Rustam Minnikhanov about TAIF: ''They are your exclusive partners, they should be given good terms''

The Tatarstan president discusses the implementation of projects with Siemens

Rustam Minnikhanov about TAIF: ''They are your exclusive partners, they should be given good terms'' Photo: Ksenia Zharkova (Realnoe Vremya)

During the visit to Munich, Minnikhanov met with the leadership of Siemens and Linde Engineering. Both companies cooperate with TAIF, with which they implement major projects. Linde is engaged in the ethylene complex, Siemens is building a power unit at Nizhnekamskneftekhim (NKNK) and is ready to take on new projects. What variants of cooperation the German concern is considering and who trains specialists for the future olefin complex — read in the report of Realnoe Vremya.

Kazanorgsintez will get additional 300k tonnes of ethylene a year thanks to the olefin complex

The head office of Linde company — here the programme of the visit of TAIF Group to Munich begins. Director General of TAIF PSC Albert Shigabutdinov, Deputy General Director of TAIF PSC Energy and Information Technology Ruslan Gizzatullin, Director General of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC Azat Bikmurzin, Commercial Director of NKNK Timur Shigabutdinov, Director General of Kazanorgsintez PJSC Farid Minigulov came to discuss with the German side the implementation of the ethylene complex project. The guests were received by Chairman of the executive board of Linde Engineering Christian Bruch, Managing Director Member of Linde Engineering John van der Velden, Project Director of the new olefins complex at Linde Engineering Roland Hein, Managing Director of Linde Engineering Tilman Weide and Director of Business Development (petrochemical plants) at Linde Engineering Danil Efremov.

The first stage of the olefin complex with a capacity of 600k tonnes a year for ethylene is to be built by 2022

''All design works are being done on time,'' said Roland Hein, the project director of the olefin complex. He is engaged in the ethylene complex on the part of Linde, so he knows all its details. It is planned to start the construction in autumn, now it is necessary to settle all the preparatory issues.

''The schedule of the fourth level has been developed, that is, with its promotion, more details are added and the schedule becomes more complete, and we see that we are moving in accordance with the plan. There are inaccuracies, they happen, but we have agreed to meet again and discuss these points, this applies mainly to the working documentation,'' explained Director General of Nizhnekamskneftekhim Azat Bikmurzin.

''We have agreed to meet again and discuss these issues, it concerns mainly the working documentation,'' said Azat Bikmurzin, the director general of Nizhnekamskneftekhim

The first stage of the olefin complex with a capacity of 600,000 tonnes per year for ethylene is to be built by 2022. This will be the first stage in the implementation of the large-scale project. In total, there are four stages: two ethylene plants with a total capacity of 1,2 million tonnes per year and adjacent units for the production of high-margin products. Ethylene is a super-scarce raw material, now NKNK produces 600,000 tonnes a year of it, which allows to cover its own needs and provide raw materials to other enterprises of the republic and Bashkortostan.

''Thanks to the implementation of the ethylene complex project, we will receive additional raw materials. We are already preparing, increasing the capacity to process ethylene into polymers. Today we consume about 700,000 tonnes of ethylene a year, and when the first stage of the olefin complex is launched, Kazanorgsintez will receive another 300,000 tonnes of ethylene a year,'' said Director General of Kazanorgsintez Farid Minigulov.

In January, Linde opened an olefin academy for employees of TAIF Group in Nizhnekamsk

Trained professionals are needed to work on the new ethylene complex. Therefore, in January Linde opened an olefin academy to train employees of TAIF Group in Nizhnekamsk, as well as students of petrochemical specialties. The first stage of the course was attended by 90 people. At the meeting, Christian Bruch handed Azat Bikmurzin diplomas of training for graduates.

''The next training stage of the olefin academy is to come in a couple of months. So far roughly hundred pople have been trained, but we would like to make this programme more continuous, also together with the university. But this will really depend on the needs of Tatarstan, on how many people we want to put for this programme. But since this year we also have the academic year between Germany and Russia, I think it's a good opportunity to really establish academic element in the universities of Tatarstan as part of this project and make sure that it is a lift to the next years,'' said Christian Bruch, the chairman of the executive board of Linde Engineering.

Siemens and the general contractor, Linde, have been identified as the main equipment supplier

Siemens intends to expand cooperation with TAIF

Now suppliers of equipment are being attracted to the olefin complex. For example, Siemens and Linde (general contractor) have been identified as the main equipment supplier, but they want to expand their participation in the project. The management of TAIF discussed the variants of cooperation at the meeting at the head office of Siemens in Munich, where the guests were welcomed by the head of of Energy and Gas at Siemens AG Willi Meixner, President of Siemens in Russia Alexander Liberov and Director of Energy and Gas at Siemens in Russia Oleg Titov. Siemens has confirmed the supply of compressors, which are estimated to be among the most powerful in Russia. The German concern announced its readiness to participate in the second stage of the project.

''Both Tatarstan and TAIF are long-standing partners for us, and we are trying to develop these relations. For us, participation in the ethylene complex project is as important as participation in energy projects. We strive to help TAIF expand petrochemical production and, as far as we know, the compressors to be used in this project are one of the most powerful in Russia,'' said Willi Meixner, the head of Energy and Gas at Siemens AG.

Willi Meixner, the head of Energy and Gas at Siemens AG: ''The compressors to be used in this project are among the most powerful In Russia''

In addition, Siemens is currently engaged in the construction of a power plant for Nizhnekamskneftekhim with a capacity of 495 MW, which will provide electricity not only to all enterprises of the petrochemical giant, but also to the future ethylene complex. The agreement on the construction of the power unit was signed in Munich in December 2017. Tests have been carried out and positive results have been obtained for the combustion of gas mixture, which is based on discharge from existing production facilities. Now the construction site is being prepared. According to the plan, the project is to be implemented in 2021, but TAIF intends to complete it ahead of the schedule.

''If you need anything for our part, we are ready to discuss the issues. You have spoken out, and it is very good that the project examination can be done ahead of schedule, which will affect the acceleration of commissioning. Each day of operation of the project will accelerate its payback,'' said Director General of TAIF PSC Albert Shigabutdinov.

The own power plant is planned to be built for Kazanorgsintez. Competitive procedures have been announced and it is expected that at least three companies — General Electric, Italian company Ansaldo and Siemens — will be announced to participate in the project.

''Own power plants — it is the matter of ecology. What was previously burned on torches will be disposed in the combustion chambers of gas turbine plants with the minimum allowable emissions in accordance with the most stringent international requirements,'' explained Deputy Director General of TAIF PSC for energy and information technology Ruslan Gizatullin. ''In addition, it is ensuring the competitiveness of petrochemical enterprises because they are energy-intensive and their competitiveness, of course, depends on the cost of their products, and such projects fundamentally affect and improve the competitiveness of petrochemical products.''

''Tatarstan is very interesting for Siemens as a company developing digital technologies,'' Alexander Liberov said

For Siemens, Tatarstan is one of the priority regions in Russia. This correspondent of Realnoe Vremya was told about this by President of Siemens in Russia Alexander Liberov:

''In October, during Russian Energy Week, we signed a framework agreement on cooperation with TAIF, and it is already being actively implemented. We have established close cooperation, which involves accelerating the timing of orders, and the purchase of components and equipment directly from Siemens, not through intermediaries. We are talking about both small and large orders. Tatarstan is certainly one of the most important regions for us. We see that pilot projects have already been launched in the republic, which can later be implemented in other Russian regions. Therefore, Tatarstan is very interesting for Siemens as a company developing digital technologies,'' said Alexander Liberov.

''I am sure that Tatarstan and Bavaria, two large regions, are interested in each other''

The discussion of relations between Tatarstan and Siemens later continued at the highest level, when President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov arrived at the headquarters of the German concern. At the meeting, he noted that Siemens is present in the region in all sectors — energy, petrochemicals, transport, healthcare, and in recent years the company has closely worked with TAIF.

Rustam Minnikhanov thanked Siemens for joint work: ''This is a big, worthy project''

''As for the TAIF project, you have an understanding, but sometimes you do not give them concessions, the projects are expensive, and they are your exclusive partners, they should be given good terms,'' Rustam Minnikhanov advised.

Tatarstan is interested in cooperation with Siemens and, according to Rustam Minnikhanov, the company should have a wider range of production localization in Russia.

''You need new markets, and we need new technologies, this is normal. Keep in mind that besides you there are other companies, your competitors,'' the president of Tatarstan joked.

''There have been heard the words about competitors, we respect them, but we remember that we are 'the number one,'' Vice-President of Siemens Janina-Kugel smiled.

The Tatarstan president also met with Linde management, where he discussed the implementation of the ethylene complex project.

''I am sure that Tatarstan and Bavaria, two large regions, are interested in each other,'' the Tatarstan president said

''I want to thank you for the work that we are doing together with you — this is a big, worthy project. In 2017, we signed the agreement, I think it was the most iconic, last year was the signing of the loan agreement – it is a great success. Thanks to the joint work with TAIF, I think that this is a landmark project for our country, and I am sure that we should continue to think about working together,'' said the president of Tatarstan.

Close relations between the companies allow strengthening cooperation between Tatarstan and Bavaria. Germany remains one of the largest trade and economic partners of the republic. At the meeting with Head of the Bavarian State Chancellery Florian Herrmann, Rustam Minnikhanov discussed prospects of cooperation in the field of education, sports, tourism and cultural exchange. ''I am sure that Tatarstan and Bavaria, two large regions, are interested in each other,'' the Tatarstan president said.

By Ksenia Zharkova
Tatarstan