Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC establishes its own production of methanol
Haldor Topsoe and TAIF PSC: a new stage of long-standing cooperation
TAIF PSC has been cooperating with the Danish company Haldor Topsoe — the world leader in catalysis and the study of physical and chemical properties of surface — already for a long time. Now the long-standing partnership is reaching a new level: after the thorough analysis of proposals for participation in the new project of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC, received from a number of major global participants in the engineering market, the Tatarstan group of companies invited the Danes to meet to discuss joint work on the construction, in fact, of a new enterprise — the production of methanol (methyl alcohol) with an annual capacity of 500k tonnes. The preliminary discussion of the project began last year, and by this day the specialists of the companies have already prepared the necessary documents.
''The teams have worked very closely for several months, carefully, so that this signing took place today,'' said Bjarne Steffen Klausen, the president of Haldor Topsoe.
''TAIF is a very well-known company, it is one of the largest companies. We also know Nizhnekamskneftekhim well. Throughout all those years that we know about each other, we have really wanted to work with you, because we, of course, have projects in Russia and the Republic of Tatarstan, now we have a joint project with you,'' said Mr. Klausen.
''One of our main issues is the production of synthetic rubber. We produce about 50 percent of the world's isoprene, a substitute for natural rubber. Due to the instability in the world markets, this has a very strong impact on the raw materials from which synthetic rubber is produced. So, one of the basic tasks of the next few years is to optimize production processes, technologies and to achieve a significant economic effect both from the main production and from the production of isoprene. One of the components of production is methanol,'' said Director General of TAIF PSC Albert Shigabutdinov.
The need for in-house methanol production is long overdue. The production requires significant amounts of the raw material. But until recently, the decision to build its own production of methanol was constrained by the limited supply of natural gas — the raw material for the production of methanol. Today the situation has changed:
''For us, this is a very important project, as the production of methanol adds another component. It is the production of methanol, which we now purchase from various companies, will allow us to be more competitive in the market. If now we have a chain of formaldehyde-isobutylene-isoprene-synthetic rubber, then after the implementation of the project methanol will be added. From it, we will produce formaldehyde and so we will complete the entire cycle for the production of synthetic isoprene rubber,'' explained Azat Bikmurzin, the director general of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC.
The parties signed two contracts: for the provision of licenses and engineering services under the methanol production technology. The documents were signed by Azat Bikmurzin, the director general of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC, and Bjarne Steffen Klausen, the president of Haldor Topsoe. In addition, the parties discussed the need to conclude another contract: to support Haldor Topsoe specialists in the implementation of the project at all its stages, before commissioning.
Partnership with a view to cooperation development
''We have a lot that we can offer TAIF Group. We hope that this project will serve as the beginning of a new stage of our mutually beneficial cooperation,'' Mr. Klausen said during the meeting.
There are no objections to further development of cooperation on the part of TAIF Group. The holding systematically develops and increases its production volumes, expanding its product line. Such approach is strongly supported by the leadership of the republic and personally by President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov. The leader of the republic is aware of the meeting and its results. Moreover, through Albert Shigaboutdinov he shared with the Danes their plans:
''In March, it is scheduled a visit of our President Rustam Minnikhanov to Denmark. The leader of Tatarstan plans to meet with the prime minister of Denmark and intends to include a meeting with you in the schedule of the visit,'' said the director general of TAIF PSC to the president of Haldor Topsoe.
''I am very glad that Mr. Minnikhanov is going to visit Denmark, and I will be happy to meet him again. We have already met several times, and I very much hope that this meeting will also take place. I will be glad to see in our head office not only the president of Tatarstan, but also you,'' Mr. Klausen responded.
However, the next meeting of the management and specialists of TAIF PSC and Haldor Topsoe is likely to take place in Tatarstan. Albert Shigabutdinov said he was ready to discuss with Haldor Topsoe further plans for the development of TAIF Group. And it is more convenient to do it where all the production facilities of the holding are located — in Tatarstan.
General plan for the future production of methanol to be agreed in two weeks
The promise was made immediately after the signing of the contract for the development of design and working documentation for the project of construction of methanol production by Oleg Kostin, the director general of NIIK JSC (Research and Design Institute of Urea and Organic Synthesis Products). The Russian engineering company of the full cycle works with TAIF Group in general and Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC in particular for the first time, but it has experience in implementing large-scale projects, including in Tatarstan and in partnership with Haldor Topsoe.
''Just three years ago, we completed our very broad participation in the construction project of Ammonia plant in Mendeleevsk. We are familiar with both construction and installation companies. It is very pleasant to come back here after a three-year break, to find a good, interesting job,'' shared Mr. Kostin.
''We are grateful to the management of TAIF PSC and Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC for allowing us to participate in the implementation of this project. This is a very important project for us. We work in the field of gas chemistry and design and build plants for the production of carbamide and methanol. A similar enterprise — also for the production of methanol — we are now designing in Tula Oblast. At Shchekinoazot. I think that for Nizhnekamskneftekhim it is, first of all, the development of new products and, what is important for Nizhnekamskneftekhim, which today consumes more than 300k tonnes of methanol per year for the production of its products, the construction of this production will allow the company to get rid of dependence on fluctuations in prices for purchased raw materials. This is economic efficiency and security. It is important,'' Oleg Kostin supported the colleague.
Specialists of the Nizhny Novgorod Institute are actively involved in the work. The director general of NIIK JSC briefly described what needs to be done:
''The timing is very tight, strict. Almost by 1 April, we plan to receive questionnaires on equipment and the main physical volumes of future production from NIIK JSC and to start purchasing equipment and choosing a construction contractor. Accordingly, already in the summer we plan to implement some preparatory work in the field. In September, we plan to complete the project documentation and go for examination, to begin the phase of development of working documentation. Accordingly, the overall implementation period we set for ourselves is very short. We will work in close cooperation with our partners.''
The total cost of the project has not been disclosed, but it is clear that the production, even taking into account the fact that methanol will be produced exclusively for the company's own needs, promises to be more than just profitable.