‘All the challenges facing oil refining will remain’
Against the background of the new package of US and EU sanctions, Tatarstan companies are not abandoning the “green” course, but preparing to export from Sviyazhsk
The opening of water communication from the Sviyazhsk multimodal complex, which will connect Tatarstan with the main ports of Russia, was announced on 28 February by Vladimir Gay, the commercial director at Modul PLC. At a meeting of the board of directors of Tatneftekhiminvest Holding, the container cargo carrier announced the beginning of the design of the terminal-logic complex — Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov made it clear in response that we need to hurry. SIBUR has also found an alternative to incineration of household plastics, and Rostec's Polymer Research Institute is ready to offer technologies to replace foreign polymers in the aviation and automotive industries. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.
Two hours before negotiations in Gomel
The regular meeting of the board of directors of Tatneftekhiminvest Holding with the participation of the president of the Republic of Tatarstan was held two hours before the start of the Russian-Ukrainian negotiations in Gomel, so the participants tried to maintain restraint and a neutral mood. The elite of Tatarstan businesses refrained from commenting on the possible economic consequences. Neither before nor after it was impossible to get an opinion about the events taking place.
On the sidelines, Minister of Economy of the Republic of Tatarstan Midkhat Shagiakhmetov urged not to worry and not to panic, and the usually responsive head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) of the Republic of Tatarstan, Shamil Ageev, looked depressed and avoided communicating with the media. The head of Tatneft, Nail Maganov, also took a break about the possible departure of foreign representatives from the structure of shareholders. Marat Sharifullin, the manager of the National Bank of the Republic of Tatarstan of the Volga-Vyatka State Bank of Russia, advised to monitor the website of the Central Bank, where new measures will be published, and the head of the Sberbank branch in the Republic of Tatarstan, Rushan Sakhbiyev, asked to send requests to the press service.
Nevertheless, it could be guessed from the frowning faces that almost everyone was worried. At the meeting itself, not a word was spoken from the lips of Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov, nor from Prime Minister Aleksey Pesoshin, although it is easy to assume that the retaliatory sanctions measures of the US and the EU against Russia will hit Tatarstan exporters.
Sanctions do not cancel green agenda
At the meeting itself, the speakers made a reservation — the speech may no longer have the same relevance, since it was prepared long before the epoch-making events. For example, the director general of the Centre for Monitoring New Technologies (cooperates with Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas — editor's note) Mikhail Ershov, who reported on the production of “green” diesel and kerosene in Tatarstan, believes that even under sanctions, the “low-carbon agenda” will never go away, and maybe it will become even tougher towards Russian manufacturers.
“Our presence in the global economy will be largely connected with this agenda. I think it would be wrong to cut it in some way," he noted. “All the challenges facing oil refining will remain.”
According to him, Russian refineries have a huge surplus of high-quality diesel fuel, including in Tatarstan. Surpluses will increase as hydrocracking installation projects are completed.
“We will have more fuel, we will have to fight for export markets. Today, the key market is Europe, where the “green” agenda is most relevant. The rest of the countries will follow this," Yershov believes.
The surplus will increase in the production of jet fuel. The low-carbon agenda is even tougher here. For example, from 2025, all airports in the European Union will be required to refuel all aircraft with SAF biofuel (sustainable aviation fuel — editor's note), and there is no doubt about it.
What to do with much diesel and kerosene?
Tatarstan has a large raw material and export potential, as kerosene and diesel are produced in large volumes, he noted. The source of low-carbon components can be the use of fat-and-oil raw materials as the key solution in achieving environmental friendliness, said Ershov. The Monitoring Centre for New Technologies together with the Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas offers combined technologies for the production of low-carbon components from rapeseed, waste oil and fats. The speaker proposed to place a plant for their production with a capacity of 300 thousand tonnes in Nizhnekamsk.
“Ten days ago, the economic indicators of the project were brilliant, now we will see, but they will definitely not become lower," the speaker is sure. The payback period of the project at previous prices is 5,5 years, it followed from its presentation.
CEO of Tatneftekhiminvest Holding Rafinat Yarullin agreed that it was impossible to abandon this direction.
“We must do this. Eco-friendly jet fuel and diesel engines are a very promising direction," he said.
Nail Maganov, the director general of Tatneft, added that the company has accumulated sufficient experience, several projects have been tried.
“We have already produced biofuels. We have tested these technologies at the catalytic cracking unit, then redesigned them," he told the president of Tatarstan. As a result, Rustam Minnikhanov recommended the companies Tatneft and TAIF-NK to continue working in this area.
Director for Research and Development at Polymer Research Institute JSC (part of Rostec) Konstantin Shirshin suggested the aviation industry using the new generation of structural foam Akramid, as well as the development of high-strength glass and heat resistance.
“The example is very interesting, it is necessary to study glue and other technologies in Dzerzhinsk," Rafinat Yarullin supported.
SIBUR is preparing to take recycled plastic to Tatarstan
SIBUR is ready to launch new facilities for the recycling of plastics and the production of biodegradable plastic in the near future.
Daria Borisova, the managing director for development and innovation at SIBUR PLC, noted that 10 million tonnes of recycled plastic are expected to be used in new products in the European Union by 2025, and polymer manufacturers are committed to increasing the share of recycled materials from 10% to 20% in the total raw material flow.
“We are faced with the task of involving this stream in our own stream," she explained.
To do this, SIBUR proposes to create a joint pilot project for the recycling of plastic, which can become an alternative to incineration at the RT-Invest incinerator.
“Tatarstan has great opportunities to engage in the recycling of plastic due to a large number of refineries and petrochemical facilities. It would be great to make the most of this potential. We propose to jointly work out the implementation of a pilot project for the collection and sorting of plastic waste with the involvement of oil companies to work together on thermolysate and involvement in refineries, to implement one or two projects on the territory of the Republic of Tatarstan," Borisova said. In total, they want to build several aquatermolysis plants, including one of them at Nizhnekamskneftekhim.
Now up to 10% of household plastic is processed mechanically, and with the transition to new chemical technologies, the percentage of involvement will increase to 50%, Borisova believes. According to her, to collect a special fraction, it is necessary to create a sorting infrastructure.
The president of Tatarstan supported the initiative.
“The topic is necessary, but we need to change the mentality, all our sorting centres, gather regional operators. Let's create a working group," he said.
At the same time, he urged to “calculate the economy” and ask for federal subsidies:
“Well, the economy needs to be calculated, if there is no economy, then we need federal preferences, legislative ones. If there is no economy, it will not work out, then we need to look in advance. In general, these are big environmental problems, we throw it allaway, the easiest way is an incinerator. The simplest thing, just incinerating — is also wrong.”
POZIS will benefit the most
Of particular interest was the project of creating a terminal and logistics complex in Sviyazhsk, which, at the instruction of the president of Tatarstan, is carried out by the Moscow company, Modul. Today, the project was presented by Commercial Director Vladimir Gay. With its launch, Tatarstan exporters will receive and send cargo bypassing Moscow, which will give them tangible savings during transportation. According to estimates, we are talking about 500 thousand rubles per shipment/arrival of one container. Zelenodolsk refrigerator manufacturer POZIS JSC, which receives Chinese components from the Far Eastern port of Nakhodka, can benefit the most, Gay noted.
“For the first time we came to Sviyazhsk and immediately fell in love," the commercial director of Modul admitted. The project is necessary for the republic, as it will make it a “logistically unsinkable region”. He said that the company had chosen a plot of land and started designing. The total area of the terminal will be 224,5 hectares, and the transshipment complex itself will be 8 hectares. Turnover — 40 thousand TEU a year.
Now 90% of consumer goods and industrial goods go through Moscow, and then to the regions.
“Probably, this is not quite right from the point of view of pricing. Why does a buyer from the Republic of Tatarstan need storage costs in warehouse complexes? We propose to direct flows to the Republic of Tatarstan, bypassing the hub in Moscow. This will speed up the delivery time, reduce costs, and open up the possibility of entering exotic ports," Gay stressed.
According to him, now the company works with exporters of Kazanorgsintez, Nizhnekamskneftekhim, KAMAZ:
“We carry spare parts for the plant in Naberezhnye Chelny, the first export train for the Turkish manufacturer of MDF boards Kastamonu is being prepared for shipment.
Sending an empty train from Sviyazhsk will cost 500 thousand rubles cheaper than from Moscow.
“With such savings, the export potential will increase," Gay is sure.
The president of the Republic of Tatarstan made it clear that it is necessary to hurry and urged to consider the development of the complex together with industrial enterprises.
“In general, we need to look at the consignees, senders, customs clearance. This is a point of the republic, a magnet, it is necessary to cut through this zone with our industrialists," Rustam Minnikhanov instructed.