“Association of the chlor-alkali industry of the Russian Federation” (Association “RusChlor”)

 15 International Scientific-and-Technology Conference “Chlorine and its Derivatives 2022”

 Association “RusChlor” held its fifteenth in a row International and All-Russia Scientific and Technological Conference of the Chlor-Alkali Industry “Chlorine and its Derivatives 2022” in the conference hall of five-star hotel “National” at Moscow downtown on June 01 through 02, 2021. The conference has been arranged by Association “Ruschlor" in cooperation with Moscow JSC "National Chlorine Safety Centre" with the assistance of Russian Chemists Union.

The conference were attained by in excess of 90 people representing more than 50 legal entities. There were the top managers of all the 12 Russian acting chlor-alkali facilities making up the RusChlor’s full membership as well as the representatives of 17 associate members in RusChlor among the attendees. The Conference was also attended by the specialists from the design and engineering companies, suppliers of equipment, valves, fittings, and fixtures as well as the transport companies that were engaged in the production of the mobile containers for and the transportation of dangerous goods. There were representatives of 2 foreign companies from India among the attendees.

After the attendees had enjoyed the traditional musical greeting Vice-President of the Russian Chemists Union Basil Semenov  delivered a key-note speech to them entitled “The Russian Chemists Union’s activities aimed at supporting the Russian chemical industry complex phacilities under the current circumstances”.

Chairman of the Board of Directors of Moscow LLC “NIKOCHEM” Mr. Michael Baranov has made to the attendees a presentation aimed at outlining to them the contemporary trends noticeable in the development of the Russian Chlor-Alkali industry. The presentation’s key message can be designated with a single phrase as “Stability against the background of the drastic changes taking place in the world both politics and economy”. In so doing the presenter tried to prove that, on the one hand, the chlor-alkali industry production performance had been kept at rather an acceptable level in terms of at least output while, on the other hand, the industry's major problems' being also stubbornly persistent.

Therefore, the following aforesaid major problems having been faced by the industry for years have not changed yet to any considerable extent:

  • The lack of the State Industrial Policy; The consequential lack of such long-term contracts for the raw commodities that the commodities would be supplied in necessary amounts and at the prices that should be calculated according to a preliminary fixed formula under the contracts;
  • The ever rising prices for the natural monopoly services;
  • The limited production output volumes by the majour production facilities imply the limited investor appetite for the projects involving the erection of a brand new production facilities or even lines given that the amount of the investment would be huge while the payback time being prohibitively long;
  • The loans necessary to fund a large-scale modernization project in the chlor-alkali industry are not easily available;
  • The industrial equipment wear-out rate is too high;
  • The state regulation inefficiency coupled with a superfluous (and not adapted to the Russian realia) subservience to the European both quality control standards and systems of standard documents for regulating the quality of the chemical products involving imposing the unacceptable “green” ecological requirements, standards, and notorious Reference Books on “Best Available Techniques” followed by a hasty implementation of all that without any preliminary critical examination or even discussion by either the scientific community or industrialists.

In addition to the abovesaid there have also recently surfaced the negative impact by the pandemic coupled with counteraction to the greenhouse gases generation rise involving the ecological and technological safety standards’ toughening there.

In delivering his presentation the presenter has devoted extra attention to the following tendencies that were supposed to be negatively affecting the development of the whole chemical industry involving the latter’s chlor-alkali subindustry:

- there are still not taken any real and systematic measures under any industrial policy to be aimed at developing the production there;

- the chemical industry companies’ top managers consider the following problems both most pressing and acute:

  • the prohibitively high tax burden (35%);
  • inefficiency of the regulation applied by the State to the industry (30%);
  • too high a cost of raising the borrowed funds (24%);

In addition to the abovesaid the following factors are also strangling the subindystry’s rapid development:

  • rise in the costs of production;
  • high degree of depreciation of plant and equipment;
  • lack of the skilled workforce;
  • obsolete technologies.

The presenter has argued that the Russian chlor-alkali industry might be developing along the following lines under the current circumstances:

  • - to create from the scratches any brand-new production lines so that them should be competitive on the world markets is not possible without affordable at the competitive prices both power resources and raw commodities;
  • - in developing the production facilities one also needs to base the overall strategy on the costs of the end products, the products’ cost-efficiency, and competitivity so that in addition to being provided with the cheap both the raw commodities and power resources one should be provided with the long-term funding at low rates.
  • - Both the Central Bank and Government of the Russian Federation still prefer solving the task of stabilization of the finance system rather than the task of development of production against the background of the consumer spending crisis. This is happening because of the prohibitively high refinancing rate coupled with the sharp rise in the rouble-exchange rate following its preliminary free-fall decrease.

To facilitate the development and growth one needs the following in the first place:

  • the transport tariffs must be kept at the competitivity level for the chemical products;
  • the desperately obsolete technical regulation pieces of legislation must be cancelled for all the projects being unfolding in Russia;
  • the investment loan interest rate subsidization for the chemical industry that should keep the rates at the level of the competitors’ countries.

Executive Director of Association “RusChlor” Mr. Boris Yagud  has made the presentation entitled “The State Policy implemented in the field of stewardship, technological supervision, and regulatory control under the current situation of economy. Association “RusChlor” main activity lines”.

In so doing the presenter has tackled the following issues of strategic character:

  • representation of the interests of the chlor-alkali industry production facilities by way of participation in the governmental bodies functioning;
  • further development of voluntary certification system “RusChlorCert”, the system’s both importance and future development trends;
  • the international activities Association “RusChlor” is engaged in, the importance of the activities, the results achieved along those lines vs. the perspectives for the activities’ revitalization.
  • work by RusChlor under the overhauling reform in the field of the technical regulation called "Regulatory Guillotine”;
  • quality of the expert examination jobs and;

and a few other issues.

Executive Director in Marketing at Indian engineering company “Nuberg Engineering" Ltd. Mr. Arun Tyagi  has made the presentation entitled “EPC Execution of Chlor Alkali & Derivatives Projects”.

Nuberg Engineering Ltd. is ranked among the companies of the world level’s upper echelon while making up an associate member in AMAI, RusChlor, EuroChlor, and the US Chlorine Institute.

The Nuberg’s cutting competitive edge is definitely made up by what is meant by “EPC”, “LSTK”, i. e., “Production Design of the Chemical Technological Clusters within the scale range spanning the base engineering and the detail one”, “Taking over the Head Contractor responsibilities within the range spanning the stage of Feasibility Research and the stage of Commissioning”, “Settling all the logistics problems on the company's own", "Single-hand management over the construction & procurement works”, and “Payment of the whole contract after the projects’ commissioning”.

Here are the business areas where Nuberg has been a success all over the world:

          - Chemical products, fertilizers, energy, hydrocarbons, and steel;

          - Heavy manufacturing:

  • pressure vessels;
  • reactors;
  • heat exchangers
  • columns & towers;
  • reservoirs.                                                                                                                                                          - Gas manufacturing along the following lines:
  • the compressed air systems;
  • the hydrogen concentrator units;
  • nitrogen;
  • the differential pressure absorption.

The company actively runs its own R&D branch business whose headquarters are located in Sweden. Nuberg Engineering Ltd. is leaning heavily on know-how both its own and duly licensed ones. The company’s each big project always involves cooperation with a so called “Technology Partner” by which a world-class technology vendor is meant.

Being under heavy applauses Arun Tyagi has wrapped up his presentation with the following phrase: “Whatever were your fantasies about the economy, manufacturing, and technologies intertwined and squeezed into a single project, we would certainly put it into reality!”

The presentation by Nuberg has triggered off a squall of questions asked from the auditoire. The most matter-of-fact ones were linked though to the perspectives for erection by Nuberg on the EPC basis of a facility in the Russian Federation for manufacturing the hydrogen itself, hydrogen chloride, and calcium chloride.

The other presentations of the first day of the conference were in their essence devoted to sorting out the problems faced in a single field of business made up by logistics under the drastically changed world situation in the aspects of policy and economy. In so doing the presenters have demonstrated the optimism varying in its quality from nearly euphoria to a pretty little hope for the better. The methods suggested by the presenters for solving the logistic problems have also varied from the broadly understood imports substitution to the so called “Grey Imports” and “U-turn to the East” .

 All the second day of the conference has been devoted to the problems felt and the tasks fulfilled in designing the production lines in the chemical industry, latest changes introduced into the product certification procedures as well in developing the new construction materials and equipment.

There had been both heard and discussed more than 22 presentations by the attendees for the two days of the Conference there. In so doing the presentations, on the one hand, tackled the major problems both technical and technological faced in manufacturing chlorine and caustic soda and, on the other hand, featured some solutions found out for the tasks carried out in both designing and applying the new equipment, fittings, and fixtures including those to be used in safe transportation of chlorine.

There have been put both the programme of the conference and list of participants in it into the supplement. The reader can also find all the aforementioned photographs there.

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