he was ready to discuss with Haldor Topsoe further plans for the development of TAIF Group. And it is more convenient to do it where all the production facilities of the holding are located — in Tatarstan.

General plan for the future production of methanol to be agreed in two weeks

The promise was made immediately after the signing of the contract for the development of design and working documentation for the project of construction of methanol production by Oleg Kostin, the director general of NIIK JSC (Research and Design Institute of Urea and Organic Synthesis Products). The Russian engineering company of the full cycle works with TAIF Group in general and Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC in particular for the first time, but it has experience in implementing large-scale projects, including in Tatarstan and in partnership with Haldor Topsoe.

''Just three years ago, we completed our very broad participation in the construction project of Ammonia plant in Mendeleevsk. We are familiar with both construction and installation companies. It is very pleasant to come back here after a three-year break, to find a good, interesting job,'' shared Mr. Kostin.

Oleg Kostin: ''We are glad to return to Tatarstan''

''This project will be a certain test for us. At the same time, we are happy to demonstrate our capabilities as an engineering company, especially in the field of digitalization and digital design. Not just 3D design, because now we are talking about 4D design, and 5D, which greatly facilitate the customer the process of purchasing equipment — placing orders, construction management, and it clearly monitors all procedures related to the subsequent operation of the facility. Such production facilities are built for at least 50 years. And the changes that will then need to be made, they are much easier for the customer to do if he has a project as a digital asset,'' said Chairman of the Board of Directors of NIIK JSC Igor Esin. He was also present at the signing, as he admitted, of the significant contract with one of the leaders of the Russian petrochemical sector.

Igor Esin: ''We are happy to demonstrate TAIF Group our capabilities''

''We are grateful to the management of TAIF PSC and Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC for allowing us to participate in the implementation of this project. This is a very important project for us. We work in the field of gas chemistry and design and build plants for the production of carbamide and methanol. A similar enterprise — also for the production of methanol — we are now designing in Tula Oblast. At Shchekinoazot. I think that for Nizhnekamskneftekhim it is, first of all, the development of new products and, what is important for Nizhnekamskneftekhim, which today consumes more than 300k tonnes of methanol per year for the production of its products, the construction of this production will allow the company to get rid of dependence on fluctuations in prices for purchased raw materials. This is economic efficiency and security. It is important,'' Oleg Kostin supported the colleague.

Specialists of the Nizhny Novgorod Institute are actively involved in the work. The director general of NIIK JSC briefly described what needs to be done:

Oleg Kostin: ''The general production plan is to be agreed within the next two weeks''

''We're starting a preliminary study. Within the next two weeks, we are to agree on a general plan for the production, issue the task for exploration, to begin the preparation of the site. At the end of March, we are to issue questionnaires for equipment and prepare the package of documentation for the selection of a construction contractor, and at the end of the summer we prepare documentation to Glavgosexpertiza. In November, we are to obtain a building permit, and the overall deadline for fulfilling our obligations ends in mid-2020, when we are to prepare all the working documentation. In addition, under this contract, we will provide full supervision in all parts: construction, technology, installation of equipment, water supply, power supply, construction of administrative and storage facilities, will assist the customer in the selection and ordering of all equipment.''

The site for future production has already been determined, said Azat Bikmurzin, the director general of PJSC Nizhnekamskneftekhim. It will be located in the first industrial zone, where the dismantling of obsolete equipment begina in late January — early February.

''The timing is very tight, strict. Almost by 1 April, we plan to receive questionnaires on equipment and the main physical volumes of future production from NIIK JSC and to start purchasing equipment and choosing a construction contractor. Accordingly, already in the summer we plan to implement some preparatory work in the field. In September, we plan to complete the project documentation and go for examination, to begin the phase of development of working documentation. Accordingly, the overall implementation period we set for ourselves is very short. We will work in close cooperation with our partners.''

Azat Bikmurzin: ''We set a very short implementation period for ourselves''

The total cost of the project has not been disclosed, but it is clear that the production, even taking into account the fact that methanol will be produced exclusively for the company's own needs, promises to be more than just profitable.

By Arseny Favstritsky. Photo: Rinat Nazmetdinov