Construction, repair, modernisation: has COVID-19 pandemic affected TAIF Group's development plans?

Construction, repair, modernisation: has COVID-19 pandemic affected TAIF Group's development plans?
Photo: Roman Khasaev

Global crisis. The overall decline in demand on global markets, for petrochemicals and oil and gas processing products in particular. The COVID-19 pandemic, which has stopped interstate logistics and hit the global economy hard. How and how strongly all these negative factors have influenced the implementation of TAIF Group's development strategy plans — read in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

TGC-16: 10 years — the course for development

TAIF Group generating company is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. In 2010, having acquired the ownership of two stations — Kazan CHPP-3 and Nizhnekamsk CHPP (PTK-1), TAIF Group created TGC-16 JSC, which has significantly increased its production capacity in the mode of cogeneration of heat and electricity.

TGC-16 JSC has implemented a large-scale programme to improve the reliability and efficiency of the power complex since its foundation. Photo: Rinat Nazmetdinov

The generating company has implemented a large-scale programme to improve the reliability and efficiency of the power complex since its formation with the support of TAIF Group. The comprehensive reconstruction and modernisation has raised the efficiency and competitiveness of production to a new level, reduced the specific consumption of standard fuel and increased production.

Last year, TGC-16 applied for a competitive selection in the state programme of modernisation of generating facilities of thermal power plants and successfully passed it.

“The decision to participate in the programme of modernisation of generating equipment of thermal power plants was made by TGC-16 immediately. Our energy facilities were included in the programme both following the results of competitive selection and the consideration by the government commission. The decision was supported by the leadership of Tatarstan: on behalf of the President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov, appeals were submitted to the Government Commission on the Development of the Electric Power Industry. As a result, we received the opportunity to modernise four facilities," said Eduard Galeev, the director general of TGC-16 JSC, in an interview with Realnoe Vremya.

Eduard Galeev: “TGK-16 took the decision to participate in DPM-2 immediately.” Photo: Roman Khasaev

Thanks to participation in the programme, TGC-16 will modernise the steam turbines of Nizhnekamsk СHP (PTK-1) and Kazan CHP-3 until the end of 2025. The preparation for the implementation of modernisation projects at the facilities of TAIF Group generating company has already begun. According to Eduard Galeev, technical solutions are currently being worked out, preliminary schedules for the modernisation of steam turbines at both stations are already ready, equipment manufacturers are being selected and contractual documentation is being prepared.

The current and major repairs are carried out as planned. Photo: TGC-16 JSC

During the period when the country declared non-working days in March, April and May, TAIF Group's energy facilities, like all key companies, continued to operate in a continuous mode, not only generating and supplying consumers with heat and electricity but also implementing repair and maintenance programmes for equipment, buildings and structures on a regular basis.

To ensure reliable operation under the repair programme of TGC-16 JSC, it is planned to carry out major repairs of three power steam boilers with a total steam capacity of 1,320 t/h and three steam turbines with a total capacity of 104 MW, inspection of the hot gas path of gas turbine with a capacity of 405,6 MW.

At the end of April, Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov got acquainted with the work of energy sector enterprises in the context of the pandemic. In particular, he asked about the progress of planned repairs.

At present, TGC-16 has carried out routine repairs on six power boilers, one recovery boiler, six turbo units, and one gas turbine unit. Ongoing repairs are being carried out on four power boilers. At the same time, the power boiler No. 14 of Nizhnekamsk CHP-1 is undergoing extended maintenance with a super-typical amount of work with the replacement of heating surfaces — a screen superheater. Current repairs are also being carried out on three turbine units of Nizhnekamsk CHPP-1. Major repairs of the main equipment were carried out, major repairs were made to one power boiler at Nizhnekamsk CHP-1 and two turbo units at Kazan CHP-3.

At the end of April, Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov got acquainted with the work of energy sector enterprises in the context of the pandemic. Photo: prav.tatar.ru

In April, a borescope inspection of the gas turbine (General Electric's 405 MW GTU) was carried out at Kazan CHPP-3.

“The examination showed that there were no remarks. The machine is functional and will continue to work. We have a stock of spare parts. According to the plan, a shutdown for repairs is provided in August. We already have everything we need for repairs," Eduard Galeev, the director general of TGC-16 JSC, shared his further plans for repairs in the interview with Realnoe Vremya.

Kazanorgsintez: modernization going on schedule

It is impossible to refuse major repairs or postpone them for an indefinite period: this will lead to a violation of the technology and create a threat to the industrial safety of production, Kazanorgisntez stresses. All work planned for 2020 is proceeding according to the adopted plan. Chief engineer of the company Rafael Safarov reported this to the journalist of Realnoe Vremya.

All work planned for 2020 is proceeding according to the adopted plan. Photo: Kazanorgsintez PJSC

“In 2020, according to the plan, we should have three major capital repairs. The first one is in spring (April-May). The works were carried out at the plant of high-pressure polyethylene (LDPE) in the course of it. The second is at the end of summer. The works are planned at the production facilities of polycarbonates, bisphenol A, and phenol production. Finally, during the third overhaul (in autumn), events will be organized at the ethylene and low-pressure polyethylene production facilities," Safarov told.

The first stage fell at the height of the self-isolation regime, but it did not affect the volume and order of work. The only thing is that the deadline was moved to earlier terms. However, as the chief engineer of Kazanorgsintez emphasized, the role here was played not so much by the coronavirus as by the fact that a number of domestic processors of polyethylene had a need to increase the volume of products of Kazanorgsintez. That is why the repair started 2 weeks later. The work of the third stage of high-pressure polyethylene production was stopped on April 29. Repairs were completed in mid-May.

There were no problems or difficulties with the delivery of the necessary equipment and spare parts. Everything necessary for routine and capital repairs, the companies of TAIF Group purchase in advance.

Shortly before the announcement of the first non-working week at the plant of organic products and technical gases in the pilot operation mode, a new compressor department was launched. The task of the new compressor is to provide uninterrupted production of Kazanorgsintez with nitrogen gas.

Shortly before the announcement of the first non-working week at the Organic Products and Industrial Gases Plant was running a new compressor compartment. Photo: Kazanorgsintez PJSC

Major repairs and upgrades planned at the Polycarbonates Plant should significantly increase the productivity of the enterprise.

“The large-scale modernisation of the production of Polycarbonates Plant takes place in two stages. It started in 2019 as part of the decision of the board of directors of Kazanorgsintez PJSC dated August 23, 2018. The final works will be completed this year. After the introduction of new technologies, the production capacity of the Polycarbonates Plant will grow from 70,000 tonnes a year to 90,000-100,000 tonnes a year," explained Renat Zakirov, the chief technologist of the Polycarbonates Plant.

The second stage of modernisation is planned at the Polycarbonates Plant. Photo: Kazanorgsintez PJSC

“The implementation of the second stage of modernisation is planned for August-September 2020. The project will include partial replacement of dynamic, heat exchange and Instrumentation equipment, replacement of internal contact devices of the first column of DMK section, and modernisation of the equipment of the granule packing unit," Renat Zakirov explained. He stressed that after the completion of the planned works and the launch of the updated production, the burden on the environment will not increase.

Ethylene plant workshops are being updated with the inclusion of equipment for processing propane raw materials in the production chain. This will compensate for the shortage of ethane raw materials. At the Bisphenol A Plant, the isopropylbenzene production unit is being reconstructed with the introduction of cumene production using a zeolite catalyst. Besides, the process of construction of its own PSU-250 power plant at Kazanorgsintez PJSC is entering an active phase, which will increase the efficiency of energy supply and reduce costs.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim: works for construction and modernisation continue

Even under special conditions, Nizhnekamskneftekhim did not stop the construction of new facilities or the modernization of existing ones. For example, the main buildings have already been erected at the new power station of the PSU-TPP with a capacity of 495 MW for the needs of the petrochemical complex, finishing works are underway and equipment installation is being completed. Two gas turbines, a steam turbine with generators, and waste-heat boilers have practically been installed. The future cooling tower is growing, the height of which will reach 89 metres. The work is strictly on schedule, reported at Nizhnekamskneftekhim.

Even under the special regime, Nizhnekamskneftekhim did not stop work on modernization and construction of production facilities. Photo: Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC

In mid-April, during a visit to Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC, Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov got acquainted with the progress of work on a new megaproject of TAIF Group — the construction of the EP-600 olefin complex. The plant will produce ethylene in the amount of 600,000 tonnes a year, propylene — 272,000, butadiene — 88,000, benzene — 246,000. The raw material capacity is 1,7 million tonnes a year.

“The heart of the ethylene plant is the pyrolysis oven. Six furnaces in operation, one in reserve. They are followed by the induration node. It is designed for the selection of heavy hydrocarbons. After that, the products will go for gas separation. This is where the compressor room is located. We will also have a shared operator room. The management will be performed from here," Rustam Minnikhanov was shown details on the layout of the complex under construction, installed in the administrative building of the future production facility. It was possible to assess the scale of preparation for the future construction from the roof of the same building where Ruslan Shigabutdinov, the director general of TAIF JSC and chairman of the Board of Directors of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC, and Ayrat Safin, the director general of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC, went.

In the administrative building of the future production facility, Rustam Minnikhanov was shown the layout of the complex. Photo: tatarstan.ru

The general contractor, Turkish Gemont, started preparatory work in September last year. In late June and early July, two primary fractionation columns were delivered and installed. In the near future, it is expected to deliver more than a dozen units of large-sized equipment. During the navigation period, 264 units will arrive.

During the pandemic, Nizhnekamskneftekhim purchased an automated line and in a short time organized the sewing of disposable masks, in which the republic experienced a serious shortage. Besides, the formulation of an antiseptic that fully meets the requirements of who has been developed and passed all the necessary tests and expertise. The disinfectant is safe for people and 100% effective in fighting infectious agents. The composition Antiseptic DS-1 has received state registration and is allowed to manufacture, transport, purchase, storage, sale and use. The Nizhnekamskneftekhim pilot plant will produce more than 16,000 litres of disinfectant a month. If necessary, the production is ready to increase volumes.

In May, Nizhnekamskneftekhim completed work on replacing the catalyst in the adsorber at the ethylene purification unit at the polyethylene production plant of plastics.

The production of fractionalized styrene-butadiene synthetic rubber (DSSK) is almost completed. The foundations were laid, more than 20 thousand cubic metres of concrete have been laid, and almost 5 thousand tonnes of metal structures have been installed. 421 units of technological equipment and two rubber separation units have beeb delivered to the site. The works continue.

80% of the work on the construction of DSSK production has been completed. Photo: Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC

Five coal filters have been reconstructed and put into operation at SOV-NKNH water treatment plant. It is planned to complete work on seven more sites during the year.

“Our company has felt the reduction in demand most keenly in the segment of synthetic rubbers. The shipments of rubbers to tyre companies that have reduced their production have been suspended. The disrupted logistics has led to overstocking of the company's warehouses. In this regard, Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC took the necessary measures: we carried out an annual overhaul at the plants for the production of synthetic rubbers in April-May to reduce supply during a period of low demand," said Ayrat Safin, the director general of the company, in the interview with Realnoe Vremya.

Ayrat Safin: “We have moved the annual overhaul on the plants for the production of synthetic rubber in April-May.” Photo: Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC

Shutdown maintenance of production plants of butyl rubber, synthetic rubber, divinyl and hydrocarbon raw materials, as well as isoprene-monomer were carried out. Technical inspection, cleaning, and repair of equipment and pipelines have been completed. We have implemented insets to increase existing capacities and connect new production facilities.

TAIF-NK: leadership in oil refining industry

The decline in global stock prices for petroleum products, combined with government regulation of prices on the domestic market last year, as well as the global economic crisis associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, have severely limited the profitability of oil refining. And this has not had the best effect on the timing of the planned modernisation of production facilities and the return on investment. Nevertheless, TAIF-NK JSC, like other companies in TAIF Group, consistently and systematically continues to implement the adopted Development Strategy, the purpose of which is to ensure a leading position in the market in the field of processing of hydrocarbons, production and sale of petroleum products.

TAIF-NK JSC production modernisation programme is aimed at improving the quality of products. Photo: Roman Khasaev

The development of many industries, agriculture and cargo transportation requires a constant increase in the supply of diesel fuel. The expansion of the capacity of main pipelines contributes to the solution of this problem in the domestic market of Russia. For example, in 2019, the company commissioned a main diesel fuel supply pipeline from TAIF-NK oil refinery to Transneft main system (Nizhnekamsk-2 GPS). The 8,3 km long main pipeline is a complex engineering structure with a pumping station, start-up and reception chambers, numerous shut-off valves and connection points.

The new main pipeline made it possible to significantly increase the volume of sales of Euro-5 diesel fuel through the pipeline system of the Russian Federation, as well as to foreign countries, from 1,7 million tonnes to 3,2 million tonnes a year. At the same time, thanks to the built trunk pipeline, the company's logistics costs were significantly optimised.

The project is of great strategic importance not only for TAIF-NK JSC and TAIF Group, but also for the economy of the Republic of Tatarstan and the Russian Federation as a whole.

High performance results of TAIF-NK JSC are achieved due to such components as efficient use of resources, systematic modernisation and optimisation of production processes, and responsive response to changes in external factors. The activity of TAIF-NK JSC in terms of the level of tasks and quality of results meets the main criteria of the company-the leader of the oil refining industry. Over the years of successful operation, the company has achieved the highest indicators and proved that the Company has all the necessary opportunities for further sustainable development and achievement of the goals set by the president of the Russian Federation and the government of the Russian Federation.

In the near future, TAIF-NK plans to increase sales of products of a high environmental standard, which have a high added value, and significantly increase the volume of production, which, in turn, will ensure an increase in the total amount of tax deductions to budgets of all levels.

At the same time, TAIF-NK remains a reliable and responsible company, well known not only for the effectiveness of its strategy in the field of oil refining but also for its significant contribution to the socio-economic development of the Republic of Tatarstan.­ TAIF-NK conducts various charitable activities and always participates in various projects of the Republic of Tatarstan aimed at supporting and developing agriculture, education, health, sports, culture and art, protecting public order, as well as providing targeted charitable assistance.

TAIF-NK gas station: rebranding continues

TAIF-NK AZS PLC — the largest network of gas stations in Tatarstan, also represented in neighbouring regions — the republics of Udmurtia and Chuvashia, Kirov Oblast, Samara Oblast and Ulyanovsk Oblast, continues rebranding. During the COVID-19 pandemic, no gas stations were closed for a single day, all employees were promptly equipped with personal protective equipment and disinfection, and shopping halls were equipped with protective screens. In the difficult conditions of the coronavirus pandemic, TAIF Group's gas station network continues to operate normally. All gas stations in the network provide consumers with high-quality motor fuel around the clock, including meeting the needs of emergency services.

An additional security measure that ensures social distance is contactless payment. At all TAIF filling stations, you can fill up your car using Yandex mobile app.Gas stations, Fuelup and Benzuber. During the period from April to June of this year, the number of purchases of fuel with contactless payment increased by 30% compared to the period before the COVID-19 epidemic.

The company's plans for modernising facilities were not disrupted either, at the end of May, the next gas station on the street was updated on Pavlyukhina Street in Kazan.

Over the next few years, all 220 TAIF-NK gas stations will be brought to a single brand and corporate identity. Photo: taifazs.ru

In the next month's perspective, four more stations in Kazan will be modernised, and over the next few years, all 220 gas stations will be brought to a single brand and corporate identity.

Close attention is also paid to other aspects of development, and the process of delivering fuel from the plant to the gas station is optimised. Logistics that eliminates the need for intermediate storage and delays in transit, gives the opportunity to ensure the quality standard of motor fuel. In this regard, the company is working to further develop and update its own fleet, for which additional branded fuel trucks have been purchased, which since may have been delivering high-quality fuel produced by TAIF-NK plant.

Since the beginning of May 2020, TAIF-NK fuel is delivered to the TAIF-NK gas station by new branded fuel trucks. Photo: Maksim Platonov

Working with an eye to the future, the ability to forecast market needs for the future and the willingness to invest in building production capacity and expanding the product line is one of the distinctive features of TAIF Group. Despite the unstable economic situation in the world and the coronavirus pandemic, TAIF Group remains true to the development strategy and continues to implement it.

By Arseny Favstritsky
Tatarstan