Russia’s only polyalpholefin plant, located in Nizhnekamsk, completed a modernization phase late last year that added finished lubricants production and coincided with the introduction of a new operator. Taif Lubricants recently began reporting data for sales of finished products, which started in December.
After the project’s completion in November 2020, which included adding 10,000 metric tons per year of finished lubricants production capacity,Tatarstan-based chemicals producer Nizhnekamksneftekhim leased the complex to Taif Lubricants. The newly formed company is part of Taif Group, a diversified holding group that is based in Kazan, Tatarstan, and part owner of Nizhnekamksneftekhim.
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Taif ramped up the lubricant plant’s production in December. For that month, the company reported revenue of around 60 million rubles (U.S. $803,370) from finished lubricant sales and gross profit of around 5 million rubles, Taif told Lube Report on Monday. The company said it expects to produce 9,000 tons of finished products and 9,000 tons of PAOs in 2021.
The 10,000 t/y PAO plant produces fluids formulated of oligomers of decene-1 and octene-1, coming from the auxiliary units of Nizhnekamskneftekhim’s nearby complex. Decene and dodecene are the lengths of normal alpha olefins most frequently used to make PAOs. Octene is a higher alpha olefin also used for production of Group IV base stocks.
Since it took over operations of the plant in November, Taif Lubricants generated losses of around 61 million rubles, but these came “from the expenditures related to the preparation and start of the production in 2020, that we plan to turn into profits in 2021,” the company said.
The company’s midterm goal is to expand its finished lubricant production and produce up to 20,000 tons of lubricants annually by 2024, a spokesperson told Lube Report.
“The whole plant is modernized – we installed new filtration, automation and management systems in the blending facility and in the facility for synthesis of PAOs,” the spokesperson said. “We installed a furnace for heating of additives in barrels and a filling line for different types of canisters.”
The equipment for production of normal alpha olefins used to make PAOs was modernized by leading Russian and international equipment makers, the company said. It confirmed that the plant can produce up to 3,100 t/y of PAO in the 2 centiStoke to 12 cSt range and 6,500 t/y of 20 cSt product
“With the successful start of our modernized plant the market in the country will be supplied with Group IV base stocks made in Russia that have similar quality as its imported analogues,” said Sergey Karev, deputy general director of Taif Lubricants. The company recently introduced a line of Taif-branded finished lubricants and it is planning a big marketing push to expand in the domestic market and abroad.
The distribution network for Taif lubricants consists of 20 dealers in the northwestern, southern and central part of Russia, while its foreign partners sell the products in the other ex-Soviet states, in Central Asia, the Middle East and in the Baltic states, as well as in Africa and South America.
“In 2021 Taif Lubricants is planning to double the dealership network and expand in the areas of Siberia, in the Russian Far East, as well as in the Arctic,” the spokesperson said.
The company recently also started to sell its lubricants in the fuel filling stations of Taif-NK, part of the Taif holding that operates a refinery in Nizhnekamsk.