Giuseppe Zampini: “I promise that the power plant at KOS will be built in the agreed contractual months”

A delegation of Ansaldo Energia (Italy) visited the headquarters of TAIF JSC

The upcoming construction of a 250 MW gas turbine heat power plant on the territory of Kazanorgsintez PJSC and the possible participation of Ansaldo Energia from Italy in it became the main topic of conversation during the meeting of Ansaldo top managers with officials of TAIF Group of Companies. The meeting took place at the headquarters of TAIF JSC. More is in Realnoe Vremya’s report.

Giuseppe Zampini: “We aren’t afraid of competition”

Ansaldo Energia is one of the biggest players in the global power market that engineers, supplies and services power energy equipment. Over 1,700 projects in construction and supply of gas and steam turbines, generators and microturbines have been implemented in 90 countries since its foundation. Now the Italian company is claiming the right to build the 250 MW CCGT for Kazanorgsintez PJSC.

TAIF Group of Companies invited the tender for the best proposal in late 2018, three candidates have applied nowadays: worldwide known companies General Electric from the USA, Siemens from Germany and Ansaldo Energia from Italy. TAIF Group has already worked with some of them, it hasn’t had contracts with others yet, for instance, Ansaldo Energia. Ansaldo Energia’s CEO Giuseppe Zampini and Senior President of Sales and Business Development at Ansaldo Energia Vittorio Olcese arrived in the head office of TAIF JSC to present their possibilities and learn more about tasks. TAIF JSC Director General, Board Chairman of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC and Kazanorgsintez PJSC Ruslan Shigabutdinov, Senior Adviser to the TAIF JSC director general of Development Albert Shigabutdinov, Vice Director General of TAIF JSC director general of Power Engineering and Information Technologies, Board Chairman of TGC-16 JSC Ruslan Gizzatullin, Kazanorgsintez PJSC Director General Farid Minigulov, TGC-16 JSC Director General Eduard Galeyev and others represented TAIF Group of Companies at the meeting.

To visit Kazan, Mr Zampini postponed his trip to Shanghai, to visit Ansaldo Energia’s Chinese shareholders (Shanghai Electric Corporation) which holds 40% of shares of the Italian company. The fight for TAIF’s contract, as the CEO of Ansaldo Energia who has chaired the company in the last 18 years, requires the most attention of the top management of the Company and it justifies a few days of postponement of the meeting with his shareholder, as agreed with them. Giuseppe Zampini arrived in the capital of Tatarstan with a fighting spirit and a strong desire to demonstrate his aspiration to concur for the right to implement the project to the utmost:

“We are interested to do our best in both financial support and technical activities. And if I promise that the plant will be built in the proposed time, it will be built in that time,” he stressed after the presentation of his company.

To see the range of activities of TAIF Group’s companies better, the guests were offered a short presentation.

“It is a very impressive presentation. The design of plants is beautiful, they are very clean. The layout in the picture is very good. If we do the job we are discussing, I understand I have a tough customer. On the one hand, I am worried that my customer will be so competent, so exacting, but, on the other hand, it is a challenge for me. Ansaldo likes challenges,” Giuseppe Zampini shared his impressions.

“We outlined this project a long time ago, and previous director general and now my adviser Mr Shigabutdinov played the key role in it,” Ruslan Shigabutdinov emphasised.

The capacity of generating plants of TAIF GC is almost 2 GW nowadays, and in the future, it will be about 3 GW. “One project is already implemented at Nizhnekamskneftekhim for 495 MW. In addition, we are planning another two plants,” Albert Shigabutdinov explained. It is the construction of the CCGT at Kazanorgsintez and TAIF-NK. After the tender, TAIF Group of Companies hopes to get a proposal with the best price, quality and further maintenance. Moreover, most of the money for the projects must be borrowed, and it is also the future contractor’s task to agree with banks and guarantee organisations.

“I won’t hide that Siemens has good financial proposals. Meetings with financial institutions and Euler Hermes (Editor’s Note: the world’s credit insurance leader) have already been held. There were representatives of Deutsche Bank and a number of other banks that want to take out a syndicated loan for the project for 15 years, and it goes with saying that with a guarantee of Euler Hermes and a low interest rate,” Albert Shigabutdinov revealed the details of the modern-day situation within limits. The sides have no right to reveal the exact sum and interest rate until the contract is signed.

“I know who my competitor is. We have been competing with him for more several years already. But for me it is a challenge and satisfaction to beat a competitor. So you have an additional foundation to believe me that I will do my best to try to beat such a great competitor,” Giuseppe Zampini replied without thinking twice.

Preliminary talks with banks were already held

As it turned out, Mr Zampini’s confidence is based on a good preparation for the talk. Preliminary talks had been held with Intesa bank (one of the leading financial institutions in the eurozone).

“We have close ties with Intesa bank. It is one of the main banks supporting Ansaldo’s projects, and not only in Russia,” Mr Zampini stressed.

Besides, he said that they had had preliminary talks with UniCredit and SACE Export Credit Agency (Italy), which is ready to become the guarantor of the deal.

The cost of the future works, the interest rate and the term of the loan Ansaldo Energia’s partners are ready to grant aren’t revealed either before the contract is signed. However, Giuseppe Zampini said that representatives of both banks were ready to come to Kazan to meet with the officials of TAIF to discuss the possible deal.

Decision is planned to be made until autumn

TAIF Group of Companies is interested in making the decision as soon as possible and launching the process. It is possible that the bidders will be gathered in Kazan before autumn. The talks with Siemens are already in its final stages. Ansaldo Energia is also ready to agree on all the debatable moments as soon as possible and make the final proposal public. The other bidders aren’t falling behind. The intrigue is who will become the winner and get the contract — little time has left.

The representatives of TAIF Group of Companies and Ansaldo Energia said goodbye to each other on a positive note. The sides considered the talks successful.

Giuseppe Zampini: “Don’t ask me for the Moon, Ansaldo can do the rest”

Immediately after the meeting with the officials of TAIF Group of Companies ended, Mr Zampini agreed to give an interview and shared his hopes and impressions of the visit and plans for the expansion of Ansaldo Energia in the Russian market with Realnoe Vremya’s journalist.

Mr Zampini, how do you assess the outcome of the meeting?

We hope that we will be able to sign the contract. In comparison with competitors, Ansaldo Energia has an important advantage — a very lean structure. Mr Olcese is discussing, I make a decision within the limits of power the board of directors gives us. We don’t have different levels one has to go through. Everything fast. There is no need to go back and check. If needed, I can change my agenda and come back here if all issues are almost approved, and if there is something I can do. In general, people in Italy say: “Don’t ask me for the Moon.” We can’t get the Moon, while Ansaldo can do the rest.

Does your visit to Tatarstan mean that you are interested in the republic and TAIF Group?

For sure. My company is interested in this contract as much as I am. Ansaldo has a long history of working outside our country. Wherever we go, we like to stay as partners, even if it is a short-term partnership.

How successful is Ansaldo Energia in Russia?

Ansaldo has been in Russia for almost 15 years already. We have an office in Moscow and a branch in Saint Petersburg. We have been servicing gas turbines for the last 15 years. Looking into the future of the country in power engineering, gas turbines, we decided to create a joint venture here, in Saint Petersburg, three years ago. We did it with Gazprom. We are looking for active work in Russian regions and in CIS countries.

By the way, I am a nuclear engineer; this is why besides gas turbines, we are interested to work with Rosatom in nuclear activities. So Russia for us is a great country, a great market. Ansaldo is smaller than other companies but we are very flexible, and this flexibility will help us to provide some advantages.

How will the joint venture created in Saint Petersburg boost your advantages in work in Russia?

In Russia, we provide our ideas, technology and we are interested in developing supply chains. We can’t stay only in Italy. The company should develop outside the country. Due to this crazy situation, which is called sanctions, Russia is now developing its own technologies. We have things to offer each other: we can offer you our gas turbine technology, and you can offer us your capabilities in mechanical engineering. We are looking for a win-win situation and we can’t go on our own.

If we look at the map, it seems that China is larger than Russia. But it is on the contrary: Russia is the largest country! When I saw the map a few years ago, I decided I wanted to go to Russia. It could be cold in some areas, but interesting and challenging.

As for TAIF’s projects for power engineering modernisation. Other big players in the industry are also interested in them. Is Ansaldo ready for stiff competition?

We have always competed with large companies, otherwise, we can’t survive. Sometimes we lose, sometimes we win. Going back to the JV, we understood that we have a future in the Russian market if we localise. We started to localise with JV, now we are looking for orders. I respect these large companies, but we need to compete and I am looking for beating them. This is the challenge of my professional life.

By Arseny Favstritsky

Ansaldo Energia Group is a key player in the international market of equipment for electrical power engineering that implements turnkey power plant construction projects (gas and steam turbines, generators and microturbines) and manufactures and engineers equipment for the nuclear industry. 59,9% of Ansaldo Energia S.p.A. belongs to CDP Equity, which comes under Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (a state-owned development institution that has been developing the economy of Italy since 1850), and Shanghai Electric Corporation holds 40%. Ansaldo Energia S.p.A. has implemented over 1,700 projects in 90 countries of the world with a total installed capacity of over 170 GW.

TAIF Group is one of the largest manufacturing and investment companies in Russia that owns considerable assets and production capacities, flexible and high-level management. TAIF Group of Companies uniting 43 subsidiaries and subordinate companies operates in many areas, oil and gas processing and petrochemistry, power engineering, construction, investments and services are key of them. All the enterprises are closely connected from a perspective of economy, equipment, technology and management.