Doors Open Day at TAIF-SM
The only manufacturer of polyalphaolefins in Russia demonstrated its capacities to representatives of the industrial cluster of Tatarstan
“It's better to see once than hear a hundred times”: representatives of Tatarstan companies had the opportunity to assess the truth of the saying. The republican distributor of the only manufacturer of PAO oils in Russia organised a visit to the plant for them. What was shown to the guests and what proposals they are ready to voice — in the material of Realnoe Vremya.
“We want you to know”
“Today at our enterprise, we can say, it is doors open day. We want to talk about our achievements, our products, and ways of interacting with our company — about distribution, about business. And most importantly, about our product. The company is developing, the product line is getting larger. We want you to know everything about how competitive our products are. We are sure that it is capable of adequately withstanding any comparisons," Alexey Osipov, the director general of TAIF-SM PLC, greeted the audience — representatives of manufacturing companies and enterprises of the republic.
Before going directly to the factory site — little useful information. The first is instruction: the production is serious, therefore safety precautions and personal protective equipment cannot be neglected. Then a brief digression into the specifics and scope of the activity.
“What the company is: we are engaged in two areas of activity — first, and most importantly — we are the only producers of the basic IV group of synthetic PAO oils in Russia. Two types of raw materials are used: we get decene-1 and octen-1 from Nizhnekamskneftekhim and produce basic PAO oils, starting from PAO-2 to PAO-40. The second production is lubricants under the brand TAIF Lubricants. The design capacity is up to 60 thousand tonnes a year of commercial and 10 thousand tonnes a year of polyalphaolefin oils," Alexey Osipov explained to the guests.
The brand range of products currently includes more than 270 names of all popular groups: motor oils for passenger transport, for commercial and agricultural machinery, transmission oils and the widest range of industrial oils.
“TAIF-SM is one of the few Russian companies that has received the right to produce oils using Siemens and General Electric technology, as well as having an official permit from these companies, implying that the turbine continues to receive warranty service if TAIF RAVE oil is filled. And this is in addition to the approval for the use of our products in standard operation. TAIF oils work at Nizhnekamsk and Kazan thermal power plants. Also among our clients, there are also TAIF-NK, Nizhnekamskneftekhim, Kazanorgsintez, Surgutneftegaz, Rosatom, Norilsk Nickel. And this is only a small part of the companies we work with. Besides, we have obtained the permits of Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Renault, VAG, MAN, and a number of other world-renowned companies. Our oils show themselves very well both where it is very hot and in permafrost conditions," Alexey Osipov said.
Besides, the company has its own R&D centre engaged in the development of new recipes and the implementation of orders for specific equipment and operating conditions.
If you try it yourself — tell others
The initiator of the Doors Open Day is TEF Kamatransservice JSC. The commercial director of the company, Marat Gilyaev, told the journalist of Realnoe Vremya about this at the start of the tour. In April of this year, a new direction was formed in the perimeter of Kamatransservice: the company decided to become the official distributor of TAIF-SM LLC products in Tatarstan. But the decision did not come immediately. First, there was a personal experience of using oils of the TAIF Lubricants brand.
“We have taken a new direction for ourselves to develop the distribution of TAIF-SM products in the republic's market. But first we had to make sure ourselves that the product was of high quality in order to calmly go to other companies and talk about what we are sure of," explained Marat Gilyaev. He continued: “We have more than 1000 cars: from passenger cars to specialised trucks. And our entire fleet has now completely switched to TAIF-SM. The product showed good results. Now it's enough to take a concrete example: our buses on methane have already run 15 thousand kilometres, and we didn't even have to top up the oil. This indicates the quality of the product.
At the initial stage, the regional distributor faced an unexpected difficulty:
“The product is good. But here is the paradox: it is here — in the Tatarstan market — for some reason they do not know about it. Everyone has a stereotype: we will not buy a local product, but rather go and buy another one. It's like the proverb: “The other shore has bigger fish and it bites better.” An erroneous opinion. We have set ourselves the large-scale task — the development of distribution services for the sale of TAIF-SM products. Not only in the transport niche, but also industrial oils too. I am sure that in a team with the manufacturer we will succeed," Marat Gilyaev is convinced.
Confidence is based, among other things, on the chosen tactics: an example of their own experience plus active assistance from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Tatarstan and the Industrial Cluster of the Republic of Tatarstan association. With their assistance, a meeting was held with representatives of companies looking for an alternative to imported lubricants manufacturers that have left the Russian market. During the conversation, the desire to see a unique production was voiced. The idea resonated with the leadership of TAIF-SM. By the way, this tour is not the first and definitely not the last, Marat Gilyaev is convinced.
“There were so many people who wanted to visit the production that they had to be divided into groups by directions. In April, representatives of the Association of Road Carriers of the republic visited here, now the turn has reached the production workers," he said.
With undisguised interest
The production of the oil plant is located compactly on the industrial site of Nizhnekamsk, so the tour did not take much time. However, the participants of the tour listened to Alexey Osipov and viewed everything with undisguised interest.
There are fully automated control rooms at both sites. The production of polyalphaolefins consists of five stages: the first three — enrichment with the use of catalysts and pressure, the fourth — rectification in vacuum columns, the fifth — getting rid of the finished PAO from unnecessary additives.
“According to the project, this unit is to work on decene-1. After the modernisation of the enterprise, we have already tested it on 3 types of raw materials and 4 types of catalysts. Now they are able to obtain the purest class IV polyalphaolefins of the quality that the market needs. According to the initial project, it was supposed to receive PAO 2-8, we learned how to get PAO 2.0 and higher," said Vitaly Baron, the deputy director general of TAIF-SM PLC for the production part.
“We want to offer to open another line”
One of the most active tourists was Rinat Kharisov, the project manager of the Industrial Cluster of the Republic of Tatarstan. He was interested in everything: how the finished PAO is then divided into fractions, and where the hydrogen for dehydrogenation comes from, and whether the company's specialists have to switch to manual process control.
It turned out that the guest's interest was connected not only and not so much with the products already produced by TAIF-SM, but with technology and experience, which, as it turned out, could well be applied in a completely different niche — household chemicals:
“Using their experience, it is possible to produce other products. For example, surfactants for detergents. The technology is the same, and most importantly, the raw material base is the same. I am here to evaluate the company's capacities in production, including the product we need, to consider for mutual benefit the opportunity to somehow cooperate and work out areas of cooperation together," explained the project manager of the Industrial Cluster of the Republic of Tatarstan.
It has not come to negotiations yet, but Rinat Kharisov himself has technical experience and does not see any obstacles to the collaboration processes from this side. And the benefits for both sides of the dialogue, in his opinion, can be considerable:
“What's the interest here: TAIF-SM, if they take into account our wishes, will be able to further increase production due to that we will open another line. And we will get the product we need. To be honest, the products we want are practically not produced in Russia right now. Back in the 1990s, the existing production facilities were closed, and domestic manufacturers of household chemicals switched to imports. Today, due to sanctions, almost all deliveries have stopped. What comes from China is not enough. Manufacturers are on starvation rations, in search of an alternative to reliable supply. This is a problem not only of Tatarstan, but also of Russia as a whole, Rinat Kharisov explained.
Time and market analysis will show whether cooperation will work and if so, when and in what volumes.
There is room to grow
Meanwhile, the tour continued. The second production, of commercial oils, aroused no less interest among the guests. As Alexey Osipov jokingly described the processes, this part of the plant is similar to the kitchen, only they do not cook borscht, but oil. But the accuracy of the addition and the proportions of the ingredients play a much bigger role here.
Next — temporary storage tanks and packaging. The shipment of finished products can be carried out in any volumes and methods: from filling into railway tanks, to cubes, barrels and small containers in 20, 5, 4, and 1 liter. By the way, as the director general of the company emphasised, oil is not measured in liters: packing is in kilograms and to an accuracy of a gram.
Here the journalist of Realnoe Vremya drew attention to another guest. The tall dark-skinned man not only listened attentively to everything, but also did not turn off his smartphone for almost the entire tour, capturing everything on video. To the question “why?", the answer was in good Russian, but with a noticeable accent:
“I am Dzhavat Hashab, the director of the company Ruma Groups — the first and only official representative of the distributor of the company TAIF-SM (TEF Kamatransservice JSC — editor's note) in North Africa: the Kingdom of Morocco. We have recently discovered this topic, and now our task is to increase the sales of Russian goods flows. We are interested in the correct presentation of these goods, and that's why I'm here: to know more about the product and be able to present it most fully," he explained.
As TAIF-SM later reported, the geography of sales of finished products has changed somewhat in the last year. New markets are being developed. In addition to North Africa, sales are underway in Kyrgyzstan, the Republic of Belarus, Mongolia, there is a distributor in Istanbul (Turkey).
The scope is also growing in the domestic market of Russia:
“Today we have 32 distributors in Russia. The network is built on the basis of ExxonMobil, which has left the market. The dealer network of the company that left Russia has moved to work with us," said Alexey Osipov.
And there is also enough work in the republic itself. The distributor of the products of TAIF-SM PLC in the Republic of Tatarstan — TEF Kamatransservice JSC — has done a lot of work in a short time to promote the product both to industrial enterprises and to transport companies. Developing success, now the distributor, together with one of the leaders of the transport industry in the region, is conducting large-scale tests of TAIF-SM products on the basis of its own fleet, with the prospect of a complete transfer of equipment to lubricants of the Taif Lubricants brand.
KAMAZ is also ready to announce its proposal:
“As manufacturers of automotive equipment, we are interested in good lubricants. The oil plant is located 30 kilometres from KAMAZ, and the finished product warehouse is located in Naberezhnye Chelny. Logistics is minimal. Especially considering the quality of the materials. That's what I would like to do — to conduct tests so that the products receive the approval of KAMAZ. So that our products immediately come off the conveyor with TAIF Lubricants products. You open the instruction manual, and it says “TAIF”. Why not?" Evgeny Kuznetsov, the head of the Central Laboratory of Fuels and Oils of the Scientific and Technical Center of KAMAZ PJSC, asked following the results of the visit to the oil plant.
At the end of the tour, the guests visited the laboratory at the production site. Here, products at all stages of production undergo strict control for compliance with the claimed quality and composition.
Before saying goodbye, the management of TAIF-SM invited the guests to visit the scientific development centre in Kazan. And the plant itself is preparing to meet the next tourists without discontinuing the work soon. Who will be called to look at the production this time is being thought over by the specialists of TEF Kamatransservice JSC right now.