Nizhnekamskneftekhim celebrates 52nd jubilee: how the company upholds the traditions founded by Lemayev

One of the biggest enterprises in Eastern Europe celebrated its 52nd birthday on 31 July. The company welcomed the date with good production indicators and progressive development. While everything began in 1961 when it was made a decision to build a complex of chemical plants in the lower stream of the Kama River. Not only the enterprise but also Nizhnekamsk developed under the first Director General of the Nizhnekamsk Chemical Factory Nikolay Lemayev. Years later, Nizhnekamskneftekhim continues the business of the legendary manager. Read how the enterprise supports social projects helping Nizhnekamsk’s development in Realnoe Vremya’s report.

Nikolay Lemayev — legendary manager of Nizhnekamskneftekhim

A historical decision was made in the late 50s — to build a large-scale synthetic rubber production in the region of the Lower Kama River. The works began in 1961, and in October 1961 the construction of the Nizhnekamsk industrial complex was declared the All-Union Top Priority Construction Project. Not only industrial facilities but also workers’ settlement were built at that moment. In March 1963, 34-year-old Nikolay Lemayev became the director of the Nizhnekamsk Chemical Factory.

Rally dedicated for the first product of CGFU-1 in 1967. Nizhnekamskneftekhim press service’s photo courtesy

“A good work starts with a settled life,” Nikolay Lemayev’s words are cited in the book dedicated to the 50th jubilee of Nizhnekamskneftekhim. He made this principle a reality: blocks of flats, shops, libraries, kindergartens, hospitals, sports venues, heating and water supply facilities, treatment facilities and roads were built together with the factory.

Officials of the factory cared about the future workers’ leisure time, too: recreational camps, camps for children, sports venues were built together with the plants. Until 1994 the chemical factory had been the only client that financed the design and construction of blocks of flats and urban infrastructure. Nikolay Lemayev laid its foundation as well, who would have been 90 years this November. And the company celebrates a jubilee this year, 2019 was declared at Nizhnekamskneftekhim as Lemayev’s year.

Nikolay Lemayev’s organisational skills allowed creating an able-bodied staff and a professional team of engineers and managers who managed to create the leading petrochemical enterprise in the USSR. Nikolay Lemayev’s pragmatic intellect, care about the enterprise’s workers’ families, strategic mind became a firm foundation for current production, economic and social programmes of Nizhnekamskneftekhim.

“The person is alive as long as we remember him. And it is a legendary person, a legendary manager. The person who built our chemical factory, built the city and raised a group of managers,” said Nizhnekamskneftekhim Director General Azat Bikmurzin when laying flowers to the monument to Lemayev on Chemist’s Day.

The petrochemists have been upholding the tradition of laying flowers to the monument to the legendary manager on his birthdays and memorable dates for the company for 18 years already — since the opening of the monument on Lemayev Square.

Merits of the first director of the chemical factory are now highly praised in Nizhnekamsk: a square and the Nizhnekamsk petrochemistry and oil refining college were named after him, and Begishevo international airport has been also named after Nikolay Lemayev by President of Russia Vladimir Putin’s decree since this May.

Growth of revenue and new types of products

Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC, which comes under TAIF GC, continues its progressive development now. The enterprise is in the world’s top 10 synthetic rubber manufacturers and works with such worldwide known tyre brands as Continental, Michelin, Pirelli, Bridgestone and Goodyear. The nomenclature of products has over 120 names, synthetic rubbers, plastics and ethylene are core products.

Over 1,6 million tonnes of the main feedstock was processed, 361,000 tonnes of plastics and 347,000 tonnes of rubbers were produced in the first half of 2019. Sales revenue totalled 90,6 billion rubles, gain to the first half of 2018 reached 3,5%. The share of exports in the total volume of products exceeded 50% this year. Nizhnekamskneftekhim’s products are supplied to 50 countries of Europe, America and Southeast Asia.

347,000 tonnes of rubbers were produced in the first half of 2019. Photo: Artyom Ryabov

Thanks to a well-oiled production strategy, which has a constant upgrade of the production complex, modernisation and powerful R&D in its basis, in 2020 Nizhnekamskneftekhim will produce a new type of rubber — styrene divinyl. It is applied in the manufacture of mechanical rubber goods and the shoemaking industry, in the production of conveying belts, it is also designed for the production of ecological, green tyres.

It is also planned to manufacture thermoelastoplastics in the new plant. It is additives to the asphalt covering, which provides roads with high mechanical resistance. They can also be processed repeatedly without doing harm to the environment.

The production of catalyst KDI-M with a capacity of 3,000 tonnes a year has been launched in the oligomer and glycol plant. Two new SRT-VI pyrolysis furnaces were installed in the ethylene plant within a modernisation and expansion programme in 2018. The production of carbowax and methyl oxyethylated polyethylene glycol is a short-term plan.

The use of new technologies and modernisation of plants help to manufacture sought-after, high-quality products that get a high appraisal on republican and federal exhibitions.

For seven years of Nizhnekamskneftekhim’s participation in the competition Best Goods and Services of the Republic of Tatarstan, the enterprise has nominated 31 products. Nine of them have become laureates, 22 — first-degree awardees. This year the company got the title of laureate for РЕ5118QM linear low-density polyethylene. It was developed to manufacture highly resistant stretch wrapper with a better surface. Another two NKNK products — PSOH-25FEB common purpose polystyrene and 232 bromobutyl rubber — became first-degree awardees. Thanks to the victory in the republic competition, Nizhnekamskneftekhim will be able to represent the products in the federal round of the competition of the programme 100 Best Goods of Russia.

Ecological development

Together with developing plants, Nizhnekamskneftekhim does an intensive job in industrial safety, ecological responsibility and protection of workers’ health.

NKNK is completing the biggest ecological project in 2019 — a large-scale reconstruction of the Biological Treatment Facilities equal to over 3 billion rubles. Start-up and commissioning have already begun in the biological treatment facilities. The technological scheme includes additional treatment stages. One of the best European biofiltration methods was used in the mechanical treatment unit, which allows increasing the efficiency of treatment to 95%, improve the quality of treatment of chemically contaminated wastewater.

NKNK is completing a large-scale reconstruction of the BTF. Photo: Rinat Nazmetdinov

It is planned to launch an offsite tank for industrial sewages. A 15-km pipeline will increase the capacity and safety of transportation of industrial wastewater from operating and currently built plants of the enterprise to biologically treatment facilities for their further treatment. Moreover, ecological indicators and safety will significantly improve, as the risk that wastewater will end up in soil and water bodies and the emission of unpleasant smells into the atmosphere will be excluded. The tank costs 1,5bn rubles.

Engineering works on the organisation of methanol production with a capacity of 500,000 tonnes a year were carried out at Nizhnekamskneftekhim within the modernisation of equipment and reduction of the environmental impact. It will be allocated for the company’s own needs. A modern safe plant, which will reduce the emissions threefold, will be erected instead of three obsolete units, which were designed for as early as 60-70s. But carbon dioxide, which is now emitted into the atmosphere, will be used in methanol production. Emissions of locomotives, which are used in methanol transportation, will reduce by 10,000 tonnes a year across Nizhnekamsk District.

Nizhnekamksneftekhim’s social mission

Nizhnekamskneftekhim remains a socially oriented company like in Nikolay Lemayev’s era. Every year it participates in programmes supporting education, culture and spiritual revival, military and patriotic training and charity. In the first half this year, the company paid 7,8bn rubles of taxes and made payments to all budget levels. Moreover, taxes to the consolidated budget of Tatarstan totalled 4,3bn rubles, of which about 0,5bn rubles were sent by the enterprise to the budget of Nizhnekamsk.

In the first half this year, the company paid 7,8bn rubles of taxes and made payments to all budget levels. Photo: Maksim Platonov

Nizhnekamskneftekhim constantly finances social republican and urban programmes. Over 1,7bn rubles have been allocated for the Republic Fund for Revival of Historical and Cultural Monuments of the Republic of Tatarstan from 2015 to June 2019. Over 440m rubles were invested in social infrastructure of Nizhnekamsk. Particularly municipal roads to the industrial zone close to the Base of the Construction Industry were repaired and reconstructed, the Kama embankment and roads in yards were reconstructed, the Lemayev Square was beautified, and pedestrian area adjacent to Neftekhim Arena was improved, money was allocated to repair the People’s Art House, which was given to the city gratis. Neftekhimik stadium is also reconstructed.

The polyclinic in the industrial zone was updated thanks to Nizhnekamskneftekhim, a burns unit is opening in the Nizhnekamsk Central Hospital equipped with the latest expensive equipment thanks to the petrochemists. Now the enterprise is holding talks with the Tatarstan Ministry of Health and the administration of Nizhnekamsk about the construction of a multi-specialty medical centre within public and state partnership.

Observing the projects of NKNK implemented with the support of TAIF GC officials, one can make sure that the company’s plans for the good of all residents of the republic will become a reality.

By Yekaterina Gumarova