Ayrat Safin: “Both the employer and the employee should have a sense of self-preservation”

The director general of Nizhnekamskneftekhim on the main tasks and concrete steps during the economic downturn

The coronavirus pandemic has already had an impact on the world economy — tire factories are being closed, and petrochemical plants are being suspended. How COVID-19 has affected the petrochemical industry in general and Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC in particular — these and other questions were answered by the director general of Nizhnekamskneftekhim, Ayrat Safin.

“The demand for the entire product line has decreased”

Ayrat Foatovich, in the context of the global economic crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, petrochemical and tire production facilities are being closed in Western countries. What about Nizhnekamskneftekhim? The situation in the world and at our company is being difficult.

The demand for the entire product line has decreased. To date, 90 tire factories around the world have suspended their production. The total capacity is more than 400 million tires per year. This has affected us as well. The demand for all types of rubber has decreased. This is our most important export potential. This is why we have problems with rubber.

Rumours are being spread that due to the global situation, the production facilities of Nizhnekamskneftekhim may be stopped. Is this possible? We are still considering a more optimistic option.

The issue is not being on the agenda. We coordinated our plan for major repairs a little bit and started the repair a little earlier. We hope that the situation in the world will change by the time our enterprises come out of major repairs. The most important task is to survive, preserve the production potential and, above all, our team.

How will the pandemic affect the construction of the new ethylene complex? At the moment, the issue concerning ethylene is also not being on the agenda.

All works will go according to the schedule.

The technology staff is working in accordance with the staff schedule

What mode is the company currently operating in?

The technology staff is working in accordance with the staff schedule. We have switched more than 50 per cent of our day staff to remote operation. We have put our specialists over 60 years of age into self-isolation mode. The company has implemented all recommended sanitary and epidemiological measures for non-proliferation of coronavirus infection.

How will salaries be paid in these difficult conditions?

All payments will be made in full accordance with the current regulations on remuneration at our company.

And in connection with the unfavourable economic situation, will employees be paid an annual annual bonus, what is known as the 13th salary?

Yes, they will be. We have made this decision despite the gravity of the situation. It has been supported by our shareholders — to pay an annual bonus based on the results of work in 2019. The 13th salary will be paid in accordance with the regulations, both in amount and in terms. When? I think in the nearest time.

“Whatever control we do, it all depends on us”

Nizhnekamskneftekhim has taken strict measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection, but how is it possible to ensure a safe mode of delivery of petrochemists to work and back home?

Today we have organized 134 buses. We have increased the number of buses served during a certain period. We have specially set up the acceptance and transfer of the shift so that people do not go to the bus stop at the same time after the end of the working day.

We must have a sense of selfpreservation. Let's follow all the prescribed rules together. For example, do not rush to get on the bus. Whatever control we do, it all depends on us. Therefore, if about 35 people have already got on the bus, it is better to wait for the next one. Both the employer and the employee should have a sense of selfpreservation. I suggest that you do not worry about this issue. We will follow this up to the end and transport everyone from work.

We are being in control of the situation. Besides, some employees asked for parking spaces in order to get to work in their cars. We found an opportunity and additionally provided 1,000 parking spaces for free. Therefore, if someone wants to get by their own car, you are welcomed to use parking lots.

In Nizhnekamsk, however, as well as throughout the country, there is being a shortage of medical masks. Are the company's employees provided with personal protective equipment? Have you found a way out of this situation?

We have purchased more than half a million masks for the staff. Besides, on April 13, we promptly launched our automatic mask production line for industrial production. It was received on April 10 and the commissioning works were completed in just one day. On April 12, I visited this production facility, and a trial batch was already being produced. The productivity of this line is about 4,000 pieces per hour. To date, more than 31,000 masks have been produced.

I would also like to thank all our employees and volunteers who responded to the call to sew masks at home. Today, more than 5,000 masks are being produced manually by volunteers and employees of our company a day. From 6 to 10 April, more than 32,000 masks were sewn. On April 13, we handed over 6,000 masks to the Nizhnekamsk Central District Hospital.

Thus, as a team, we can support each other and overcome the emerging problems associated with the global coronavirus pandemic and the economic crisis.

By Lyutsia Kashapova. Photo courtesy of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC

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