Safety and supporting measures: how TAIF Group operates during pandemic

Safety and supporting measures: how TAIF Group operates during pandemic
Photo: Roman Khasayev

The first manifestations of the new COVID-19 virus were detected as early as late last year in the Chinese province of Hubei. WHO declared a pandemic in March already. The incidence around the world has already exceeded a million. Tens of thousands have died. Unprecedented measures have been taken: a week of non-working days was declared in Russia on 25 March first, then a month and maximum self-isolation of the population were announced. At the same time, the president stressed: non-stop running enterprises shouldn’t stop operation but strengthen safety measures. Read in Realnoe Vremya’s report how plans and companies of TAIF Group are working during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

TAIF: Group’s enterprises keep working

The danger of the new coronavirus has made its amendments to the organisation of production processes of the Group’s companies but hasn’t stopped them. TAIF’s management made a decision: to continue the key production activity having provided the maximum protection of the employees’ health, shifted those who can perform their duties remotely to telecommuting. Workers of the Group’s companies’ key structures — Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC, Kazanorgsintez PJSC, TAIF-NK JSC, TGC-16 JSC, TAIF-NK Petrol Station JSC, Avers Bank — have buttressed the management’s decision.

TGC-16: no failure in electrical energy and heating supply

Plants of TGC-16 — TAIF Group’s generating company — are operating as usual. The only thing that reminds us there is a pandemic outside the enterprises is the smell of antiseptics after intensive treatment in the shuttles taking the CHPP employees to the stations before every trip, compulsory protective masks for every worker and taking their temperature and examination of general health state at the entrance both at the beginning of the working day and during a shift. There can’t be allowed any risks: the non-stop operating enterprises providing steam, hot water and electricity must provide the essentials for work in full.

Plants of TGC-16 JSC are operating as usual. Photo: Rinat Nazmetdinov

Heating and electricity supply for the population of the republic, which has to be in self-isolation today, is no less important and topical.

As Realnoe Vremya was told at TGC-16: “The whole quick response team and necessary repair staff will continue working as usual. A round-the-clock duty roster and control over manufacturing processes were created for directors of manufacturing subdivisions and services organising the production process. Employees of emergency response and restoration brigades and a part of engineers and repair workers who are currently servicing the complex generating equipment will be in the workplace too.”

There were created reserves of fuel and necessary resources that are enough to provide uninterrupted operation of enterprises till the end of the heating season at all plants and auxiliary plants of the generating company. Moreover, TGC-16 is already working in the long run: for example, scheduled repair works have begun at the Kazan CHPP-3.

Polymatiz — fabric production for masks has risen 40 times

During the coronavirus pandemic, the country has faced a shortage of the most necessary thing — means of individual protection. It is almost impossible to find ordinary medical masks in pharmacies. TAIF Group is doing its best to level the situation.

A plane that delivered an automated line to produce medical masks purchased by Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC from China arrived in Kazan on 10 April. Photo: Maksim Platonov

Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC purchased an automated line to produce such single-use masks. The valuable freight arrived from the Republic of China on 10 April. The assembly of the unit that can produce up to 4,000 masks an hour together with Chinese partners began almost immediately — when it was delivered to the production site. The first lot of much-needed means of protection in the republic is planned to be received as early as 16 April.

The assembly of the automated line to produce medical masks began at Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC on 11 April. Photo: Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC

The republic has its own fabric. New enterprise Polymatiz — one of four big Russian producers of a wide range of nonwoven fabrics, including special fabrics designed for those medical masks, single-use coats and protective suits — began its operation in Alabuga SEZ as early as 2009.

Polymatiz JSC — one of four big Russian producers of nonwoven fabrics began its operation in Alabuga SEZ as early as 2009. Photo: Polymatiz JSC

“At the dawn of the creation of the enterprise, TAIF Group and Nizhnekamskneftekhim gave us a task: to cover the sector of medical products as much as possible. For this purpose, there were already purchased additional machine tools. In other words, we manufacture the fabric with the key equipment, then add it some features in other machine tools,” Director of the enterprise Radik Yarullin told Realnoe Vremya in an interview.

Moreover, the production is very mobile that can literally immediately switch to the production of currently needed products. Today feedstock for construction, furniture enterprises and cosmetology has given way to medical fabrics. In the end, the amount of production of mask fabric has increased 40 times in less than a month. The production of feedstock for special and medical single-use clothes has gone up many times too. The director of Polymatiz assures that if needed the volumes will grow. The staff of 136 people including the management have been working around the clock since the beginning of the pandemic — in two 12-hour shifts, without days off. He recently reported President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov who paid a business visit to the factory in late March on this.

President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov visited Polymatiz JSC on 25 March. Photo:

The enterprise is actively providing the feedstock to everybody who is still ready to launch production of the sought-after product on their own. Any lots can be shipped, from one roll to tonnes.

“Everything we are making now is immediately sold out. Most importantly, all fabric made by our equipment is sold in the domestic market. Moreover, supplies are made directly to producers, circumventing intermediaries and speculators,” the director of the enterprise stressed.

Radik Yarullin stresses that the stance of TAIF Group, the management of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC and his own position is not to try not to make money from the pandemic. While shipping volumes have increased many times. Many enterprises including Kazanorgsintez, Nizhnekamskneftekhim as well as numerous charity funds, volunteer centres, educational establishments, social care homes are purchasing certain amounts of the fabric in rolls to start sewing the masks on their own. Moreover, Nizhnekamskneftekhim is providing charity support to Nizhnekamsk and social institutions by purchasing and giving them the fabric for free to make the masks.

NKNK: key task is to provide safe non-stop production process

During the coronavirus pandemic, Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC as a non-stop operating organisation continues working in a special regime. Some day staff started to telecommute, specialists who are 60 years and older are in self-isolation. To avoid a crowd of people, there have been made changes to the staff’s shift schedule and in canteens, shift turnover has become remote in the plants’ shops, meetings are held via teleconference. If needed, amendments are made to the approved programme of activity of NKNK plants.

A quick response team to fight the spread of the coronavirus infection has been created at Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC as well as all other enterprises and factories of TAIF Group since the first day of high alert. It includes directors of subdivisions who are responsible for the workers’ safety in the plants and outside.

A quick response team to fight the spread of the coronavirus infection has been created at Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC since the first day of high alert. Photo:

To minimise any risks of imported cases of COVID-19, not only international but also interregional business trips as well as the reception of workers from other organisations have completely stopped in the enterprises and plants of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC. Business partners have understood the forced measures, while meetings and talks are now held via teleconference.

All employees of the enterprise are provided with brochures, antiseptics. The enterprise created a production technology of its own antiseptic according to WHO’s recommendations, all necessary documents are registered for its industrial production. The company’s subdivisions are provided with medical masks. They are sewing them on their own. The fabric made by Polymatiz is distributed to the main plants of the enterprise, the workers who are in self-isolation are making a considerable contribution.

All 134 shuttles that transport the workers of the company in 11 special routes to the work and back are daily subjected to sanitary treatment. For this purpose, special disinfecting equipment has been purchased. The load of shuttles is controlled: no more than 30 people per trip. The number of buses transporting the petrochemists on the territory of the industrial site has increased too. Employees of contractors are delivered by separate transport and enter the territory through a separate entrance.

For the anti-bacterial treatment of shuttles, special disinfecting equipment has been purchased. Photo: Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC

The road network, pedestrian crossings, pavements, bus stops and pedestrian subways located on the territory of the enterprises are cleaned twice a day, including on days off. A special schedule was created for canteens to avoid crowds of people. Meals were organised according to all sanitary and epidemiological recommendations. A food and lunch box delivery service was created in the Public Catering Administration for the petrochemists and citizens who are in self-isolation.

Checkpoints and doctors on duty in the plants are provided with contactless thermometers, thermal imaging. Production sites and other places where the employees are located are equipped with wall dispensers and antibacterial recirculators. Nizhnekamskneftekhim is planning to buy a mini-lab for quick COVID-19 tests soon.

Checkpoints and doctors on duty in the plants are provided with contactless thermometers. Photo: Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC

“The management of the enterprise is staying up-to-date and making amendments to the organisation of production process given the changes the arise because of the self-isolation regime in Tatarstan and the Russian Federation in general,” noted Vice Director General and Production Director at Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC Oleg Nesterov.

During these tough times, unprotected groups of the population need special attention and participation — veterans and pensioners. According to medical experts, they can become a victim of COVID-19. Trade unions of the enterprises and volunteering petrochemists have organised delivery of food baskets for veterans of the Great Patriotic War and home front workers who are supervised by Nizhnekamskneftekhim. The veterans welcomed this support with gratitude.

Trade unions of NKNK enterprises and volunteering petrochemists have organised delivery of food baskets for veterans of the Great Patriotic War and home front workers. Photo: Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC

750 veterans of the enterprise, first- and second-degree disabled people are receiving visits at home and aid in the form of food baskets.

WTP-NKNK: special working regime during self-isolation

No water — no life. The centuries-old saying is also topical now. A non-stop and, most importantly, safe water supply in Tatarstan’s third-biggest city is a very important task. The enterprise operates around the clock on usual days too. But during the self-isolation period, the only Nizhnekamsk plant has switched to a special regime.

During the self-isolation period, WTP-NKNK will be operating in a special regime. Photo: Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC

“The water treatment plant is operating. Water treatment consists of five stages. We also bring reagents, process and treat water, do laboratory tests, check the quality of water, all employees are provided with medical masks, disinfectants,” said Radik Gubaydullin, chief engineer at WTP-NKNK, in a talk with Realnoe Vremya’s journalist.

TAIF-NK: COVID-19 preventive measures intensified

Naphtha, petrol, diesel fuel — all these are products of one company of TAIF Group. The production of goods that petrochemical enterprises and car owners need so much hasn’t stopped even for a day. But requirements for measures of epidemiological safety in the plant have been stricter and are compulsory to be met.

Every worker and specialist is obliged to be careful about their health outside the workplace. In case of the slightest ailment, they should immediately go to health care establishments. Communication with representatives of suppliers and clients is remote: teleconference, phone calls and emails. It is recommended to avoid any trips and personal trips across Russia, even outside the republic, the city. Two-week quarantine awaits the lawbreakers.

A set of preventive measures taken at TAIF-NK JSC is aimed to save all the staff’s health and provide effective operation of the production. Photo: TAIF-NK JSC

Every worker is provided with antiseptics and means of individual protection he or she is obliged to use. Both health care workers who check the health of the enterprise’s staff several times a day and members of a quick response team created at TAIF-NK JSC since the declaration of a special sanitary and epidemiological regime oversee how the requirements are met. Wet cleaning with disinfection is done no less than three times a day in all rooms, including in workplaces. All these actions are aimed to perform key tasks: save all the staff’s health and provide effective operation of the production.

Main production of Kazanorgsintez PJSC keeps running

Kazanorgsintez PJSC began to take the first measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection as early as early March when contacts with representatives of foreign states were limited and there were done additional works to disinfect the territory of the enterprise.

Production in plants of Kazanorgsintez PJSC goes on. Photo: Kazanorgsintez PJSC

The measures have been tightened since 16 March: access of third persons, including business partners, has been restricted. Business talks and meetings have been held via teleconference and emails. The employees could move within the boundaries of the territory only to do their job. Business trips have been cancelled, the workers and management have been recommended to stay in the country during their holiday too. The staff has been recommended to wear means of individual protection — masks — in the workplace.

The staff has been recommended to wear means of individual protection — masks — in the workplace. Photo: Vladimir Tunik

The health department has adopted a special regime in the middle of March already, a special room with a separate entrance to receive people with flu symptoms has opened there too.

All social facilities of Kazanorgsintez PJSC — swimming pool, health resort, Sunny, Shelanga and Observatory recreational camps — have suspended their operation in late March. This is a forced but necessary measure. The activity will renew after the special state is cancelled.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and limitations it caused, the production in the plants of Kazanorgsintez PJSC continues too during the period that was declared non-working across Russia but with corrections. So some of the day staff who can work remotely have started telecommuting. Those who are obliged to be in the workplace are provided with necessary means of individual protection, antiseptics, the management of the enterprise cared about enough reserve of them beforehand. The employees engaged in production are working according to a schedule established by every subdivision itself to provide non-stop and effective manufacturing process.

The management of the enterprise is providing the workers with as high as possible safety level during the pandemic. So, to compensate for consequences of a decision made by urban authorities to limit the working time of public transport traffic and the number of cars in routes to Kazanorgsintez PJSC, the service of the vice director general on staff and general issues changed routes and timetable of shuttles. Several trips have been added so that the workers of the enterprise can easily get to Kazanorgsintez and go home. The shuttles are thoroughly treated with antiseptics before every trip and afterwards. The staff with personal cars have been provided with free parking lots during the period of non-working days.

The number of shuttle routes and buses for them has increased at Kazanorgsintez PJSC. Photo: Vladimir Tunik

A checkpoint is a place with a high epidemiological risk. There is a lot of people here. The entry system meets the demands of the times. Without reducing the strictness of examination, the process has accelerated as much as possible. Moreover, to prevent other people from trying to enter the territory of the enterprise, the health of every person crossing the turnstile has been evaluated at the checkpoint since March already. The checkpoints are equipped with contactless thermometers and thermal imaging, and employees who come to start their shift can disinfect their hands with the help of dispensers with antiseptics. There is regular wet cleaning at the checkpoints too. Moreover, at rush hour, the turnstile is wiped with disinfectants every 15 minutes, when it is calmer this is done no rarer than once in 30 minutes.

There is regular wet cleaning at the checkpoints too. Moreover, at rush hour, the turnstile is wiped with disinfectants every 15 minutes. Photo: Vladimir Tunik

Cleaning with antiseptics is done in all workplaces several times per shift. Special equipment cleans the internal system of roads and curbs no less than twice a day. There is constant medical control over the workers in the workplaces — the medical staff inspects the shops, surveys the employees and takes their temperature.

Kazanorgsintez is not only operating, new plants are put into operation there too. For instance, in early April, a new compressor division opened in the plant of organic products and industrial gas in test mode within the modernisation of manufacturing infrastructure and implementation of plans of the Strategic Development of TAIG Group Enterprises. The task of the new compressor is to provide KOS plants with nitrogen gas non-stop.

A new compressor division was put into operation at Kazanorgsintez PJSC on 2 April. Photo: Kazanorgsintez PJSC

Those employees who have to be in self-isolation will be paid during the non-working days as usual, reads the official release of Kazanorgsintez PJSC. In their free time, every self-isolated worker can help to sew single-use masks for their colleagues who remained in the workplace. The enterprise is providing them with fabric. In addition, the public catering service prepared a food basket to the doorstep to provide those employees of the enterprise who have to stay in strict quarantine or don’t leave their home or flat voluntarily.

The older generation has been paid attention too — it is a high-risk group during the epidemic. Kazanorgsintez’s trade union and volunteers of the enterprise joined efforts with the administration of Kirov and Moscow Districts of Kazan and are ready to purchase food and medication they need and deliver them to any part of the city on veterans’ request.

Moreover, Kazanorgsintez will help the Tatarstan health care system voluntarily. It was made a decision to allocate money to purchase 1,200 hazmat suits for a reserve hospital of the Republican Clinical Hospital of the Tatarstan Ministry of Health Care. The special clothes are for medical staff that will work with patients with the coronavirus infection. The hospital designed for 200 beds is equipped to receive patients with severe COVID-19.

TAIF-NK Petrol Station — fill up at the click

Private transport remains the safest means of transportation during COVID-19 pandemic. But the car must be refuelled regularly to have the opportunity to move. Besides, the availability of fuel affects the regularity and timeliness of cargo transportation, delivery of basic necessities to retail outlets, pharmacies, hospitals, and factories that continue to operate. Realizing this, TAIF-NK Petrol Station decided to continue operating as normal the entire network of filling stations, providing the population and enterprises with high-quality petrol and diesel fuel produced by TAIF Group in the required volumes.

TAIF-NK filling station network continues to operate during the period of self-isolation. Photo: Roman Khasaev

At the same time, all filling stations have taken the necessary measures to prevent the spread of the virus — filling station operators have been provided with masks and antiseptics, filling stations with trading halls have been promptly equipped with protective screens to minimize staff contact with customers.

The mobile apps Yandex.Fuel, Fuelup and Benzuber, linked to the car owner's bank card, are designed to protect the customers and station staff as much as possible. When you come at a filling station, you just need to select the address, column number, type of fuel, and the amount or volume that you plan to fill up with. All that remains to do next is to insert the fuelling nozzle into the tank and refuel. No contact — no danger.

Avers Bank recommends to use e-banking services

Avers Bank has expanded the list of services that can be obtained remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Rinat Nazmetdinov

Avers Bank continues to provide services during the period of self-isolation. Caring of its customers, the bank recommends using remote banking services during the period of COVID-19 epidemic with an expanded list of services that can be obtained remotely during the panepidemic, including:

  • full or partial early repayment of the loan;
  • providing loan certificates (statement of interest paid on the loan, certificate of loan repayment, certificate of debt balance on the loan, including for the purpose of repayment of mortgage debt at the expense of maternity capital, etc.);
  • individual consultation on loan repayment holidays for up to 6 months on mortgage and consumer loans;
  • clarification of the balance on accounts;
  • changing the contact phone number to enable Avers-online service;
  • enabling the auto debiting service for loan repayment;
  • general information.

For information on the services of Avers Bank, call hotline at 8 (800) 700-43-21. On the bank's official website, you can find out the working hours of the bank's offices, as well as find answers to relevant questions about banking services in the context of the pandemic.

In the difficult period of the pandemic coronavirus COVID-19, the whole TAIF Group continues to operate, providing the population with electricity, heat, individual protection equipment, and industrial enterprises — with necessary energy and raw materials, the economy of the region and the country — with finances needed to solve relevant and pressing issues.

By Arseny Favstritsky