The President of Tatarstan held a meeting of Tatneftekhiminvest-holding —

Head of Kazan Fair Lev Semyonov warned of critical delay in preparation for Tatarstan Gas and Petrochemical Forum

General Director of Kazan Fair PJSC Lev Semyonov has warned the President of Tatarstan that the republic is seriously behind schedule for the preparation of the Tatarstan Gas and Petrochemical Forum 2021. There is a reason for the fuss : a decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Tatarstan on the organization of the forum was adopted three months before its start, while the participants at the end themselves do not want to reserve places for an exhibition in advance, fearing losing money due to the probable cancellation of the forum as it was during the pandemic in 2020. The problem was discussed during a meeting of the board of directors of the correspondent of Realnoe Vremya, holding company of Tatneftekhiminvest , who also attended.

What will “Tatarstan hydrogen” be made from?

The next board meeting of Tatneftekhiminvest-holding was again devoted to hot projects on green energy, carbon footprint, digitalization and the environment. Hydrogen energy is always in the heart of the interest of big companies, because hydrogen is the most energy-intensive and the lightest substance among all types of fuel.

At the meeting, Kirill Lyats, Acting General Manager of Cryomash-BZMK, one of Russia’s oldest companies specializing in hydrogen energy, presented technological solutions to switch to wide use of green fuel. In fact, hydrogen production is no longer considered an innovation today: tons of hydrogen were made in Soviet times, he reminded the audience.

“The plant itself was established in the late 1950s to implement projects on hydrogen energy to launch Sergey Korolev’s N1 rocket,” he provided a brief historical overview. “We created the first hydrogen liquefaction unit with which the first hydrogen rocket was to go to the Moon. Grigory Tsfasman who took care of this development together with Korolev is still working with us. They participated in the launch of a hydrogen flight program of the Soviet Tu-155 aircraft,” he said, proving that not only land transport, which is considered the main consumer, but also hydrogen-powered aircraft can be built.

Kirill Lyats presented technological solutions to switch to the widespread use of green fuel at the meeting

Kirill Lyats has proposed a number of projects which, in his opinion, can create the “hydrogen” of Tatarstan. In fact, his whole speech was about that. The first step has been taken: an agreement with RARITEC has been signed to create hydrogen tanks, he said. “We signed it a month ago for two mobile LNG stations and we have to show them in the fall,” he revealed the gist of the deal. There are many ideas to come.

LNG bunkering is obsolete: we must turn to hydrogen

Before that, he reminded the audience that in 2020 the Russian government had approved an energy strategy for the country until 2035 and key measures for the development of hydrogen. The program provides for the development of the first commercial hydrogen energy projects. He put the first practical project examples of the company. A project with Russian Railways to launch “blue wagons” powered by hydrogen traction is one of the main ones.

“Later this year, a hydrogen freight car with stripes with liquid hydrogen and (foreign) fuel elements will be shown. The first such car will be put into service in Yamal,” he said. he declares.

Also, the company works with Sinara, Transmashholding. The speaker sees great prospects in naval engineering. He asked the President of Tatarstan to support possible relations with the Gorky factory in Zelenodolsk. “They are actively looking at LNG,” he said, thinking of such a short-term prospect. According to him, LNG bunkering “is not very profitable, while all naval engineering is considering hydrogen”.

“I have been in the Balashikha plant, they have a team, they have business with RARITEC,” Tatneftekhimimvest general manager Rafinat Yaryllin told the speaker.

In addition, he proposed to establish a green hydrogen center in a hydroelectric power station and to consider the possibility of opening a fuel battery factory. He assumes that this market is just beginning to develop, while only two companies manufacture it for special needs in the country.

“We are ready to start the production of fuel elements in the country with Swiss and Dutch partners. We offer to establish cooperation in Tatarstan,” Lyats said.

He supposes that this theme could be profitable for the republic because Tatarstan is a region with a lot of greenhouse gases and we will have to work to reduce emissions.

Minnikhanov: “But we are not considering plans for the Moon”

“I have been in the Balashikha plant, they have a team, they have business with RARITEC,” Tatneftekhimimvest general manager Rafinat Yaryllin told the speaker. “We produce 400,000 tons of hydrogen, but we don’t run related businesses. We should unite. We should consider ship engineering.

The chairman wondered about the interest of hydrogen production projects by electrolysis and pyrolysis. “They are four times more expensive,” disagreed Yarullin. “We have pyrolysis,” Lyatsk assured them and dispelled the president’s doubts.

“Very well, let’s agree,” ordered the president. “But we are not considering Moon’s plans.”

Rustam Minnikhanov made them realize that you have to stay away from fantastic ideas. “Why?” asked Kirill Lyats. “Someone should stay on Earth,” the president joked in response.

Rustam Minnikhanov made them realize to stay away from fantastic ideas

How to recruit IT staff

Deputy Director General of Development and Resident Affairs of the Innopolis JSC Special Economic Zone Vadil Galeyev presented a solution to a shortage of IT personnel. He announced the establishment of an IT recruitment school to supply Tatarstan companies with IT developers. According to him, they consolidate all applications from job seekers and employers on their platform, find specialists themselves on social networks and organize electronic conferences from which they obtain permissions from specialists to use their personal data. The speaker noted that they managed to close 400 vacancies in one year. Deputy Prime Minister of Tatarstan Roman Shaykhutdinov explained that this organizational project saves money on recruitment.

“The three salaries of a specialist must be spent on recruiting staff. Ours should be better taught. The demand for digitization is particularly increasing,” he explained.

The rector of the Federal University of Kazan, Ilshat Gafurov, was alarmed, what would happen if the staff were pocketed. “If only there was no exit,” he claimed. But he calmed down. “400 vacancies have been closed: they are all in Innopolis,” said Vadim Galeyev.

“Three months to go”

At the end of the meeting, a hidden opposition between Kazan Fair PJSC and Kazan Expo for the right to host large exhibitions in Tatarstan unexpectedly emerged. After the move of exhibitions and state forums to Kazan Expo, their relations deteriorated to such an extent that the key industry event turned out to be compromised – the Tatarstan Gas and Petrochemical Forum, which will be held for the first time with SIBUR. The forum will be held at Kazan Expo from August 31 to September 2. This time, Kazan Fair PJSC, which has hosted the forum for 28 years, was once again chosen as the operator. In addition, Kazan Fair has registered the ownership right of the Tatarstan Gas and Petrochemical Forum brand. Oil. Gas. Petrochemicals.

Moreover, all organizational problems are at an early stage, Semyonov complained. Photo: Maxim Platonov

At the meeting of the board of directors, the head of the Kazan Fair, Lev Semyonov, warned of a critical delay in the organization of the main exhibition due to the late adoption of the decree of the Cabinet of ministers of Tatarstan. According to him, a decree is usually adopted at the beginning of the year, but this time it was only adopted on May 26. “That is to say that there are three months left”, he indicated and added that a good preparation for an international congress lasts 9 months.

Moreover, all organizational problems are at an early stage, Semyonov complained. According to his estimate, the costs are valued at more than 26 million rubles, but the operator no longer has as much money to pay an advance as before. After that, the Republican budget as well as TAIF GC, Tatneft offset the costs. This year, the operator is unable to pay the full amount on its own, Semyonov said and asked sponsors to transfer money beforehand.

The key question is how to avoid the risk of loss of operator status. Lev Semyonov offered to sign an agreement with the Ministry of Industry and Trade for no less than 3 years and fix the dates of the forum, the site and the status of the operator of the exhibition. “This will make it possible to work without risk and to avoid a gust,” he assured them.

According to Semyonov, the last year, in which many lost money due to the cancellation of the forum, influenced the low activity of participants in booking exhibition sites. “For this reason, companies think long and make a decision precisely before the start of the exhibition,” he explained. More than 30 companies from 16 regions agreed to participate today. In total, more than 2,000 delegates are expected.

“Everything must be done routinely”, was still indignant the president

“Karimov, it’s your job, by the way. Why didn’t you transfer the money? Why isn’t the theme showing? Nothing has been organized,” said Rustam Minnikhanov indignantly.

“The forum will be hosted, Mr. Minnikhanov. Preparation is underway,” Tatarstan Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade Albert Karimov stood up.

Later, he added that everything had to be done through tenders. He probably meant that Kazan Fair and Kazan Expo had to participate in public markets. This is why the decree may have been adopted late. But Karimov’s model didn’t work.

“Everything must be done routinely,” the president was indignant again.

“It’s solved,” repeated Karimov directly. “We have problems, Mr. Minnikhanov. We can organize the work differently so that in the long term…”

“If Semyonov is not our traveling companion, can he be expelled? Is he the problem? asked the president.

Karimov preferred not to respond. “We are trying,” he said evasively.

“Support him. You never said there was a funding problem. You know that I always support the forum with all senior officials, including me, the Prime Minister. Is Minnigaliyev there? The theme was chosen, but Minnigaliyev was not invited. Albert, it’s your job. As Deputy Prime Minister, you say we do it that way. As you wish. This is the main exhibit. And the content should be well thought out, invite interesting experts, organize several sections, I am ready to come and listen. Write everything down to be ready on August 31. Also, ask SIBUR partners to do an exhibition. We must organize this event on a large scale, in an interesting way and well! ordered him the president.

Luiza Ignatieva. Photo:


Rose D. Jones