Sanctions Delay Russian PAOs Restart


Russian Tatneft pushed the restart of its polyalphaolefins plant in the Republic of Tatarstan to the spring of 2016 as the company experiences procurement delays due to economic sanctions, an industry insider told Lube Report last week.

The 9,600 tons-per-year plant is operated by the oil majors Nizhnekamskneftekhim subsidiary, a chemicals company. Russias only PAO plant, it has been idle for five years. Gabbas Ilyasov, the companys deputy director for development, said during an industry meeting in May that the company aims to restart production before the end of this year.

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It is still not clear when the production restart will happen, as the preparatory works are delayed due to the sanctions, said Oleg Tsvetkov, head of the lubricants department at VNIINP, the Moscow-based All Russia Research Institute for Oil Refining.

According to my knowledge, the company is experiencing problems with the supply of automated systems for the plants processes management, Tsvetkov said.

VNIINP is the primary technology developer of the plant in Nizhnekamsk that originally started to stream PAOs in 2003. The plant has produced a variety of PAOs, ranging in viscosity from 2 centiStoke to 20 cSt.

Tatneft is one of the energy companies targeted by Western sanctions in reaction to Russias military actions in Ukraine, along with Rosneft, Novatek, Gazprom Neft, Surgutneftgas and Lukoil. All are banned from obtaining debt financing in international markets. Also, the United States, European Union and a number of other countries, such as Canada and Australia, have imposed an embargo on exports to Russia of certain technology and energy equipment.

In December, Tatnefts new refinery, Taneco, launched a base oil plant with capacity to make 90,000 t/y Group II and 110,000 t/y Group III base oils. Part of this base oil production, as well as the in-house PAO base stocks, will be used for production of finished lubricants in the 10,000 t/y blending plant operated by Nizhnekamskneftekhim.

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