‘We are structuring the Board of Directors a bit, SIBUR Group came’: Tatneftekhiminvest-holding waiting for newcomers

Six new people will appear in the Board of Directors of Tatneftekhiminvest-holding later this year. Two of them are from SIBUR

‘We are structuring the Board of Directors a bit, SIBUR Group came’: Tatneftekhiminvest-holding waiting for newcomers
Photo: tatarstan.ru

After a deal with TAIF, SIBUR GC is going to join the Board of Directors of Tatneftekhiminvest-holding. At an unscheduled meeting on 5 December, candidacies of two representatives of the Russian petrochemical holding who will expand the board to 32 VIP members will likely be declared. It is not ruled out that Director General Dmitry Konov’s candidacy will be announced. Before their arrival, a project at Himgrad, which depends on SIBUR’s anhydride, was discussed in detail with the prospect of appearing in the federal road map designed to develop small-scale chemistry in Russia. Read more in Realnoe Vremya’s report.

“SIBUR Group is creative, investment-attractive”

The main news of the board meeting of Tatneftekhiminvest-holding was given at the end of the event, which as usual lasted for 60 minutes. An unscheduled meeting of the Board of Directors on 5 December was announced in advance on the agenda. It wasn’t hard to guess that the “organisational moment” arose because of the finalisation of the deal between SIBUR GC and TAIF, which couldn’t help but influence the composition of the Board of Directors of Tatneftekhiminvest-holding.

The intrigue promises to be disclosed after SIBUR GC declares its candidates, which is to be soon. The composition of the candidates is still unknown, while the current representatives of TAIF GC stay. While the arrival of Russian petrochemists is very expected.

“We are structuring the Board of Directors a bit, SIBUR Group has arrived,” Board Chairman Rustam Minnikhanov announced the upcoming changes. “They work with our colleagues, and there will be new colleagues who will work with us.”

At this moment, Director General of the holding Rafinat Yarullin said that two representatives of SIBUR were at the meeting. Managing Director of Development and Innovations Daria Borisova is one of them.

“Thanks for being with us. SIBUR Group is creative, investment-attractive,” Rustam Minnikhanov welcomed the Moscow guests. “We also expect interesting groundwork from you, it will be very interesting for us to learn what novelties and plans you have.”

Director General of the holding Rafinat Yarullin said that two representatives of SIBUR were at the meeting. Photo: tatarstan.ru

“Perhaps, SIBUR CEO Dmitry Konov’s candidacy will be declared”

After the meeting ended, Director General Rafinat Yarullin commented on how the Board of Directors of Tatneftekhiminvest-holding could change. According to him, it can increase from 26 to 32 people, that’s to say, six new people will appear there.

“Now we have 26 people, there will be 32,” he specified. Several new representatives of the Tatarstan petrochemical sector Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov will declare and people of SIBUR GC will join the board.

He didn’t say how the seats would be distributed between them but assumed that SIBUR would get two of 32 seats.

“As for SIBUR, the number hasn’t yet been defined. I think it will be two people. We will decide in the next two days and include them,” Rafinat Yarullin said.

Perhaps, SIBUR CEO Dmitry Konov’s candidacy will be declared among them.

“Perhaps, Konov himself will join the board, but I cannot assume this yet. This is up to them,” Yarullin noted. However, it remained unclear who would occupy the other four new seats.

It is not ruled out that Director General Dmitry Konov’s candidacy will be declared to join the board of the holding. Photo: Roman Khasayev

Second composite after Teflon

The meeting in general was traditionally held in the format of R&D presentations of the latest accomplishments in oil production and petrochemistry. Kazan Federal University’s Professor, correspondent member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Igor Antipin turned out to be in the limelight. He presented a report on the development of an import substituting technology used to make super engineering polymer, polyphenylene sulfide (PPS), which is done in a public contract with the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The polymer composite started to be widely used in the car and aircraft engineering thanks to a threefold reduction in the weight of components it is made of.

“Nearly 40% of parts will be made of a PPS composite,” the speaker stressed and added that rocket engineering and hypersound are the most promising areas of application of polyphenylene sulphide.

Due to its light weight, PPS ranks second after Teflon in the world, Antipin specified. Such high-tech materials are made in several countries — Japan, Korea, the USA, China. France’s Philips company was the first to make it in 1983, after that the material started to be widely spread.

Kazan scientists dared to master the import substituting technology. Last year, a consortium of KFU, Ingehim Engineering and Innovation Centre, the Akhmadullin Research and Technical Centre was created on Tatneftekhiminvest-holding’s initiative, Antipin said. Last February, they signed a public contract with the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade to develop the technology and set up test PPS production based on the Russian feedstock.

“This technology doesn’t exist in Russia. The initial monomer is not made in Russia either, we had to look for our technology,” Antipin explained.

Kazan Federal University’s Professor, correspondent member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Igor Antipin turned out to be in the limelight. He presented a report on the development of an import substituting technology used to make super engineering polymer, polyphenylene sulphide (PPS). Photo: tatarstan.ru

Import substitution at Himgrad

As a result, a test unit was put into operation at Himgrad where several polymerisation reactors were launched. Its installed capacity is up to 5,000 tonnes of PPS a year. The cost of PPS is about $10.

“Compared to AliExpress where PPS is sold from $8 to $16, it is lower,” Antipin noted.

At the meeting, he offered to increase the project’s localisation. He thinks that it is necessary to open our own special solvent (2-pyrrolidone) the PPS production cannot do without. Its share of the production prime cost is almost 60%.

“If the PPS manufacturer has its own 2-Pyrrolidone production, the polymer prime cost can significantly fall, 1,5-2 times,” he highlighted.

And the first steps have been made here. SIBUR is going to launch maleic anhydride production at ZapSibNeftekhim in Tobolsk, which is an important component for the monomer.

“I would compare it to a yarn. And if we pull maleic anhydride, we can raise the whole production of polymers,” the professor claimed. At the same time, he offered to create a centre for synthetic and natural polymers and composites at KFU’s Faculty of Chemistry nearby.

SIBUR will start making maleic anhydride next year, Daria Borisova explained to Realnoe Vremya. The installed capacity is 40,000 tonnes a year. The Russian market needs 10,000 tonnes, while the surplus is exported.

Nevertheless, Tatneft’s project on the organisation of maleic anhydride production that was lively discussed seems to be suspended. Sources claim that the project was paused, because there is no sense in competing with SIBUR. In October 2020, Tatneft obtained permission to build a maleic anhydride unit, while the unit was scheduled to be launched in 2023.

After the speech, the KFU professor presented the first moulds for PPS electrical connectors to the president.

“It is strategically dangerous to depend only on imported PPS, the supplies can stop anytime. And we cannot make the strategic product. We don’t stay still, we develop,” Antipin said showing the samples.

“Better present them to Pesoshin,” Minnikhanov replied. “We have held a [Tatneft] board meeting in the morning and considered the composition division too. Tatneft has also progressed here seriously. We have discussed new materials and approaches. If we have groundwork, let’s have a closer look [at the possibility of setting up the industrial supercomposite production]. Composites are the future. I think we will get federal support here too, all this needs to be wrapped up beautifully. It is a strategic topic for the country,” Minnikhanov commented.

Later, in reply to Realnoe Vremya’s question, the director general of the holding explained that the project might be added to the road map of small-scale chemistry development of Russia.

Rafinat Yarullin explained that the project might be added to the road map of small-scale chemistry development of Russia. Photo: tatarstan.ru

Remote control

Next speakers talked about new wireless oil production facility control technologies. So Director of the Vibration-Based Diagnostics Laboratory of Kazan State Power Engineering University Mikhail Klyukin presented the experience of using DBS Phantom remote control technology to monitor the state of industrial equipment in enterprises in real time. According to him, the equipment is tied with sensors, connected to the gateway, while sensor signals are coded, which provides information security. The system itself operated in sleep mode, the state is measured every 30 seconds. In case of an accident, the system wakes up itself. The Vibration-Based Diagnostics Laboratory works at KFU, while its partner Dynamic Balancing Centre does at Kazan State University. The president of the republic offered energy workers to take a closer look at them.

Director General of Tri-Logic Vladimir Kalabukhov presented wireless solutions in oil production. This company is based in Moscow and Almetyevsk, it has been a Skolkovo resident since 2016. LoRaWan technology is at the heart of the solutions that monitor well flow rates. Kalabukhov expressed their readiness to participate in Tatneft and small oil companies’ pilot projects. “We aim to create a production site in Tatarstan,” he noted.

Minnikhanov tasked both Tatneft and small oil companies of the republic with considering and controlling this issue.

Minnikhanov tasked both Tatneft and small oil companies of the republic with considering and controlling this issue. Photo: tatarstan.ru

Director General of Sbersolutions Stanislav Nefedov offered to establish cooperation with Tatarstan businesses in outsourcing financial services and staff selection. Talking about the possibilities, he shared the experience of Sberbank’s transformation.

“If everything stayed as it was, the bank would need another 2 million employees,” he urged businesses to actively transform companies.

Luiza Ignatyeva
Tatarstan