Christian Bruch: ''We hope the olefin complex is a starting point for collaboration with NKNKH''

Christian Bruch: ''We hope the olefin complex is a starting point for collaboration with NKNKH''
Photo: Timur Rakhmanutllin

Linde and Nizhnekamskneftekhim are discussing the beginning of the construction of a new olefin complex. Chairman of Linde Engineering Board of Directors Christian Bruch told about it to journalists during his visit to Nizhnekamsk. A delegation of the German company has seen on production sites of TAIF Group of Companies and then shared its impressions with the press. Realnoe Vremya tells what impressed Christian Bruch in Nizhnekamsk and whether the German concern is going to continue the collaboration with the Tatarstan companies.

''There isn't any plant in the world to make three types of rubber and in such quantities''

The delegation from Germany arrived in Nizhnekamsk with the current composition for the first time – Board Chairman of Linde Engineering Christian Bruch, Managing Director Member of Linde Engineering Division John van der Velden, Project Director of Linde Engineering's new Olefin Complex Roland Hein and Director Business Development at Linde Engineering Danil Yefremov.

Firstly, Director General of Nizhnekamskneftekhim Azat Bikmurzin and Deputy Director General and Director of the Olefin Complex, which is under construction, Viktor Trifonov took the guests to the plant Synthetic Rubber No. 3. Three types rubber are made here – Synthetic Rubber No. 3, Nd-PBR, Polybutadiene Rubber, which are used in the tyre industry. The products are exported are – five tyre giants such as Michelin, Pirelli, Continental, Bridgestone and Goodyear are the major consumers.

The German delegation was shown Synthetic Rubber No. 3 plant where Synthetic Rubber No. 3, Nd-PBR, Polybutadiene Rubber are made

''There isn't any plant in the world to make three types of rubber and in such quantities. Last year, we made 286,000 tonnes of Synthetic Rubber No. 3, now the equipment is able to produce 330,000 tonnes of Synthetic Rubber No. 3 a year,'' explained Director of Nizhnekamskneftekhim SR plant Sergey Zaitsev.

The new Heavy Residues Deep Conversion Plant at TAIF-NK where Director General of the enterprise Rushan Shamgunov welcomed the guests was the next stop in the tour. All construction and assembly work has been completed on the site, while the main and auxiliary plants are tested. New oil products have already been produced. The complex plans to start to receive the main feedstock by 2019. The HRDCC will allow to increase oil conversion rate to 98,6%, thanks to which the enterprise will make quality light oil products.

The German partners also made their contribution to the new complex: Linde AG designed and delivered equipment to produce hydrogen, which is designed to provide Veba Combi Craсking units with hydrogen. There are two hydrogen units in Russia: one is in Tolyatti at KuibyshevAzot PJSC with a capacity of 120,000 cubic m/h for hydrogen, the second is at TAIF-NK PJSC with a capacity of 222,4 cubic m/h for hydrogen.

Linde AG designed and delivered equipment to the new HRDCC to produce hydrogen

Then the guests went to Nizhnekamskneftekhim Ethylene Plant's operator's room where they were showed the production management system and told about the whole enterprise's protection system.

''For Linde, it's a big honour to have been selected as a partner for this project''

Linde AG has been working in the Tatarstan market for more than 10 years. At Kazanorgsintez, the company constructed pyrolysis furnaces, two air separation and PSA plants. In 2012, Nizhnekamskneftekhim signed an agreement with Linde to obtain a licence for α-SABLIN technology, which was launched in the updated linear alfa olefin plant in 2016, the unit's capacity was 37,500 tonnes.

To continue the collaboration with TAIF Group of Companies, the German company became a participant of a tender for the construction of a new olefin complex. As a result, at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum in June 2017, TAIF GC and Linde signed a memorandum of understanding. There was separately signed a framework agreement between Nizhnekamskneftekhim and Linde AG on four stages of the olefin complex. The document includes technological licences, delivery of equipment and technical consultation for the new olefin complex with a capacity of 600,000 tonnes. At 2018 SPIEF in May, the project's financing was determined: a long-term agreement with Deutsche Bank AG for €807 million till 2023 was signed with the support of Euler Hermes export credit agency. Five German banks will be the creditors: Deutsche Bank, UniCredit Bank AG, Bayerische Landesbank, Landesbank Baden-Württemberg and DZ BANK AG. In an interview, Chairman of Linde Engineering Board of Directors Christian Bruch told how the work on the olefin complex was doing.

Mr Bruch, today you've seen several production sites. Could you share your impressions?

It's my first time in Nizhnekamsk. I've seen the site today and I'm deeply impressed because I've seen a lot of chemical sites, but it's a very impressive site in terms of the extension but also in terms of how all plants are operated and maintained. We are in the start-up phase of the big project implementation now with Nizhnekamskneftekhim. With Mr Bikmurzin, we have used the opportunity to review our further steps to build the olefin complex, we have very big plans. For Linde, it's a big honour to have been selected as a partner for this project. Moreover, we hope the olefin complex is a starting point for collaboration with NKNKH. In the future, we could extend in either building new plants or investing in joint projects.

An agreement on the construction of a new olefin complex was signed a year ago. How do you assess the volume of the work done during this time?

First of all, we did prepare everything to make sure that we keep to the schedule of the project. The team is fully mobilised in Munich and Nizhnekamsk. And the important thing for us will be to prepare to lay the foundation. It's what we will review together with the team.

Christian Bruch told the journalists they were discussing new projects with TAIF

Russia is a core market for German company

An agreement on the financing of the project by Deutsche Bank was signed in May. How important is it for you that a German bank will finance the project?

Deutsche Bank and German banks are a long-time partner for us. We also work with Euler Hermes export credit agency that was very important in the financing of this project. We think the collaboration between the banks, Euler Hermes and Nizhnekamskneftekhim will lead to the successful fulfilment of the project. We talked with Euler Hermes and German banks and know how highly they appreciate the olefin complex project. We hope there will be other projects at Nizhnekamskneftekhim, and German banks, particularly Euler Hermes, will continue to support.

What new projects do you plan to fulfil with TAIF?

We are in close contact with TAIF and develop new projects. But there is nothing to be published so far. It's very clear Russia and Tatarstan, in particular, are a core market for us. We will do our best to fulfil the olefin complex project in the best way to develop further, and Russia will remain the core partner.

How are your projects with Gazprom and Novatek are doing?

We are also realising projects with both companies. They are very successful. It's Amursky Gas Project and the Arctic Energy Project, which go as planned.

You've been very actively entering the Russian market in the last years. Why does Russia attract you?

Linde has technologies that fit the Russian market and products. Thanks to these technologies, we have a very strong relationship with our customers. We think this is a foundation of a successful business.

By Ksenia Zharkova. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

Linde AG was created in 1878 and consists of three divisions: Linde Gas, Linde Engineering (two main divisions) and other activities (Gist logistic company). The biggest division Linde Gas has three segments: Europe and Middle East, Asia/Pacific and the Americas. What is more, Linde created five Global Governance Centres (GGCs) that are centrally managed and operate across the regions: GGC Merchant & Packaged Gases (liquefied gases and cylinder gas), GGC Electronics (electronic gases), GGC Healthcare, GGC Operations and GGC Deliver. Linde Group also set up Opportunity & Project Development in order to take better advantage of its business's potential.

The Linde Group is the leading manufacturer of technologies with EPC. It gives it an advantage over other gas companies. Engineering developments with the right of possession and Linde's own operating experience are applied to design reliable units. The symbiosis is in both areas: Linde Gas is the biggest client of Linde Engineering.

Deutsche Bank is Germany's leading bank, with a strong position in Europe and a significant presence in the Americas and Asia Pacific. The bank offers commercial banking and investment and banking services, provides services to private individuals and offers products and services on management of assets and a big private capital. The bank provides banking services to corporations, governments, institutional investors, small and medium-sized businesses and private individuals.

Euler Hermes is a world leader in insurance and debt collection, a recognised expert in credit insurance. With over 100 years of experience, Euler Hermes has gone through several ups and downs together with the world economy and accumulated considerable expertise in financial and economic risks worldwide. The company's offices are located in more than 50 countries.