Grand Prix, bullets in polycarbonate and production novelties: Kazanorgsintez participates in gas and petrochemical forum

Why polycarbonate sheets were fired bullets at Kazanorgsintez PJSC, what plans are made for the next years and how else attendees of Tatarstan Gas and Petrochemical Forum were going to be surprised with

Kazanorgsintez PJSC together with Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC and the parent company of TAIF Group TAIF JSC became the general partner of the traditional 28th Tatarstan Gas and Petrochemical Forum at Kazan Expo exhibition centre. At the exhibition of the united stand of Group, Kazanorgsintez presented its novelties and popular products. Read in Realnoe Vremya’s report what one of the leading Russian and European petrochemical companies won a Grand Prix for, what large-scale projects it implements now and how developments of KOS can help deep-sea researchers.

Driver of economy

This is how, moreover deservedly, oil refining and gas and petrochemistry are named. Russia actively expands production output, the conversion rate and the assortment. Companies of TAIF Group play one of the leading roles in these processes.

They as well as tens of Russian and global leading companies of the sector traditionally brought the best and innovative ideas to Tatarstan at the end of the summer. Another more than 5,000 people from nearly 20 countries attended the event and were ready to participate in debates online.

“We really need to organise such meetings. A lot of our partners always make time, find an opportunity and participate. More than 150 companies are participating. There will be a lot of interesting topics that are related to new challenges. I think both the forum and round-table talks will be useful and interesting,” Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov stressed in his welcome speech when opening the forum.

“This site has already been convening the largest representatives of the Fuel and Energy Complex, mechanical engineering, science for many years. Topical issues of development of the oil, gas and chemical sectors, digitalisation, import substitution are discussed here. It is necessary to say that the Fuel and Energy Complex is the main client and consumer of the sectors of investment mechanical engineering, oil and gas mechanical engineering. And the Ministry of Industry and Trade pays attention to this area. I believe the forum will be at the top level this year too,” Russia’s Vice Minister of Industry and Trade Mikhail Ivanov expressed his confidence.

“It became a good tradition to gather in early September, on the eve of our professional holiday, Petroleum Worker’s Day, we always meet in this amazing city, Kazan, to sum up what has been done during the previous period. Even though we have been living under sanctions for seven years, the gas and petrochemical complexes are alive, and we in general have things to talk about. Kazan Gas and Oil Petrochemical Forum is always a show, a show of our victories, show of perhaps those reserves we have,” noted President of the Union of Oil and Gas Workers of Russia Gennady Shmal from the stage.

In fact, participants in the forum gathered to see and then discuss those accomplishments, hot-button issues and problems of the sector, find new business acquaintances, agree with partners and representatives of science on joint work, to outline new areas of development.

Novelty of the year by Kazanorgsintez

Before looking the exposition over, the organisers of the event traditionally summed up a competition for the best exhibit, project or technical solution. Winners of the Grand Prix received the deserved award from Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov’s hands.

Kazan Federal University, Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC, Tatneft PJSC were among the laureates, but Director General of Kazanorgsintez PJSC Farid Minigulov was the first to appear on the stage to receive the deserved award. PC-008UL1 polycarbonate brand was recognised as the novelty of the year in the nomination New Product.

“We call it the eighth brand, 008. This brand is very universal and mainly used to make different polycarbonate types, both solid and cellular sheets. At the same time, it can be used for casting. This enabled us to expand the assortment, while our partners have more possibilities for using our products,” Farid Minigulov told journalists in an interview later.

One of a kind in Russia

Then, the Tatarstan president in company with heads of ministries and agencies of the republic, guests from the federal centre as well Minister of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nurlan Nogayev, Chairman of the Belarusian State Concern for Oil and Chemistry Andrey Rybakov, Board Chairman of Uzbekneftegaz JSC Mehretddin Abdullayev, executives of companies and other officials headed to see the exposition.

TAIF Group’s united stand where Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC, TAIF-NK JSC and TGC-16 JSC also presented their expositions besides Kazanorgsintez PJSC traditionally became one of the biggest at the exhibition.

This time, Kazanorgsintez mainly focused on the modernisation of polycarbonate production. By the way, the company is Russia’s unique producer of a wide range of this extremely popular and necessary feedstock.

“The installed licensed capacity of polycarbonate production was 65,000 tonnes a year. We expanded it to 77,000 tonnes. And then there was a possibility of modernising this capacity to 100,000 tonnes a year. We have been doing this since 2018. And this year, we are to reach 100,000 tonnes. The costs and the project will pay back in some 3,5 months. The product is profitable enough, I would say, very profitable. Our costs totalled about $50 million,” Farid Minigulov explained.

The company uses its own bisphenol and carbon dioxide as feedstock, the factory emits more than 20,000 tonnes of exhaust gases, thus performing two key tasks at once: providing necessary feedstock and significantly reducing the environmental impact. The growth of production volumes by nearly a quarter will increase both the output of existing polycarbonate brands and arranging supplies to big consumers of new types of products, for instance, the same 008.

One of the exhibits especially drew the attention of people seeing the exhibition. It was hard not to notice some external incrustations in three transparent glass-like sheets about 35mm thick. At a closer look, it turned out to be gun bullets, which was confirmed by the inscriptions that read that an Austrian Glock was used for two samples were fired, a Czech CZ was for another sheet. Quite a powerful 9x19mm Parabellum bullet didn’t manage to pierce the seemingly fragile obstacle even by a third. Moreover, no cracks or fissures were seen. The bullet seemed to get stuck in the thickness of the material and even didn’t completely went through it.

“To verify the quality of polycarbonate as construction plastic, we tried to fire it,” Director General of Group’s parent company TAIF JSC Ruslan Shigabutdinov explained the episode.

“It is the so-called tenth polycarbonate brand. The material is very shock resistant. Bullets get stuck. We have a video of us firing at the materials. We fired at polycarbonate too. A rifle can go through such thickness, while 70mm is hard to pierce,” Farid Minigulov added.

It was noticeable that such demonstration of unexpected possibilities of seemingly the long-known materials intrigues the audience, especially Vice Board Chairman of Gazprom PJSC Oleg Aksyutin. It became clear why later.

“Properties of polycarbonate are well-known both in theory and practice, but today its mechanical and thermal properties have been shown, which can be used as bullet-proof elements. This means that it can be used in such spheres where mechanical resistance is required. Colleagues from Gazprom are interested in the product because they need very resistant optic systems for deep-sea equipment that can do more than 2,000 metres down. They will study this topic. Polycarbonate can be an effective solution to this problem,” Director General of TAIF JSC Ruslan Shigabutdinov told Realnoe Vremya.

“There is Plexiglas trademark, which is polymethyl methacrylate. It appeared earlier than polycarbonate in world history. It was mainly used for various plane windows, headlight covers in military aircraft, other machines. They — polymethyl methacrylate and polycarbonate — have similar resistance properties. I think polycarbonate suits this more. This is why I think it can be used for such specific purposes. I know that our polycarbonate was approved to be used in space equipment in cooperation with our client, SafPlast, particularly to make helmets,” Director General of Kazanorgsintez PJSC Farid Minigulov said about the additional spheres of application of polycarbonate.

More left to show

Later, when the official part of the tour ended, Farid Minigulov agreed to talk with journalists a bit. He explained that despite the rich exposition, the company didn’t bring all its accomplishments to the exhibition. Neither did he talk about all processes happening in the enterprise now.

“Many things happen in the company. We are building our own power plant, a gas turbine, modernise polyethylene production with an expansion of capacities and output, started the construction of a new ethylene-vinyl acetate plant by a Japanese technology... There is quite serious investment development at Kazanorgsintez PJSC,” the company’s director general said.

The petrochemical complex hopes to increase feedstock supplies in the foreseeable future. Particularly it is the upcoming modernisation of Orenburg Helium Plant (Editor’s note: Europe’s unique helium producer) by Gazprom the company has had long business relations with. Today Kazanorgsintez receives 380-400,000 tonnes of ethane from there with the throughput of the ethane pipeline of 750,000 tonnes a year. The more feedstock, the bigger production of the very profitable product the country needs, Kazanorgsintez PJSC believes.

Arseny Favstritsky

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