Pasquale Terracciano: It is convenient for Italy to work with strong Russia
TAIF presented the projects of ‘’Little Italy’’ and a plant of bioplastics to the ambassador of Italy to Russia
TAIF and Italian companies are bound together by more than 25 years of close cooperation. Businessmen from the sunny country have participated in many projects of the leading petrochemical complex of Tatarstan. Heat exchangers, pumps and other equipment for the HRCC were produced by Italian companies. The cooperation with foreign partners may move to a new level after visiting the office of TAIF PSC by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Italy to Russia Pasquale Terracciano. The correspondent of Realnoe Vremya attended the meeting with the ambassador and found out how he assesses the construction of the microdistrict Little Italy and a plant for the production of bioplastics.
Italian companies are ready to share their know-how with Tatarstan
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Italy to Russia Pasquale Terracciano has recently come to Kazan with a two-day visit. The trip agenda was busy: the ambassador met with Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov, addressed the students of the Kazan State Power Engineering University (KSEU) and visited the head office of TAIF Group. The meeting of director general of TAIF PSC Albert Shigabutdinov and Mr. Terracciano was also attended by Director General of Kazanorgsintez PJSC Farid Minigulov, Head of Trade and Economic Department of the Embassy of Italy Niccolo Fontana, Director of the department for promotion of trade exchange of the Embassy of Italy Pier Paolo Celeste, Honorary Consul of Italy Gianguido Breddo.
In the course of the conversation, Pasquale Terracciano could assess the scale of the activities of TAIF Group. ''We have been in very close contact with Italian companies and with the Italian people for the last 25-30 years. We are glad to see you in our office,'' Albert Shigabutdinov welcomed the ambassador.
Pasquale Terracciano noted that the trip to Tatarstan was his first official visit outside Moscow. He was appointed Ambassador of Italy to Russia two months ago, having worked as Ambassador to the UK for 5 years before the appointment. Mr. Terracciano stated that he wanted to start the trip to the regions of Russia from the most dynamically developing region — Tatarstan. Mr. Terracciano is sure that there are many opportunities in the republic to implement projects jointly with Italian companies.
The cooperation of Italian companies with Russia and Tatarstan has a long tradition. As an example Pasquale Terracciano cited the joint project of KAMAZ and FIAT. The established business contacts have allowed Italian business to remain in Russia in the current tense time. Italian companies, monitoring changes in the market, have changed the concept of ''Made in Italy'' into ''Made with Italy''. The new strategy will create joint Russian-Italian enterprises that will produce products that meet traditional Italian quality standards on the territory of Russia.
Pasquale Terracciano said that Italian companies were ready to create joint ventures in Russia. They can bring their know-how and start production together with Russian partners. This reflects not only a reasonable approach to business, but also their vision of Russia and our people. They respect our relationship. It is comfortable for Italy to work with a strong Russia, Mr. Terraciano said.
HRCC is planned to be commissioned this August
The ambassador expressed his awareness of the participation of Italian companies in TAIF's projects. On the eve of Pasquale Terracciano's meeting with Albert Shigabutdinov, Maire Tecnimont CEO told the ambassador about possible cooperation with the subsidiary of the petrochemical holding – Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC. The experience of Maire Tecnimont, an international company in the field of design of petrochemical plants, may be useful in the context of the work on the second phase of the project Ethylene-600. Albert Shigabutdinov declared the determination to cooperate with the Italian company.
''I would like to take this opportunity to inform you that now we are completing the world's first project on advanced oil refining. The refining depth will reach 100%, all oil products contained in the oil will be extracted. We plan to commission the HRCC in late August of this year,'' said the director general of TAIF PSC. He confirmed that Italy had contributed to the establishment of the HRCC. Heat exchangers, pumps, compressors and other equipment were manufactured by Italian companies. Now the commissioning and start-up works of the Heavy Residue Conversion Complex in Nizhnekamsk are underway.
The director general of TAIF PSC invited the ambassador to attend the opening and commissioning of the HRCC. The project can be called an international construction. Companies from Japan, China, India, Italy, Germany, France, the USA have worked on it. ''We hope that your visit to Tatarstan and of our company will lead to a qualitatively new breakthrough in the relations with Italian companies. Indeed, the issues of our development require investments, but our assets allow us to attract large loans. We are ready to create and implement joint projects with Italy,'' Albert Shigabutdinov said.
Revolution in the world of plastics
Currently, TAIF Group jointly with Italian partners is working on the implementation of two projects: the residential district Little Italy and a plant for the production of bioplastics. Both concepts were presented to Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov and Mayor of Kazan Ilsur Metshin in the summer of 2017. Italian partners discussed the details of the projects with Rustam Minnikhanov during his visit to Milan last winter. The Tatarstan president approved the construction of the microdistrict Little Italy and the plant for the production of biodegradable plastic.
The project of bioplastics was presented to the ambassador of Italy by Farid Minigulov, the director general of Kazanorgsintez PJSC. The developer of the technology of biopolymers is the Italian company Bio-on. The considered polymer production project involves bacteria of natural origin. The raw material source is also a natural product, in this case – molasses, a by-product of the production of sugar beet. Starch, glycerin, sugar cane and other sources containing sugar can also be used as raw materials. Sugar beet is planned to be used in the production of biopolymers in Tatarstan.
The need for the creation of bioplastics is incredibly high, the new polymer can solve the problem of environmental pollution with synthetic plastic. ''The production of polymers worldwide has increased hundreds of times over 70-80 years of its development. And if the production of synthetic plastics develops at the same rate, by 2050 their number will be equal to the number of fish in the World Ocean,'' said Farid Minigulov.
The polymer, which TAIF offers to produce, is interesting in that it is completely decomposed within 30-45 days. At the same time, bioplastics has technical and technological properties close to conventional plastics — polyethylene and polypropylene. The advantage of bioplastics is that it is biocompatible. Metals, catalysts and additives are not used in its production.
An interesting detail highlighted in the presentation by Farid Minigulov: the components of this polymer are in metabolism both in human body and in other living organisms. Thus, bioplastics does not have harmful effects on animals, humans and other organisms.
To implement this project, Italians proposed to create a joint Russian-Italian enterprise with 50 percent participation of both sides, which Tatarstan side supported. Now in one of the regions of Tatarstan it is being considered a platform for the construction of the plant. It is planned to put the project into operation in 2,5 years.
Director General of Bio-on Vittorio Folla at the meeting with the ambassador of Italy said that the technology to create biodegradable material has been developed over the past decade and thanks to the cooperation with a major partner such as TAIF the Italians are ready to implement this significant project.
Vittorio Folla added that this was really a revolution in the world of plastics because they would start producing environmentally friendly polymer that would not affect the environment. They are planning to produce products from bioplastics and use it in the medical and cosmetic field. He once again thanked TAIF and the Italian ambassador, expressing confidence that Pasquale Terracciano would contribute to the implementation of the project together with the government and business associations of his country.
A little island of Italy in Tatarstan
The second project — the microdistrict Little Italy — was presented by Director General of Ikrea High-Tech PLC Marat Norkin. The idea of creating the microdisctrict was proposed by TAIF Group, the Italian side supported it. The Little Italy should become an anchor project to attract Italian investments to Tatarstan. Foreign companies not yet represented in Russia will be placed on its site.
The microdistrict will be located in Privolzhsky district of Kazan near the highway connecting the city with the airport. The area reaches 9,5 hectares. The microcomplex will consist of a 13-storey hotel with a total area of 15,000 square metres, an 11-storey office centre with an area of 18,000 square metres with a helipad on the roof.
There will also be built a shopping centre in Little Italy, three residential houses, a kindergarten and a school. Recreational areas will be linked by pedestrian and bicycle lanes. In the shopping complex preference will be given to Italian boutiques. Presumably, it will be leased to one operator for a long-term lease. Underground parking will be located under the entire residential complex.
''We are surprised and delighted by the architecture of Italian buildings, the mastery of their implementation. We would like to transfer this beauty to our climatic conditions,'' Albert Shigabutdinov said. The Italians are interested in the project — the residential complex has a potential to become a real island of Italy in Tatarstan.
''I hope that I will be able to take part in the opening ceremony of Little Italy as Ambassador to Russia,'' Pasquale Terracciano said after the presentation. He also spoke favourably of the construction of the bioplastics plant. The interests of Russia and Italy will be realized in the projects that TAIF Group plans to implement.
Ambassador of Italy Pasquale K. Terracciano was born on 4 May 1956 in Naples. In 1978, he graduated from the Law Department of the University of Naples Federico II. In 1981, entered Italian diplomatic service. In 1985, served as Consul at Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). In 1993, took the post of Counsellor, Economic Affairs Directorate, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy.
Since 2000, he has been First Counsellor at Italian Permanent Representation to the Atlantic Council, Brussels. In 2006, he was appointed as Ambassador of Italy to Madrid with accreditation to Andorra. In 2011, Diplomatic Adviser to the Italian Prime Minister and Prime Minister's G8 and G20 Sherpa Representative. In 2013, Appointed Ambassador to London. In 2018, appointed as Ambassador of Italy to the Russian Federation.
Married, three children.
According to the customs office for the Volga Federal District, the trade turnover between Tatarstan and Italy in 2017 rose by 23,4% to 323,3 million dollars. Exports from Tatarstan reached the volume of 164,6 million dollars, imports to the republic — 158,6 million dollars. In the period from January to February 2018, the trade turnover between Tatarstan and Italy amounted to about 20,6 million dollars against 17,2 million dollars for the same period last year. The main trade turnover still accounts for equipment and machinery, they are followed by plastics, caoutchouc and rubber (the second place).
In 2017, the main trading partners of the Republic of Tatarstan were 154 states, export operations were carried out with 127 states, import ones — with 115 states. The share of Italian exports compared to other countries amounted to 1,3%, the share of imports — 4,1%.