Toyo Engineering Corporation — more than half century with Tatarstan

The ethylene plant at Nizhnekamskneftekhim was the first project of the Japanese company in the republic

Toyo Engineering Corporation — more than half century with Tatarstan Photo: Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC archive

The cooperation between Toyo Engineering Corporation and Tatarstan dates back to the USSR. The all-Union association Techmashimport signed a contract with the Japanese firm Toyo Engineering to design and deliver equipment for a new ethylene complex in the late 1960s. At that moment, with an installed capacity of 450,000 tonnes a year, it was to be the biggest one in the Soviet Union. The final decision on the construction of ethylene, propylene, divinyl, benzene and other related goods in Nizhnekamsk was made at the top level in December 1970 – in the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the USSR Council of Ministers. The big construction began almost immediately, and the first ethylene product was already made in 1976. Realnoe Vremya tells you how Toyo Engineering began cooperating with TAIF long before the appearance of the Group of Companies and how this cooperation developed.

Toyo means Asia

One of the world’s biggest industrial concerns – Toyo Engineering Corporation – traces its history back to 1961. Its major business areas include design, engineering, construction, equipment procurement in new enterprises, test operations and technical guidance in such spheres as oil and gas refinement, petrochemistry, power engineering. The word Toyo itself consists of two characters: “to”, which stands for the East and “yo” literally meaning “ocean”. In other words, “eastern ocean”, the second meaning is “Asia”.

For some ten decades, a relatively small company with authorised capital at ¥300 million has grown into a transnational holding – 11 offices and 27 subsidiaries around the world. Numerous big projects have been implemented in more than 50 countries.

Over 1,500 projects have been implemented by Toyo Engineering Corporation around the world by now. Photo: toyo-eng.com

The concern’s staff consists of over 11,000 highly professional specialists who design and then make big factories a reality. Over 1,500 projects have been implemented by now. Over 60 of them are in Russia and CIS countries. A number of them are in Tatarstan. And the Ethylene-450 in Nizhnekamsk became the first one.

Ethylene-450

The peak of construction works of the Ethylene-450 complex was in the first third of the 1970s. As participants of the big work remember, the site where the factory was built resembled an anthill. Up to 9,000 people worked on the construction site every day. The works were carried out in record time: the main equipment was assembled just within 14 months.

The peak of construction works of the Ethylene-450 complex was in the first third of the 1970s. Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC archive

Part of ethylene was processed on site by the Nizhnekamsk chemical factory. The rest of ethylene was sent to Orgsintez in Kazan where it turned into polyethylene film. So Toyo Engineering or, more precisely, the Ethylene-450 complex designed and equipped with its help, turns out to be linked with one of the important enterprises of future TAIF GC since the Soviet era.

Cooperation of TAIF GC and Toyo Engineering nowadays

In the middle of the 80s of the last century, Nizhnekamskneftekhim’s ethylene complex produced about 350,000 tonnes of ethylene a year. Comparably little time passed, and today it is making over 600,000 tonnes of ethylene a year after being seriously modernised first in 2005 and then once again in 2011.

Toyo Engineering and TAIF GC have implemented a number of big projects throughout the years of cooperation. Photo: Roman Khasayev

The development of TAIF GC’s companies didn’t stop: in September 2004, Kazanorgsintez PJSC together with TAIF PJSC signed contracts to obtain licences and basic design to produce bisphenol A (BPA) with the Japanese firm Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd. Toyo Engineering carried out engineering works for the BPA plant. The construction began in October 2005 and ended two years later. In April 2008, warranty testing was completed, and the enterprise began operating with a capacity of 70,000 tonnes a year.

In April 2008, warranty testing was completed, and the enterprise began operating with a capacity of 70,000 tonnes a year. Photo: Kazanorgsintez PJSC press service

The goal of the BPA plant’s construction was to get feedstock for the polycarbonate plant with a capacity of 65,000 tonnes a year, whose engineering and equipment delivery was also provided by Toyo Engineering.

The construction began on 16 December 2006, and on 6 August 2008 employees of the new plant already got the first product in the process flow – ethylene carbonate. The plant’s birthday is considered to be on 27 September 2008 when the first lot of polycarbonate was made in the enterprise.

The first lot of polycarbonate was made in the enterprise on 27 September 2008. Photo: Kazanorgsintez PJSC press service

In July 2012, a licence agreement and a contract on basic detailed design and delivery of equipment for the construction project of the fourth line of the polystyrene plant was signed between Nizhnekamskneftekhim and Toyo Engineering (three lines had already been put into operation one by one in 2003, 2006 and 2008). So the enterprise planned to complete a large-scale programme of transition from monomer to polymer production. The fourth line of polystyrene production was successfully launched in 2014.

‘‘It’s a historic day not only for the enterprise but also for the whole republic. Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC is one of the biggest petrochemical enterprises in the country. The fourth line of polystyrene production appeared thanks to all the enterprise’s staff’s well-coordinated work. It’s a milestone for the republic and the country in general because it solves the problem of import substitution,’’ Rustam Minnikhanov stressed at the plant’s opening ceremony.

In March 2013, Toyo Engineering and TAIF-NK PJSC signed a contract for detailed design and delivery of equipment for the first in Russia and the biggest in the world heavy residues deep conversion complex by Veba Combi Cracker technology (VVC). Photo: president.tatar.ru

Another big joint project of TAIF Group of Companies and Toyo Engineering kicked off in March 2013. Then the Japanese company and TAIF-NK PJSC signed a contract for detailed design and delivery of equipment for the first in Russia and the biggest in the world heavy residues deep conversion complex by Veba Combi Cracker technology (VVC) into light oil products – straight-run petrol and Euro-5 diesel fuel.

‘‘It’s a very complicated but promising project. The way it’s carried out at TAIF-NK, it can become a revolution in heavy residues refining,’’ Rustam Minnikhanov noted during his visit to TAIF-NK in 2015. According to TAIF GC’s plan, the production of light oil goods will be a record – over 98%. The start-up and commissioning are about to be completed in the enterprise.

The start-up and commissioning are about to be completed in the HRDCC. Photo: Roman Khasayev

Prospects of TAIF GC and Toyo Engineering

In October 2018, Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov had a number of meetings at Tatarstan – Japan business forum during his business trip to Japan.

Tatarstan and Japan agreed to develop cooperation. Photo: president.tatar.ru

After the meeting with representatives of Japan’s business community, Rustam Minnikhanov stressed:

‘‘The Republic of Tatarstan works with a number of Japanese companies: Mitsui and Toyo Engineering cooperate with TAIF Group of Companies’ enterprises; Yokogawa Electric Corporation deals with automatisation of enterprises and engineering centres; Eidos company from Tatarstan together with Riken Japanese institute created a project in genetic diagnostics; ICL cooperated with Japanese Fujitsu in IT; Mitsubishi Fuso interacted with the republic’s lorry manufacturing giant KAMAZ factory; Panasonic was a partner of the World Summer Universiade in Kazan; Nomura Institute participated in the creation of the Social and Economic Development Strategy. We believe that Tatarstan-Japanese cooperation will have further development, and Tatarstan’s representative office in Japan will help this process.

Eiji Hosoi: “We like the working environment created for foreign companies in Russia and in Tatarstan.” Photo: Roman Khasayev

A bit later, in the middle of October 2018, a delegation of the top management of Toyo Engineering Corporation chaired by Senior Executive Officer of the company Eiji Hosoi was welcomed in the head office of TAIF JSC. During the meeting, the sides also confirmed their readiness for further cooperation and discussed a number of future projects.

“We like the working environment created for foreign companies, it's comfortable to work in Russia and in Tatarstan,’’ Eiji Hosoi noted after the meeting.

By Arseny Favstritsky
Tatarstan

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