Ayrat Safin: ‘Nizhnekamsk’s development is impossible without Nizhnekamskneftekhim’s development’

Russia’s biggest synthetic rubber and plastic manufacturer Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC has signed an agreement on cooperation with sponsored educational establishments. However, the company has helped educational establishments since its foundation, but this year the relations will reset. Within the cooperation, the backbone enterprise plans to keep providing maximum financial support, while schools, in turn, will motivate the younger generation to choose a job that’s in demand in the petrochemical sector.

“If we didn’t develop, we would be uncompetitive”

Before the event began, directors of 15 schools and the Ecological and Biological Centre went to the construction site of the new ethylene complex with a capacity of 600,000 tonnes of ethylene a year that will also make propylene, butadiene, benzene and other petrochemical products. The construction works in the new complex are scheduled to end in June 2023.

The complex will need qualified staff. The launch and further maintenance will require operators, pump and compressor machinists. It is also planned to invite youth specialists, graduates of vocational colleges and universities to work.

After an excursion, the guests went to Nizhnekamskneftekhim’s headquarters where an agreement on mutual cooperation was signed. Opening the meeting Ayrat Safin congratulated the teachers on the belated holiday — Teacher’s Day, wished success in their hard work and then switched to the key theme of the event. He reminded them that Nizhnekamsk was born thanks to Nizhnekamskneftekhim. The enterprise has been developing together with the city for 53 years. The NKNK director general provided interesting statistics:

“Nizhnekamsk’s development is impossible without Nizhnekamskneftekhim’s development. For instance, Nizhnekamsk’s budget is 1,4 billion rubles. Nizhnekamskneftekhim’s taxes to the local budget total 900 million rubles. We can consider that 70% of the city’s budget is our contribution,” Ayrat Safin said.

According to him, the petrochemical industry develops at a very high pace around the world. It is necessary to modernise and build new plants to remain competitive.

“Many say that it is time to stop and not to develop further. I will put it simply: in the early 2000s, NKNK developed only as a rubber supplier, then the correct strategic programme on plastic development was adopted. Nowadays we produce almost all types of plastic, we are a big manufacturer in Russia. The pandemic showed that the correct strategy was chosen in the 2000s. About 130 tyre plants closed around the world, we didn’t manage to sell all rubber. We haven’t recovered yet when it comes to rubber. Plastics are remedying the situation. They are covering losses, allowing paying salaries. If we didn’t develop, we would be uncompetitive,” the NKNK director general stressed.

“The wider the product line, the safer the company feels”

Nowadays Nizhnekamskneftekhim pays a lot of attention to modernisation and construction of new plants to produce different petrochemicals. In Safin’s opinion, the wider the product line, the safer the company feels in the petrochemical market. The petrochemists try to increase the processing of feedstock into end sought-after products with this purpose. Nizhnekamskneftekhim’s new olefin complex will become a guarantee of the city and republic’s stable future.

“Ethylene is a basic monomer of whole petrochemistry. The development of petrochemistry begins precisely with the ethylene plant. For example, the USA produces 27,6 million tonnes of ethylene a year, Japan does 7,5 million, Saudi Arabia — about 6 million, Germany and South Korea — 5,5 million tonnes, Russia does 2,8 million tonnes. The USA manufactures nearly 416 million tonnes a year from imported feedstock, this ethylene, Japan does 193 million tonnes, Russia — 23 million tonnes. So we have something to strive for,” Ayrat Safin noted.

He added that the construction of Nizhnekamskneftekhim’s new plants didn’t have a negative environmental impact. The company isn’t increasing the industrial site, it is building on the same territory, emissions into the atmosphere don’t exceed the limits fixed for the enterprise, in contrast, they reduce year after year. Starting to build new units, the petrochemists get rid of obsolete ones like, for instance, it was done before the preparation of a methanol project. Isopentane fraction, synthetic resins and varnish, a condensate double evaporation unit were on this site previously. A butadiene styrene rubber plant to make new eco-friendly tyres is erected here, also without increasing the area of the industrial zone.

“Now we implement investment projects for the company’s strategic development. It is important both for the enterprise and the country, the republic and the city, as it will increase taxes to all budget levels, which means it will be an impulse for the development of the social infrastructure of the city and well-being of its citizens. The time has new requirements for staff as well. This is why serious attention is paid to staff training. We want to see smart boys and girls here who consciously chose the job of operator, laboratory worker, I&A engineer,” Director General of Nizhnekamskneftekhim Ayrat Safin addressed the teachers and reminded them he returned to Nizhnekamskneftekhim about a year before and stressed that the salary in this enterprise was higher than related companies in Tatarstan. While the company’s collective agreement was acknowledged the best in Russia’s petrochemical complex.

“One should look at Nizhnekamskneftekhim like an enterprise that provides stable work, help to move up the career ladder. This is why we want to deliver the information to the younger generation of Nizhnekamsk citizens and all citizens about the necessity, importance and meaning of the construction of new plants precisely through you,” Ayrat Safin emphasised.

The petrochemists plan to pay more attention to purposefully work with the youth when choosing a sought-after petrochemical job. Schoolchildren annually go on excursions to get acquainted with Nizhnekamskneftekhim. They visit the territory of industrial zones and production plants, familiarise with the backbone enterprise, the main professions and specialities. Now the company is considering creating Neftekhim Classes in schools, Neftekhim Group in colleges and then groups at university in 2021. Education at schools will focus on exact sciences.

“We have common goals — so that every graduate will get a good education and job, a stable workplace with all social guarantees and our enterprise will continue its development by simultaneously increasing taxes for our city. We count on your understanding when it comes to the training of future specialists for Nizhnekamskneftekhim,” Ayrat Safin concluded.

“Nizhnekamskneftekhim staff is our power”

Signing the agreement on cooperation, Nizhnekamskneftekhim and educational establishments of the city agreed to create favourable conditions for the younger generation’s all-round development, inculcate love for labour, popularise skilled jobs in petrochemistry. Nizhnekamskneftekhim assigned a subdivision or plant an educational establishment, which total 18, they will cooperate with.

“We recently took School No. 29 under our tutelage. We have an understanding with the director. We try to help the educational establishment, provide a separate budget for this. For instance, this year we repaired the changing room. Cooperation with schools provides an image-related advantage, we bring up future petrochemists, engage them in the process. We invite the schoolchildren to our events, show where and how we work and wait for them in the future,” says Maksim Shuysky, Director of Isoprene-Monomer Plant at Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC.

At the end of the event, the directors of schools thanked the management of Nizhnekamskneftekhim for support.

“Many thanks to Nizhnekamskneftekhim for the chance of going to the enterprise, seeing the magnitude of the construction of EP-600. We are workers of public organisations, at times we don’t think about how our biggest enterprise of the city develops. It has been very interesting for us. We will deliver all information we received to our staff. I want to say thank you for the organisation of the meeting in such a format. We met with directors of plants our schools are attached to in a friendly way. I hope we will meet in the same format,” Vice Director of the Educational Administration of Nizhnekamsk Municipal District Olga Sizova shared impressions of the meeting.

“A lot of children of Nizhnekamskneftekhim employees study in our school, the cooperation between the school and enterprise is very important. Our patrons — the NKNK Construction Department — help us with everything. It is great we have signed such an agreement today. All the clauses that are present here are very interesting for both sides. We will make a plan for joint work, attract enterprises. We will do it. Career guidance is an indispensable part of the school’s work. This year a big number of schoolchildren entered the Petrochemistry and Oil Refining College and dream of working in this enterprise,” Director of School No. 36 Aleksandra Ofitserova noted.

According to the school directors, most Nizhnekamsk schoolchildren pursue a degree to become operators, machinists, I&A engineers and electricians, and in the future, after they find a job at NKNK, they will have a stable salary and social guarantees.

Affiliate report

By Liliya Yegorova. Photo courtesy of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC