Aleksandr Liberov: “TAIF Group is one of our key partners in Russia”

The international concern with an almost 170-year history of operation in Russia is participating in several big projects of TAIF Group of Companies

The management of Siemens (Germany), Kazanorgsintez PJSC and Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC, which are part of TAIF Group of Companies, signed three contracts at once at €290 million in October 2019, on the first day of Russian Energy Week 2019 international forum on energy efficiency and power engineering development. Read in Realnoe Vremya’s report how the long-term cooperation between the two world brands developed.

Siemens — almost 170 years in Russia

Today a handful around the world isn’t familiar with the brand of Siemens, but few people imagine the real scale of activity of the transnational concern whose business covers almost the whole world, while nearly 400,000 people work in its numerous subsidiaries. High precision medical equipment, solutions for automation and digitalisation of industrial enterprises, trains, finance and power engineering — the company operates in all these sectors today.

And all began in 1847 when Werner von Siemens with his brothers and Johann Halske founded Telegraphenbauanstalt Siemens & Halske in Berlin, which later turned into today’s famous corporation Siemens AG, that offered the world a new means of communication that used a needle indicating letters on a telegraph instead of Morse code.

In 1849 already, the young German company began to establish contacts with the Russian Empire. And it was successful. Two years later, in 1851, there was reached an agreement to supply the first 75 pointer telegraphs for new communications links between Saint Petersburg and Moscow. In 1852, Werner von Siemens visited the capital of the Russian Empire on his own for the first time to sign a contract to lay a telegraph line. A design bureau of Siemens that Werner’s sibling Carl Siemens chaired opened in Saint Petersburg in 1853. In 1855, the Saint Petersburg office turned into a financially independent enterprise of Siemens’s headquarters in Berlin, the construction of a telegraph line over 9,000 km long a part of which was laid through the Baltic Sea was completed. The line united Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Kyiv, Kowno (now Kaunas), Reval (Tallinn), Helsinge fors (Helsinki), Warsaw, stretched further to Western Europe and included Russia in the international telegraph space. In the late 1870s, Carl Siemens got the right to build factories (he founded today’s Sebkabel), and in May 1880 the first part of the capital got electric street light. Later Nevsky Prospekt, the Winter Palace, theatres, shopping arcades were adorned with electric torches, while Siemens obtained the right to be named a purveyor of the yard of His Imperial Majesty. There were laid tram lines, there was made railway equipment, new representative offices opened in Odessa, Yekaterinoslavl, Kharkiv, Rostov-on-Don, there was built a power plant in Moscow. In 1859, Carl Siemens obtained Russian citizenship, he was awarded a certificate of the honorary member of the Saint Petersburg Electric Light Society for his merits to the new homeland in 1892, in 1896 — he got a noble title. The construction of a factory manufacturing dynamos, turbines and transformers (today famous as Electrosila) began by the late of the 19th century. Nationalisation of the property of Siemens & Halske in Russia began in 1916 amid the First World War.

New stage of cooperation between Siemens and Russia and TAIF GC

The German company that lost almost all of its foreign markets and assets during the war began looking for a way to re-establish contacts by 1919 already. The young Soviet government set course for electrification, and Siemens actively supported it in this bid. Equipment supplies began, there was held consultation. Not all people know that Siemens specialists also had a hand in the construction of Moscow metro and Dnieper Hydroelectric Station. In 1925, even a consultancy bureau opened in Moscow that successfully operated through 1936. By the way, the first Kazan CHPPs were equipped by Siemens in the 30s.

The company managed to re-establish the cooperation with the USSR again only in 1971 — during active industrial development, including in energy, oil refining and petrochemistry. The German concern consulted and supplied equipment to Kazan Factory of Organic Synthesis (today Kazanorgsintez PJSC) and Nizhnekamsk Chemical Factory (today Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC), which were expanding production.

The cooperation went on during the formation of new Russia’s economy too. The German concern participated in the creation of modern laboratories in Tatarstan to train specialists, modernise medical institutions and power engineering, automate enterprises, introduce new telecommunication and information technologies. The project of comprehensive equipment of Kazan international airport with means of communications in the 90s was implemented with Siemens equipment.

TAIF Group of Companies, which united leading chemical, petrochemical and oil refining enterprises under its wing as well as the two biggest thermal power plants of Tatarstan — Kazan CHPP-3 and Nizhnekamsk CHPP (SGB-1) also invited Siemens specialists for a technical and technological upgrade. Siemens President Joe Kaeser’s personal contribution to organising the working process was an additional impulse to activate these processes. The officials of the republic and TAIF Group of Companies had a trusting, friendly relationship. Kaeser has repeatedly been in Russia and Tatarstan, met with Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov, visited the head office of the Group — TAIF JSC, and the management of TAIF JSC, in turn, visited the headquarters of Siemens in Munich.

In 2014, Siemens and TAIF GC signed an agreement on strategic cooperation. The document aimed to increase the effectiveness of cooperation between the companies at all levels was prolonged in October 2018 at Russian Energy Week forum in Moscow.

During a meeting with President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov in June 2019, Siemens President Joe Kaeser shared that they were very proud of their reliable partnership with Tatarstan and TAIF GC and ran the business based on mutual trust. According to him, TAIF Group of Companies was the key partner of Siemens in Tatarstan.

It became recently known that Joe Kaeser decided not to extend the contract as president and board chairman of Siemens AG and would chair the supervisory board of Siemens Energy, which was created again.

TAIF GC’s long-time friend and business partner Christian Bruch, who had led Linde Engineering and was the executive vice president at Linde plc, was appointed director of Siemens Energy. Considering how actively TAIF Group of Companies develops energy, one can be sure that the cooperation will continue.

TAIF’s every project is interesting

During one of his visits to Tatarstan, then-President of Siemens in Russia and Central Asia, Vice President of Siemens AG Dietrich Moeller stressed that Siemens considered the Republic of Tatarstan as one of the attractive regions for further investment.

While the German multi-business concern paid special attention to TAIF Group of Companies’ tasks. For instance, TIAF Group’s companies implemented a series of oil and gas projects with Siemens. Siemens compressors were delivered to high- and low-density polyethylene plants of Kazanorgsintez PJSC. Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC together with the German concern adopted and implements a programme aimed to upgrade and reconstruct electric switchboards. There were implemented projects on steam turbines, rotating units in the divinyl and butadiene plants, many other types of equipment were renewed and modernised. A big job is done in digital production: the latest manufacturing process management system by Siemens operates in new isoprene monomer plants.

Alongside Siemens, TAIF Group actively promotes advanced technologies localised in Russia. So TAIF-NK JSC, an oil refinery of TAIF Group, signed a contract with Siemens in Russia to manufacture and supply three power transformers for the sector’s pilot project — the Heavy Residues Deep Conversion Complex (HRDCC). After commercial tests of the HRDCC designed with the latest technologies and processes of oil refining, TAIF Group’s companies will provide a complete production cycle in crude oil and gas deep conversion with the maximum output of high-quality light oil products complying with all modern environmental requirements. Oil processing, in fact, will be zero-waste, while TAIF Group’s companies will get more light oil products: high-quality car fuel and feedstock for further polymer processing — rubber, plastic.

Moreover, Siemens is one of the participants in another big project of TAIF Group of Companies. It is the construction of Ethylene 600 facility at Nizhnekamskneftekhim. An agreement on construction was signed in the middle of 2017 with another German company — Linde AG, while Siemens will manufacture and deliver part of the equipment, for instance, power transformers and compressors. The project was included in the long-term Development Strategy of Chemical and Petrochemical Complexes of the Russian Federation through 2030 and the Social and Economic Development Strategy of the Republic of Tatarstan.

A new 495 MW steam and gas turbine will provide the new facility with electrical energy. The agreement on its construction was signed in December 2017 at Siemens’s headquarters in Munich during Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov’s visit to Germany.

The power plant’s capacity would be almost 500 MW, it would be an energy foundation for the industry of the whole industry and run on pure synthesis gas, Siemens AG Joe Kaeser explained after the agreement was signed. Synthesis gas is, in fact, the residues of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC that used to be burned in the flares. Now they will be burned in furnaces generating enough energy and heat for uninterrupted operation of all NKNK, not only the future ethylene facility. Moreover, the environmental impact of the petrochemical capital republic will considerably reduce.

A new agreement was signed in October 2019. And not only one agreement was signed. Siemens agreed with Kazanorgsintez PJSC on turnkey construction of a new 250 MW SGT-TPP. The fewer capacity is the only difference of the future power plant from the one Siemens is building in Nizhnekamsk. The technology that will be used in Kazan also envisages using synthesis gas as fuel.

“The construction of the steam and gas turbine means not only the creation of our energy capacities for further development of the enterprise. The project will allow optimising costs to produce final goods and simultaneously reduce the environmental impact,” said Ruslan Shigabutdinov, director general of TAIF JSC, Kazanorgsintez PJSC board chairman and Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC board chairman.

Tatarstan is one of the most economically developed regions of Russia that keep expanding industrial capacities — it has had a shortage of energy for many years. Billions of kWh of energy were purchased and keep being purchased from the outside every year. With the launch of new capacities, the republic will have fewer problems and extra costs.

Another two agreements signed on the same day at Russian Energy Week 2019 envisage long-term maintenance of steam and gas turbines installed at Kazanorgsintez and Nizhnekamskneftekhim.

Aleksandr Liberov: “With TAIF Group, we are conducting large-scale projects in the field of energy generation”

During the preparation of the report, Realnoe Vremya’s journalist managed to talk with Siemens President in Russia Aleksandr Liberov, Director General of Siemens Oil, Gas & Energy in Russia Oleg Titov and Director of Digital Production at Siemens in Russia Zhanna Shalygina. Read in the interview how they see Siemens’s mission in Russia, the future of global power engineering and development prospects of cooperation with TAIF.

Mr Liberov, the history of operation of Siemens in Russia is almost 170 years old. It gives the impression that the specifics of the concern’s activity throughout its operation are so that the head company created not branches around the world but, in fact, independent structures with a high localisation level that have at the same time access to the holding’s all latest developments. Is it true?

The distinctive feature of Siemens in Russia is business development based on the interests of the Russian state. Russia needed a telegraph, and the company laid a network of telegraph lines. New Siemens plants gradually began to produce everything the Russian market needed in telegraphy, electric light and energy transmission. The Russian market has turned into the second most important foreign market of the company since the 1890s.

We launched a big localisation programme in Russia more than 10 years ago and opened local plants, raised the qualification of Russian suppliers, trained and developed the staff, as the country needed to manufacture high-tech products in local enterprises.

Today in Russia we have our JV with Sinara Group, which is Ural Locomotives, a JV with Power Machines — Siemens Gas Turbine Technologies (SGTT), Siemens Transformers’ own company, a service depot, R&D labs. We cooperate with more than 2,200 suppliers thus creating jobs for about 48,000 people. Big railway engineering, power, industry and infrastructure projects have been implemented in the last years, the cooperation with Russian partners and suppliers goes on.

You’ve been working at Siemens in Russia since 1996. We can say that the formation of the company’s office during the formation of contemporary Russia happened in front of our eyes. How did Siemens’s business in Russia change together with the country?

I graduated from Saint Petersburg State University of Economics. I began my career precisely at Siemens. Over these years, I have worked in Germany, the USA, Singapore, Australia and China. And it is a great honour and responsibility for me to chair the company in Russia.

Everything has changed in the last 25 years: technologies, solutions, products, business approaches. Many business processes have changed. I wouldn’t compare the 90s-style company with modern Siemens. At that moment, we were a small representative office of the German concern in the Russian market, today it is a fully-fledged company with local plants and production sites with approximately 7,000 jobs created (including 3,400 people as official staff) and with €1,1bn annual turnover.

Nowadays Siemens’s operation in Russia is inseparable from the Russian economy: we actively participate in the modernisation of the Russian industry and infrastructure.

Among the latest milestone projects, I can note the construction and equipment of power plants for Nizhnekamskneftekhim and Kazanorgsintez (TAIF GC), the equipment of the Grozny TPP. As for the railway business, it is a new lot of 13 high-speed Sapsan trains with further 30-year maintenance.

How does Siemens in Russia look like today? What changes is it experiencing now? Why is a transformation needed? What opportunities does such an approach give to develop the Russian office of Siemens and the concern in general?

The company continues pursuing the strategy Vision 2020+, which includes a series of structural changes too. The focus is made on customer orientation, modern business models and absolute commitment, which we have today.

In May 2019, the concern made a decision to create a separate company that would be focused only on solutions for the fuel and energy sector. The current subdivision Oil, Gas & Energy (GP) and business areas included in it will become the foundation for the new company. It will also be given the majority share of Siemens AG in Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy specialised in wind power projects.

This February we successfully completed the separation of Oil, Gas & Energy from Siemens and created an independent legal entity — Siemens Oil, Gas & Energy in Russia. In April, this structure will become part of Siemens Energy global company, which is created. I will repeat that it will focus only on solutions for the fuel and energy sector. This will allow reacting to our clients’ requests better and quicker and, as a result, increasing our competitiveness.

Answering the second part of the question, I will note that our clients are always a priority for us. All existing contractual commitments will remain in force.

We will develop cooperation with our clients and partners. Our clients’ priorities and challenges constantly change, and we change together with them.

How do you see the future of Siemens in Russia? What plans does Siemens have to develop the business in Russia further? What are the biggest projects implemented nowadays and planned in the foreseeable future?

In power engineering, we work with almost all important companies of the fuel and energy complex. As for more topical projects, I would single out the projects with such companies as Gazprom, Novatek, TAIF Group of Companies.

In October 2019, we signed an agreement with Kazanorgsintez PJSC on turnkey construction of a 250 MW steam and gas power plant in Tatarstan. There were also signed two long-term service agreements. The construction and equipment of the power plant with our equipment for a project of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC is another project with TAIF GC. Siemens will supply two SGT5-2000Е gas turbines and one SST-600 steam turbine and equipment for energy distribution.

We signed a contract with Arctic LNG 2 (Novatek) to deliver equipment for three lines of Arctic LNG 2. The first delivery is to be in May 2020.

We keep working with Gazprom energyholding. The second energy unit of the Grozny TPP was put into operation in June 2019. The plant is equipped with two E-class gas turbines and Siemens generators with a capacity of 360 MW.

The projects on rail transport remain key for us too. Here we develop the cooperation with our strategic partner — Russian Railway. I have previously noted the delivery of a new lot of Sapsan trains.

The production of rolling stock keeps being localised, and the geography of use of passenger trains expands. A lot of attention is paid here to the service. We have depots for technical maintenance in Saint Petersburg, Moscow, Adler and Kaliningrad.

We set the development of digitalisation projects as one of the priorities. Such projects are already implemented with KAMAZ, Russian Railway, SIBUR and so on.

Are the concepts of eco-friendliness and safety so important for Siemens? How are they applied in the strategy of today’s business and the business development strategy of Siemens in Russia?

A fully-fledged company of the future is a company meeting all modern environmental and safety requirements. To become an effective link of the green economy, Siemens already does a lot in this area today. So the concern set a goal of becoming a carbon-neutral company by 2030 by developing an energy efficiency programme.

We also have a programme Paper-Free Production in our enterprises and offices. The company has its own corporate rules from Ownership Culture, which is an attitude to the company as your own, and Zero Harm Culture. Its goal is the avoidance of accidents in the workplace and their timely prevention. For instance, there hasn’t been an accident in our plant Siemens Transformers for 8 years of operation.

As for eco-friendliness, we, first of all, should keep decarbonisation in mind. In power engineering, on the one hand, we talk about a transition from minerals to renewable energy sources, and, on the other hand, about improving the eco-friendliness of fuel generation technologies.

Modern wind parks are built in Rostov and Murmansk Oblasts in the field of renewable energy. In December 2019, SGTT and Siemens Gamesa completed the assembly of the first wind turbine nacelles in Russia. The equipment will be delivered for the Azov WPP in the south of the country.

The energy unit No. 6 of the Kirishi Power Station can be an illustrative example in fuel generation. As a result of the modernisation, it turned into a modern energy unit meeting all environmental requirements. The amount of emissions into the environment has reduced with its enhanced efficiency.

Talking about examples from other spheres, an agreement on strategic partnership was signed with Intertechelectro Group of Companies in February 2020. The cooperation will be established in waste management, and it is construction projects for waste incineration plants. The partnership includes the exchange of information in solutions for digitalisation, automation, electrification, process management systems.

Which Russian regions or companies do you have more active and productive relationships?

As I have already noted, our plants and service sites operate in the regions. We obviously develop more dynamically precisely in these regions and cities. Here I am speaking about the Urals, Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast, Voronezh. The headquarters of our leasing company Siemens Finance successfully operates in Vladivostok.

We have a relationship of trust with the Republic of Tatarstan. In 2012, Tatarstan and Siemens signed an Agreement on strategic cooperation. Today, several joint projects are being implemented in various fields, from energy to healthcare. For example, with TAIF Group, we are conducting large-scale projects in the field of energy generation, and with KAMAZ, we are implementing digital technologies at its enterprises.

Two significant contracts for the construction of SGT-TPP have been signed between TAIF Group and Siemens in Russia just over the past two years. At what stage is their implementation, how complex and unique are these projects, and why is Siemens interested in implementing them?

TAIF Group is one of our key partners in Russia. Currently, we are working on two major projects — the construction of a combined cycle power plant on the territory of Nizhnekamskneftekhim, and a combined-cycle gas station for Kazanorgsintez PJSC.

The second contract was signed at Russian Energy Week in October 2019. For the new energy facility in Tatarstan, we will produce and supply an SGT5-2000E gas turbine with a generator and an SST-600 steam turbine with a generator. The power plant is to be launched in 2023.

Two long-term service agreements have also been signed. Our company Siemens Gas Turbine Technologies, which has a production site in Leningrad Oblast, will carry out maintenance of supplied equipment for Nizhnekamskneftekhim and Kazanorgsintez for 13 years.

Why was it interesting and important for Siemens to take part in the fight for the right to implement TAIF Group projects, in addition to economic reasons?

Participation in new major projects is always interesting. The more especially as the construction of a power plant for Nizhnekamskneftekhim is the first EPC contract for us in Russia in the field of energy construction. Here we act as a general contractor.

I would like to note that this is an organic way of developing the company's energy business. We have a serious competence, solid history, we are equipment suppliers and we have a well developed local service. And the next obvious step in the company's development is that we have entered the EPC contract market in Russia.

We entered into the project together with a subcontractor — the Turkish construction company ENKA. By the way, we have already collaborated with this partner in the construction of the Yayviyskaya GRES.

Siemens has extensive experience in creating turnkey power plants around the world, and Nizhnekamsk uses state-of-the-art technologies to implement the project. A proven gas turbine model will be installed at the facility, as reliability is a key factor in implementing such a project. If we talk about fuel, the engine is also flexible and will actually run on three different types of fuel.

In addition to the quality of contract execution, environmental friendliness and safety of technical and technological solutions are the key positions declared by Siemens. To what extent do the solutions selected for TAIF Group meet this statement?

The energy system of the future should have less impact on the environment. This is obvious. This includes the introduction of efficient technologies and the modernization of old generating capacities. I would note here the need for a technological transition from a steam-power cycle with an efficiency of about 35% to a steam-gas cycle with an efficiency of more than 63%. This is a significant step forward not only in terms of efficiency, but also in terms of emissions. The difference in these technologies (CCPP and STU) is almost 100 years.

The combined-cycle plants will be the basis for two new power plants for TAIF Group. For example, CCPP-250 for Kazanorgsintez includes two generating plants: gas turbine is used to drive the fuel gas and a steam turbine used to drive the high pressure steam produced by utilizing exhaust heat from the turbine unit.

The peculiarity of these facilities is also the possibility of working on synthetic gas — a by-product of petrochemical production, which will lead to significant savings in the customer's costs for its operation.

By directing synthetic gas to the gas turbine unit, the company will solve two tasks at once: supplying the CCPP with fuel and disposing of ethylene by-products.

What other energy projects have been implemented or are planned to be implemented in Tatarstan and Russia?

We are closely following the development of the petrochemical and fuel and energy complexes of Tatarstan and hope that we will take part in other projects implemented in the region.

At the moment, we are fighting for the opportunity to participate in the Zainskaya GRES modernization project. Our latest technological development — a heavy-duty HL-class turbine — could be suitable for this project. The first projects with our turbines of this class are currently being implemented in the UK, the US and South Korea.

We presented this equipment for the first time in Russia at Russian Energy Week in 2018. We are talking about the generation of heavy-duty gas turbines SGT-8000HL and SGT-9000HL. They give the opportunity to reach a previously unattainable level of productivity, exceeding 63% in the combined cycle.

Siemens has a large portfolio for distributed generation, and we will be happy to offer our partners in Tatarstan advanced high-tech solutions for energy generation.

Siemens co-initiated the opening of laboratories together with Tatarstan universities. How is cooperation in the field of education and science developing?

We are actively cooperating with higher educational institutions in Tatarstan: Kazan Federal University, KNRTU-KAI, on the basis of which the German-Russian Institute of New Technologies (GRINT) was established.

In 2018, a joint Siemens PLM laboratory was opened on the basis of one of the country's leading universities — Kazan National Research Technical University named after A.N. Tupolev. This is not just a classroom, but a real scientific platform for students and postgraduates. The key research field here is product lifecycle management. To do this, we gave the university a unique software called Siemens PLM Software.

Today, Siemens has a serious expertise in the field of digitalization, and the laboratory's activities give us the opportuntiy to apply this experience even more effectively to the needs of the Russian industry. I would like to note that we are helping the region train highly qualified personnel for projects that are already being implemented. For example, with KAMAZ, we are working on a large-scale implementation of the concept of Industry 4.0 — we participate in the development of unmanned cars and develop the company's products in the form of 3D models.

What are the tendencies and trends in the development of the modern energy market, and how do they correlate with the development of generating opportunities in Russia?

Modern energy is undergoing radical changes. These trends are called "3D model of energy” because they include three areas: decarbonization, decentralization, and digitalization.

Decarbonization, which has already been discussed above, is a trend of transition from fossil to renewable energy sources, especially wind and solar energy.

Decentralization — the development of distributed energy.

Besides, in the next 30 years, the main trend in the development of the industry will be the use of digital solutions such as the digital twin of a power plant, “intelligent” gas turbines and power equipment, predictive diagnostics, remote control and maintenance using smart-data.

Certainly, all this will not happen overnight. However, the traditional energy sector, consisting of large power plants with downstream transmission and distribution of energy, is now changing dramatically in the world.

Again, it is important to mention the need to build combined-cycle power plants and use modern turbines with high efficiency, which help reduce emissions due to their performance and technologies that reduce the level of emissions into the atmosphere.

Another global trend is Power to X technologies, where excess electricity, primarily from renewable sources, can be further used in industry, transport and energy.

If we take the last 10 years as a basis — what is the situation on the Russian energy market in relation to Siemens' products and offers? What are Siemens' plans for developing its energy business?

Today, our customers in this area face the same challenges as the rest of the world: improving energy efficiency, reducing transaction costs, reducing the negative impact on the environment, further digitalization, and integrating distributed and renewable generation sources into existing energy networks. To all these challenges, Siemens has the answer — a broad portfolio of innovative solutions, products and technologies that cover the entire energy chain.

As I've already mentioned earlier, we are continuing to implement major projects in the energy sector. We will pay special attention to further localization. Siemens has repeatedly stated that it is interested in participating in the TPS modernization program (DPM-mod). For this purpose, we have a production site near Saint Petersburg — Siemens Gas Turbine Technology plant. In our opinion, large-capacity gas turbines can and should become the basis for modernizing the Russian energy sector.

Today, the localization level of the SGT5-2000E gas turbine is more than 60%. We continue to work on creating a Russian production ecosystem to increase this level.

It is still important for us to conclude a special investment contract (SPIC). The result of this project will be the localization of production in the Russian Federation of SGT-2000E high-power turbines, including components of the hot gas path and the gas turbine automatic control system. Within the framework of SPIC, we are committed to invest in the development of STGT production and in the enterprises of our partners — potential suppliers.

Oleg Titov: “The conversion process at Siemens will not affect the contracts signed”

Oleg Titov, the director general of Siemens Neftegaz and Energetika, told about why the business division of Neftegaz and Energetika was transformed into a separate company, development prospects and plans to open a service centre in Tatarstan.

Oleg Vladimirovich, now Siemens concern is undergoing a fairly serious transformation process, and the fuel and energy sector division is gaining legal independence. Why is this necessary?

Yes, since February of this year in Russia, we have successfully completed the process of separating the management of Neftegaz and Energetika from Siemens and created an independent legal entity — Siemens Neftegaz and Energetika PLC in Russia. In April, we will become part of the newly created global company Siemens Energy, which has a unique ordered structure and significantly greater strategic and operational flexibility.

The new company will be based on the current division of Neftegaz and Energetika concern and its business areas Oil and Gas, Energy Production, Equipment for Energy Transmission, Complex Energy Projects and Service and Digital Solutions. In addition, Siemens Energy will be transferred the majority share of Siemens AG in the company Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, which specializes in projects in the field of wind energy. Siemens AG will remain a key shareholder in the new company.

The company will focus exclusively on solutions for the energy and fuel and energy sector. This will allow us to better and more quickly respond to the needs of our customers and, as a result, increase our competitiveness.

The separation of our business line into an independent company Siemens Neftegaz and Energetika will give the opportunity, first, to manage assets more effectively, and second, to speed up the decision-making process.

What are the contracts that were concluded before the conversion of the direction into a separate company?

For us, the customer always comes first. This is what the regional team will focus on. All existing contractual obligations with partners will remain in force.

As a unique specialized organization offering world-class integrated products, solutions and services, working across the entire value chain and setting the standards for modern power systems and the power systems of the future, we will develop and strengthen cooperation with our customers.

These processes will not affect previously concluded contracts in any way. Absolutely all agreements remain in force. The company still has a network of production sites around the world: Russia, Sweden, Germany, England, Canada and the USA.

In other words, being transformed into an independent structure, the company has retained all its production and professional potential. All guarantees are confirmed by a well-deserved reputation, a strong brand and a sufficient amount of own funds.

If we talk about Russia, in which regions of the country is Siemens represented on the largest scale?

We are represented in almost all federal districts and regions of the country. Just look at the geography of our projects. Among the most recent ones are the construction and equipping of power plants for Nizhnekamskneftekhim and Kazanorgsintez (TAIF), equipping of Grozny CPP, and supplying equipment for Yamal LNG.

Russia has been and remains our strategic partner. For example, if we talk about high-capacity gas turbines, more than 40 turbines have been installed in Russia during our presence in various regions. In Tatarstan — three. All — at the enterprises of TAIF Group. We have developed very trusting relations with the region, which we value very much. There are many large companies present here — TAIF Group, KAMAZ, and Tatneft.

Prior to the signing of contracts for the construction and maintenance of SGT-TPP at Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC and Kazanorgsintez PJSC we had projects in Tatarstan both with TAIF and Tatneft. They may have been small, one-time supplies but they were there. For us, such a large project as a 495 MW plant is, first of all, a prestige, because we work with the world-class company — TAIF. Besides, this is an opportunity to develop the business as a whole. We have not stopped just at these two projects, but are looking further. And then you will need to perform the service. Now we are thinking about developing this area in Tatarstan. For our customers, this is an opportunity to quickly access the necessary information, spare parts, and specialists. We are talking about the walking distance of service engineers. To create a full-fledged service centre in the region, we need to increase the number of energy projects being implemented here.

What about the training of specialists? Siemens is quite sensitive to the level of competence of the people who represent it.

Tatarstan has already established cooperation with universities. As already said by Alexander Liberov, Siemens has partnered with the Kazan Federal University, Kazan State Technical University. Besides, practical training of service engineers can be organized at our factories and on-site — during the installation of equipment and during its operation. For example, in the Republic of Belarus, where we have now signed three large contracts, we have already started recruiting specialists on the spot.

Speaking about the projects that are being implemented for Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC and Kazanorgsintez PJSC: they are talking about such innovations as the use of syngas as a fuel.

Yes. This is a very important point In fact, the turbines will be able to run on three types of fuel, including syngas, which is formed as waste in the production process, and hydrogen. And this direction is very promising for Siemens. So far, we have only two or three turbines in the world running on hydrogen. Small ones. In the near future, we plan to mass produce equipment that can run on this gas. The technology of creating the special torches, capable of withstanding much higher temperatures of combustion of fuel arising from the use of syngas, has been tried is the creation of turbines for Nizhnekamskneftekhim and Kazanorgsintez. TAIF specialists were involved in the tests and confirmed that the implemented solutions were successful. For TAIF Group, this is a guarantee that the equipment will work reliably and for a long time, for Siemens — a confirmation of a successfully implemented innovation that promises to become a trend in the foreseeable future.

Zhanna Shalygina: “One of the most interesting projects was the implementation of the management system of the isoprene-monomer plant of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC.

In the era of global digitalization, Tatarstan, as one of the most dynamically developing regions, and TAIF Group, which strives for continuous improvement and efficiency of production, actively attract the experience and technology of the world's leading companies. Such as Siemens. About what has already been implemented in the republic and about promising areas — in the interview with Director of Digital Production Department of Siemens in Russia, Zhanna Shalygina.

Zhanna Dmitrievna, it is probably difficult to find at least one production facility, including on the territory of Tatarstan, where Siemens products would not be used. TAIF Group is no exception. What modern solutions from Siemens have already been implemented in the republic and at the enterprises of TAIF Group? What is their special feature?

The portfolio of products and solutions of Digital Production management has more than 10,000 items, and there is practically no task that can not be solved with its help. We produce software and hardware, and certified local partners (small and medium-sized businesses) offer their solutions to large businesses based on technological competence and know-how. As we know, the development of small and medium-sized businesses is one of the priority issues for Russia, and our company makes its contribution in this direction.

If we take the enterprises of TAIF Group, one of the most interesting was the project implemented with the company Volga-Avtomatika NPC to implement a control system at the plant for the production of isoprene-monomer of Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC. Based on our advanced distributed control system Simatic PCS 7, the solution has enabled the safe and efficient management of large-scale production of formaldehyde and isoprene.

Kazanorgsintez continues to implement the Comos data management platform at all stages of the production lifecycle. Thanks to this platform, electronic project documentation is automatically updated when changes are made to any part of the project: mechanical, technological, electrical. This not only makes it easier to find the necessary documentation and ensures its integrity and consistency but also provides a tool for implementing a maintenance and repair platform integrated with MES and ERP systems. If any device requires maintenance or replacement, an order for work is automatically formed and sent to a specialist with the necessary qualifications, or an application is created for the purchase of necessary spare parts and accessories.

We also supply control and measurement devices, analytical equipment, drive systems, network equipment and components for process and production automation — the list can go on for a very long time.

What projects are currently being implemented in Russia or are planned for implementation?

Certainly, one of the most interesting projects at the moment is the digital transformation of one of the world's leading and Russian automakers — KAMAZ. The company uses a number of Siemens software products, including NX, Teamcenter, and Tecnomatix. KAMAZ specialists have fully mastered the software designed for digital modelling of the truck production and assembly process. The company already uses electronic layout technology and has switched to 3D modelling, as well as the processes of electronic documentation approval, making changes in the Teamcenter environment, and developed a methodology for conducting calculations in CAE systems. Based on the NX, NX CAM and Teamcenter tools, an end-to-end “design-production” chain was created, including the design of manufacturing and assembly processes, and the calculation of control programmes for CNC machines. It is also planned to expand the ability to track components within the production and assembly processes using RFID technologies. This allows you to improve quality control at all stages of production.

How does the digitalization of production processes from Siemens affect and does it affect the improvement of environmental friendliness and safety of production?

The interaction between humans and the environment has recently become one of the main issues on the agenda. The range of tools and solutions in the field of digitalization of our company gives us the opportunity to approach this problem comprehensively. Software packages for integrated design give the opportunity to assess the security risks of technological processes at the stage of virtual design before implementing the project in the real world. A set of programmes for optimizing technological processes allows the most efficient use of raw materials and energy carriers, reducing both the amount of resources consumed and emissions. Vibration monitoring and predictive analysis systems give the opportunity to predict pump or compressor failure long before a real emergency occurs. Creating a simulator for our Simatic PCS7 distributed control system using SIMIT simulation tool and Comos software gives the opportunity to prepare your personnel for actions in case of abnormal situations in the production process. These are just a few examples. Cybersecurity is another important issue both in modern industries and in all spheres of human activity. Our company is actively working to create a comprehensive multi-level cyber defence, offering proven measures to ensure reliable protection of industrial installations, automation systems and power grids. We also work with major international and Russian companies in this area.

How does Siemens Digital production in Russia see the further development of its activities in Russia? Which niches are priority, which are not yet fully developed, but are of interest?

We live in a very interesting era — the era of the 4th industrial revolution. There are many interesting ways for development — the areas such as artificial intelligence for industry, cloud and edge computing, and augmented reality. This is not just marketing, but tools that will radically change both our interaction with machines and machine-to-machine interaction. For example, robots that are trained to manipulate objects not by programming, but by simulating human movements, or the ability to find the location of a potential internal malfunction of the mechanism using predictive analysis tools and augmented reality glasses and eliminate the cause before the problem occurs. It sounds fantastic, but today it is already a reality.

We will continue to actively promote the range of Siemens products and systems for building a digital enterprise (Digital Enterprise Suite) that covers all stages of the lifecycle of industrial products. And, of course, it is still important to provide service support for existing systems.

By Arseny Favstritsky