'Ready to see': Minnikhanov offers Skolkovo residency in Alabuga SEZ
The foundation distributes up to two billion rubles to large industrial companies for re-equipment
The shortage of raw materials at Kazanorgsintez PJSC can be overcome after the construction of its own gas processing plant in Zelenodolsk district. The need to return to the evaluation of the project was stated by the director general of Tatneftekhiminvest-Holding JSC, Rafinat Yarullin, at the meeting of the board of directors on 28 October with the participation of Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov. Another high-profile initiative at the council came from the vice-president of Skolkovo Foundation. For the sake of it, the president of the Republic of Tatarstan even called for speeding up the construction of a new building next to the IT quarter in the centre of Kazan, so that about a hundred new high-tech companies could be located in it.
Petrochemical complex increased production by 3%
First of all, the CEO of Tatneftekhiminvest Holding, Rafinat Yarullin, cited the impressive financial and economic results of the complex, which left no doubt that the industry began to recover from the losses incurred during the 2020 pandemic. According to him, the enterprises of the petrochemical complex in Tatarstan in January-September 2021 increased production by 3%, whereas exactly a year ago they “finished” with a drop of 6%.
According to him, since the beginning of this year, the revenue of basic enterprises has remained at the level of the historical maximum — it has grown by 64%, exceeding 1,45 trillion rubles. For comparison, last year they shipped products worth 879 billion rubles.
The beginning rise in production led to generous tax deductions. According to Rafinat Yarullin, 499 billion rubles have been allocated to the budgets of all levels. The growth was almost twice the level of 2020. The republic's treasury received 62 billion rubles directly against 38 billion rubles last year.
“The receipts from chemical and petrochemical companies are at a historically maximum level," said Rafinat Yarullin.
However, he noted that a sharp rise was observed until the end of the second quarter, and the third showed not such results:
“Scheduled overhaul, correction of prices for rubbers and plastics after a prolonged growth have affected.”
According to him, the high financial results are due to the swings of world prices and the imbalance of the world economy. The storm in the world markets is caused by “problems” with sea container transportation, which is why the Far Eastern ports are filled with containers.
“The risks of rising prices and disruption of supplies are high," he noted the threat for the future.
Besides, the rise in gas prices in Europe has led to a reduction and even a halt in the production of mineral fertilisers, and in China, as a result of stricter environmental requirements for production and restrictions on energy consumption, coal chemical plants are being shut down.
“The consequences of the imbalance may be more extensive. A new round of global inflation is expected. Following fertilisers, food products will become more expensive, the rise in prices for metals, chemical raw materials and energy will lead to an increase in the cost of all industrial products, a decrease in real incomes of the population and businesses," Rafinat Yarullin summed up.
“It is necessary to return to the evaluation of the construction project of the gas processing plant in Zelenodolsk district”
The meeting of the board of directors of Tatneftekhiminvest Holding, chaired by Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov, may become a landmark for Tatarstan petrochemistry in terms of its future prospects. One of the flagships of the industry — Kazanorgsintez PJSC — can finally get out of the “ethane” blockade and overcome the shortage of raw materials forever. For the first time, Rafinat Yarullin focused attention on this long-standing problem, suggesting that strategic partners take up its eradication.
“During the year, the problem with the provision of raw materials for the polyethylene plants of Kazanorgsintez has been increasing. The output decreased by 4,4% in January-September. Including the production of high-density polyethylene fell by 13,5%," he said.
As a result, the company is forced to refocus on the maximum production of more expensive low-density polyethylene. In total, in January-September, Kazanorgsintez produced 512,000 tonnes of polyethylene and 72,000 tonnes of polycarbonates.
In recent years, Kazanorgsintez has been showing good financial results and has no credit debt. It would be possible to expand investment plans, but without a raw material base, any project would be risky. The shortage of raw materials also limits the strategic development of the company. The new ethylene complex in Nizhnekamsk will provide only existing units. Kazanorgsintez can solve the problem by creating its own gas processing plant.
“It is necessary to return to the evaluation of the project for the construction of a gas processing plant in Zelenodolsk district (Bishnya village)," suggested Rafinat Yarullin.
Its “older brother”, Nizhnekamskneftekhim, increased production by 13%, having accumulated 511,000 tonnes of rubbers and 572,000 tonnes of plastics. At the same time, the prices of polyethylene and polypropylene have risen sharply in world markets.
“This caused a shock for manufacturers of finished consumer goods," said Rafinat Yarullin.
“Not always Toyota can compete with Zhiguli cars!”
Tatarstan oil companies are increasing production as a result of the weakening of the terms of the OPEC+ deal. In January-September, Tatneft increased oil production by 5,5% to 20 million 369 thousand tonnes. At TANECO, the volume of processing of raw materials for the first 9 months decreased slightly. The plant stopped to separate the two ELOU units into two independent lines. Due to a longer overhaul, Ammonia reduced production by 4%, including carbamide by 8%. But Nefis Cosmetics has increased production by 14% since the beginning of the year. The tyre manufacturers also restored production and finished 9 months with a plus of 10% compared to the coronavirus year 2020 — they produced 9,2 million tyres.
An interesting discussion broke out around the new waterless hydraulic fracturing technology, which was presented by Viktor Matyushin, the executive director of STS-GeoService PLC.
“Over the past 10 years, there has been a noticeable deterioration in oil production conditions. Over the past 10 years, the well flow rate has decreased by 24,5%," he noted. Their technology is based on the creation of fractures in the bottom hole and thermal effects, is effective in all wells and is indispensable in geological exploration.”
“The technology is new, developing, but the only thing is that there is no propane that will prop the fractures open," said Danis Nurgaliyev, the head of the Institute of Oil and Gas Technologies of the Kazan Federal University.
The first deputy general director of Tatneft, Rustam Khalimov, also did not see anything special in it. According to him, the company has been using gas dynamic fracturing technology for a long time.
“It is in the list of standard technologies," he pointed out, adding that this company participated in the tenders of Tatneft for the performance of contract works. “The only thing is that their prices are higher than our competitors, many companies use such technology," he explained.
Matyushin disagreed with him, arguing that it has its own characteristics, “which are not on the Russian market”.
“And about participation in tenders ... Not always Toyota can compete with Zhiguli!” he added.
Minnikhanov completed the polemic. He recommended holding a technical council at Tatneft on the application of this technology.
“We need to use everything that is useful for us. Our permeability is getting harder and harder. We need different technologies in different places," the president of the Republic of Tatarstan called for a constructive conversation.
Residents of Skolkovo — by local registration
Another high-profile initiative came from the vice-president of the Skolkovo Foundation, Yury Saprykin. He said that starting this year, high-tech companies can become residents with a full set of benefits right on the spot in the regions, without going to Moscow.
To have the benefits of a resident, it is not necessary to open in Skolkovo, as before — it is possible to do on the basis of a regional operator. In Tatarstan — it is IT Park. Supporting this initiative, Minnikhanov said that for this purpose a new building is being built for 20,000 square metres within walking distance from the IT cluster. He assured that under the auspices of Skolkovo, all opportunities can be used at the Kazan site.
Taking the opportunity, the president asked to extend benefits to Alabuga SEZ.
“Is it possible to make a residence in Alabuga special zone?" “What is it?" he asked. “This is not only a large industrial zone, but also a research and innovation centre. Production is being established here — precursors, carbon fiber.”
“We are ready to see," the vice-president of Skolkovo responded.
He, in turn, reminded the audience that the Skolkovo Foundation is the operator of two programmes — to support digital transformation technologies and artificial intelligence.
“We are distributing about 1,5-2 billion rubles to large industrial companies for re-equipment," he said.
“Roman, let's attract," the president of the Republic of Tatarstan took up, addressing Deputy Prime Minister of Tatarstan Roman Shaykhutdinov.