Agreement between Russia’s environmental watchdog and Nizhnekamskneftekhim envisages programme for 6 billion rubles

Agreement between Russia’s environmental watchdog and Nizhnekamskneftekhim envisages programme for 6 billion rubles
Photo: Alexander Ilyin

ЭП-600 увеличит мощности по производству этилена в России

Chairwoman of Russia’s environmental watchdog Svetlana Radionova visited Nizhnekamskneftekhim’s ethylene facility, which is under construction and a part of SIBUR. The olefin complex with a capacity of 600,000 tonnes of ethylene a year where propylene, benzene and butadiene will be made too is one of the key strategic projects of NKNK.

Today about 5 million tonnes of straight-run gasoline is exported every year. After the launch of EP-600, 1,800,000 tonnes — over a third of exports — will be converted into high value added products in Russia, which will allow considerably expanding Russian ethylene production capacities to meet growing domestic demand and decrease imports of its derivates.

Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov and SIBUR Holding Board Chairman Dmitry Konov arrived at the construction site together with Svetlana Radionova. The project is included in an agreement between SIBUR and Russia’s Energy Ministry where the company committed itself to invest at least 285 billion rubles in the development of plants in Tatarstan in the next few years.

The latest technology in hydrocarbon feedstock processing and state-of-the-art environment protection solutions outperforming the best technologies available in Russia and Europe will be used in the plant. This will allow providing production safety and its compliance with both Russian and European legislation even considering their possible changes in the future.

“The construction of new capacities that seriously outstrip modern-day environmental standards is one of the key commitments of the business in environmental protection besides environment protection measures. Nizhnekamskneftekhim systemically works to reduce the environmental impact, biological treatment facilities were recently modernised too. Emissions per tonne of products have reduced almost three times in the last 20 years,” stressed SIBUR Holding Board Chairman Dmitry Konov.

He also added that in the last 20 years Nizhnekamskneftekhim had cut emissions per tonne of products almost 3,5 times.

“The equipment and experience of Nizhnekamskneftekhim and all SIBUR, which are now used in the project EP-600, will enable to develop this result,” Dmitry Konov noted.

“The company is ready to consider the strictest environmental and climatic requirements”

The large-scale construction of the ethylene plant began in May 2020. Today over 34% of works have been done: all large equipment has been installed, metal structures are erected, pipelines are assembled.

It was calculated the weight of metal structures erected at EP-600 is comparable to five Eiffel Towers — 51,300 tonnes. Moreover, 70% of this amount is manufactured in 16 Tatarstan enterprises. The length of cables will be enough to extend them from Nizhnekamsk to Blagoveshchensk in the Far East. The total length of pipelines assembled at EP-600 is equal to 458 km. From an environmental safety perspective, it is one of the latest ethylene facilities in the world.

The project envisages a smokeless flare system. This allowed to reduce forecasted CO emissions 12 times compared to the best Russian technologies, nitrogen oxide compounds six times compared to Russian benchmarks and twice compared to European ones.

The Continuous Emission Monitoring System will allow operators to track necessary indicators online.

EP-600 will have modern local treatment facilities and a closed water circulation system, which will allow completely preventing the formation of sewage and minimise the impact on water resources. Waste per tonne of ethylene will be just 1,5 kg, which is four times better than those figures reached in Europe’s enterprises. Over 70,000 alarms and blocks are designed in the facility to prevent emergencies.

It is planned to launch the plant with a capacity of 600,000 tonnes a year in 2023.

At the end of the visit, the Russian environmental watchdog and Nizhnekamskneftekhim signed a cooperation agreement. Head of the federal environmental watchdog Svetlana Radionova and Director General of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC Ayrat Safin put their signatures to the document in the presence of Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov and SIBUR Holding Board Chairman Dmitry Konov.

The document fixes environmental measures and the introduction of solutions aimed to reduce the environmental impact, which cost more than 6 billion rubles, in the enterprise.

Summing up the visit to the complex, which is built, Svetlana Radionova noted the contribution of the company to the development of the region and its responsibility for the environment.

“I have seen the site and can note that SIBUR expressed its readiness to invest money, experience and expertise in the further development of new-generation gas and petrochemical complexes. We see the readiness to build new capacities, which will provide economic development for the region and new jobs for citizens. The company is ready to consider the strictest environmental and climatic requirements, and we have heard this today. Environmental safety is an important component of any enterprise, and it is good that SIBUR understands it,” the head of the federal environmental watchdog concluded.

Liliya Yegorova. Photo: Alexander Ilyin
Tatarstan