Petrochemistry and chemistry are links of one chain
On Chemist’s Day professional holiday’s eve, Realnoe Vremya visited TAIF-NK — a company providing chemical plants with feedstock
The Fuel and Energy Complex oil processing and petrochemistry are directly relevant to is one of the pillars of the country’s economy. Moreover, the sectors are closely intertwined: the country’s chemical complex couldn’t simply exist without a powerful oil processing sector, which is the feedstock source.
Key priorities of the country’s economic security
At a meeting on the strategic development of the gas and petrochemical sector in Tobolsk as early as December 2020, long before the sudden change in the geopolitical situation around the world and the start of a massive economic attack of the united West against Russia with sanctions, Vladimir Putin stressed the necessity of increasing efforts in import replacement, including oil processing and petrochemical products. “Russian petrochemistry has huge growth potential. Our producers can not only meet the domestic needs for quality products but also occupy more significant positions in the global market. We have all opportunities for this: qualified staff, state-of-the art technologies, huge amounts of feedstock,” he noted then.
Vice Prime Minister of the Russian government Alexander Novak specified regarding the development vector set by the head of the country: “Comprehensive raw hydrocarbon processing in a production chain from the basic feedstock to the production with high added value — products of organic chemistry, polymers, rubbers and their processing into commodities — are the key priority.”
The tasks set more than two years ago appear relevant even today. While companies of the Fuel and Energy Complex have what to be proud of. Over this time, the country’s oil processing has significantly increased capacities — not only in oil and natural gas processing amounts but also in the conversion rate and, most importantly, in such an indicator as the recovery of high-quality light oil products.
TAIF-NK JSC — an oil refinery that’s part of TAIF Group and key feedstock supplier for capacities of the petrochemical giant, Nizhnekamskneftekhim JSC, is one of the undoubted leaders in the country in this aspect.
Different from others
TAIF-NK is a unique oil refinery. Moreover, it is unique in several parameters at once.
The first uniqueness resides in the fact that it is one of the few oil processing complexes that simultaneously producers motor fuel — Euro 5 petrol and diesel fuel, concrete for road construction — as well as feedstock for petrochemical enterprises. As a rule, an oil refinery is focused either on motor fuel or chemical feedstock.
The second uniqueness lies in the fact that today the complex whose feedstock capacity tops 8 million tonnes a year today has grown resting on its one primary oil distillation unit ELOUT-AVT-7. Then, almost 25 years ago, the processing rate was just... 35%.
The third uniqueness is the Heavy Residues High Conversion Complex that was launched in 2021 — the world’s first and currently only production plant using a combo thermal cracking technology. By the way, after Heavy Oil and Oil Residues High Conversion international conference in Kazan in November 2022, a specialised scientific community calls the technology as TAIF Combi Cracking.
And these are just some of the peculiarities of the oil refinery.
Everything started with the oil refinery
We shouldn’t even say that the engineers of that unit that, by the way, honestly continues operating and is the heart of one of the plants of the complex — the oil refinery — wouldn’t recognise it. Several cycles of modernisation turned the ELOU-AVT built in 1979 into a modern powerful unit surrounded by a variety of auxiliary plants. The transformation of crude, heavy, highly sulphurous oil into a processed product, target fractions that are feedstock for units of the basic complex of TAIF-NK JSC and the ethylene plant at Nizhnekamskneftekhim JSC starts right here.
Pavel Gavrilov has been working in the oil refinery for 24 years now, witnessing almost all stages of transformation of the unit into an entire plant. Today he chairs Shop 01 — where the ELOT-AVT runs.
“Products of oil processing and what is obtained as a result of high conversion of products of the oil refinery are everywhere, wherever you look, in all the sectors. The products we obtain are feedstock for Nizhnekamskneftekhim’s petrochemical complex. We obtain petrol that immediately goes to the ethylene plant and from there — to further processing. There is no doubt that oil processing and petrochemistry are unbreakable links of one production chain that is very important for the country,” the shop’s foreman is convinced.
When Pavel Gavrilov was asked to congratulate his colleagues on their professional holiday, he agreed with pleasure:
“I would like to wish all oil processors and chemists, people who have dedicated their lives to this important job, health, determination and responsibility, I wish the younger generation understanding that the future lies with oil refinery and petrochemistry. The state pays a lot of attention to our sector, especially high conversion. The record-high rate of 95% was reached now precisely in our factory. We don’t stay still, our sector constantly develops. I am sure this should be interesting for the younger generation. Oil refining is the basics.”
Aydar Vildanov is an equipment operator of Shop 01 at TAIF-NK’s oil refinery, he has been working for over 7 years in the enterprise now. According to him, he likes his job and doesn’t get bored.
“Crude oil is constantly heated in these furnaces, and products are manufactured at a certain temperature and pressure. The temperature stability has to be maintained for this. This is why we not only follow the processes here, in the operator’s room but also look the units over.”
He took journalists with him to one of such rounds. We started to talk about Chemist’s Day during breaks between equipment inspections.
“Of course, it is our holiday too. We work in this sphere and are feedstock for petrochemistry. On this festive day, I want to sincerely wish my colleagues only one thing: love our common job our homeland needs so much. I wish TAIF-NK only prosperity, new types of products, new markets and new summits in conversion rate and product recovery.”
If the unit is the heart of the plant, pumping equipment makes vessels of this powerful organism work. 5th category pump machinist Oleg Lesovoy with his colleagues has been carefully making sure there is no failure for 18 years.
“Such production — oil distillation with division into fractions — needs teamwork. It is impossible to distil oil without using pumps. In other words, a pump is used to distil oil products from point A to point B through some devices. We are an indispensable part of the production,” he notes with unhidden pride for his colleagues and his favourite job.
“On Chemist’s Day, I would like to wish my colleagues stability. The events of the recent years have shown who is worthy of what. We have not only nobly withstood the trials and stayed afloat but also continue our development. The value of human labour has been clear fully precisely now: everybody uses petrol and diesel fuel, our products are in demand from petrochemistry. Oil refining and petrochemistry are the foundation of the country’s economic power,” the specialist believes.
Chemical analysis laboratory assistant Veronika Shugurova has been working in the oil refinery’s lab for 5 years. She got acquainted with this job at the Lemayev college, fell in love with the profession and joined the oil refinery when there was a chance of showing off her skills in practice.
“The quality of analyses depends on my work. I prepare reagents for analyses. Then girls will do analyses using these reagents. The quality of product analysis will depend on my work too,” the girl notes.
Veronika didn’t refuse to say a couple of warm words by Chemist’s Day:
“The oil refining sector is crucial, of course. Everything comes from oil processing wherever you look — all those goods we all have today. On the professional holiday, I would like to wish my colleagues health, well-being and, of course, love, including love for their job.”
“Not to stop the movement is about us”
Senior operator of Shop 04 in Petrol Plant of TAIF-NK JSC Ildar Aglyamov is a hundred per cent sure of this. Motor fuel is what allows transport vehicles to move, any transport — personal cars, public transport, heavy lorries, special construction and military machinery, planes, helicopters, road trains delivering petrochemical products to end consumers... Fuel in the modern world is a must-have. And it is produced here, at TAIF-NK.”
It turns out to be 17 years. Now I am a senior operator. Our main task is to lead the production process: safe and effective operation with the production of end products in production stages. We have a very united team — the shift has both operators and machinists, and everybody has an area of responsibility, and together we turn out to do one common and, of course, important activity,” Ildar Aglyamov shared in a talk with Realnoe Vremya’s journalist.
The operator wished one thing on Chemist’s Day personally and on behalf of his colleagues:
“Good job and I wish our favourite company only to develop and move forward!”
Ilnar Akhmetov came to TAIF-NK from Nizhnekamsk’s tyre factory 12 years ago. He started his career in oil processing working as pouring operator in Petrol Plant. He did retraining during the first year and today he is a pump machinist.
“Everybody has a job, tasks. We pour gas condensate from the rack through a pump under pressure, we fill the tank. Then we pump gas condensate out to the unit, to Shop 4. It is important that the mechanism go like clockwork,” the specialist is convinced.
Also, he believes that in the end everybody in the workplace makes a contribution to the common task — the success of the enterprise, sector, country. This is why professional holiday are common too:
“Chemist’s Day, of course, is our common big holiday. We live in such a city (laughing), it is our holiday, for all of us.”
5th category chemical analysis laboratory assistant in Petrol Plant Lyudmila Pavlova agrees with this too. She has been working in the factory’s lab since its foundation in 2005:
“Of course, it is our professional holiday too. I want to wish our company prosperity, victories in product quality contests, mastering new markets and new products. I wish our staff stability and enhanced well-being.”
Combined thermal hydro cracking
TAIF-NK finished 2022 with an 87.3% rate of light oil product recovery per tonne of oil feedstock. The company emphasises that it is not the oil conversion rate but how many high-quality light oil products are made from it. And this isn’t the limit. The average digit in December was 94.5%. The goal is cross 985%. Neither TAIF JSC nor TAIF-NK JSC doubt this summit is attainable.
And this became possible after launching a globally unique plant — the Heavy Residues High Conversion Complex.
Dmitry Kleshnin has been working here as pump machinist since 2015. He came to the enterprise from another factory. As the specialist himself admits, it became interesting what new technologies, new production, new opportunities this had. And today he confidently claims that the decision was correct.
“It is man’s job. Secondly, it is an opportunity to work in a modern enterprise, with modern unique equipment (I mean the Heavy Residues High Conversion Complex). But other plants of TAIF-NK actively update too. Thirdly, it is a stable salary and the prospect of professional growth.”
On the professional holiday, Dmitry wishes his colleagues and everybody involved in oil processing and chemical production the most important things:
“Good working days, prosperity and a peaceful sky above our heads.”
Maxim Mudryonov came to the complex in 2016, also from a chemical plant. The experienced specialist was already the 5th category equipment operator. Today he has the 7th category.
“Working in such an enterprise as TAIF-NK is prestige, stability, confidence in tomorrow. The enterprise pays great attention to its employees and their readiness for professional development,” he believes. Like all his colleagues, Maxim Mudryonov doesn’t doubt:
“Petrochemistry and oil processing are links of one chain. Bigger successes can be achieved, larger tasks can be done only working closely. I wish my colleagues accident-free, productive work, career growth and, of course, professional successes.”
“I understood as a child I would specialise in chemistry. I was into it at school. Then I graduated from Kazan Chemical and Technological Institute, then Nizhnekamsk Chemical and Technological Institute. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, I sent my CV to TAIF-NK and after a job interview I was hired. This was three years ago,” 5th category chemical laboratory assistant of the complex Tatiana Kandakova shared her story with Realnoe Vremya’s journalist. The lady unwillingly left her favourite work for an interview. But when we started to talk about the professional holiday, she easily agreed to congratulate her colleagues:
“I want to wish my colleagues career growth, the enterprise prosperity and growth of production conversion.”
We still have room for development
“Dear workers of the oil processing and chemical industry, on behalf of TAIF-NK’s staff and myself I congratulate you on our common professional holiday!”
The oil processing and petrochemical industries are one of the foundations of our homeland, Russian Federation’s economic success. Precisely these sectors requiring deep knowledge and high professional lay the foundation to effectively performs many tasks our country has: in import substitution, further successful development of not only the Fuel and Energy Complex but also tens of related sectors — from agriculture, space exploration, economic security. And of course, you, professionals who chose oil processing and petrochemistry, decent successors of the business of those who founded petrochemistry and oil processing in the Republic of Tatarstan are behind all these successes and accomplishments. Our sector develops rapidly. We reach summits that seemed to be unattainable. Looking back at what we all managed to achieve together, the confidence that we still have room to grow for the prosperity and power of the Fatherland gets stronger.
On this festive day, I sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, wish you a strong health and optimism. I wish your families mutual understanding, mutual respect, happiness and well-being. I wish your staff professional successes and stable development,” Director General of TAIF-NK JSC Maxim Novikov congratulated workers of the sector on Chemist’s Day.