Russian oil company Tafnet has restarted production at its 9,600 tons per year polyalphaolefin plant in Nizhnekamsk, the only PAO facility in Russia, after an eight-year shutdown caused by a lack of feedstock supply and sanctions imposed on several Russian oil majors.
Tatneft-Nizhnekamskneftekhim-Oil produced the first commercial batches of PAO synthetic base oils which included PAOM-2 (2 cSt), PAOM-4 (4 cSt), PAOM-6 (6 cSt), and PAOM-12 (12 cSt).
The plant is owned by Tatneft-Nizhnekamskneftekhim Oil, a 75-25 joint venture between Tatarstan’s oil major and chemicals company Nizhnekamskneftekhim.
The company said that, to date, all the key and auxiliary blocks for the production of oligomers of Decene-1, intended for the preparation of polyalphaolefin synthetic base oils, are back on their designed operating mode. Decene and dodecene are the lengths of normal alpha olefins most frequently used to make PAOs.
This is the first and the only enterprise in Russia that produces polyalphaolefin oils. The company said the plant is now also able to produce a 20 cSt viscosity grade. The new products are manufactured on the basis of the domestic technology developed by the Institute of Chemical Physics Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The plant can produce up to 3,100 t/y of PAO in the 2 cSt to 12 cSt range and 6,500 t/y of 20 cSt product.
The PAO plant opened in December 2003 but halted operation in 2010 because of a disruption in supply of linear alpha olefin feedstock from Nizhnekamskneftekhim’s nearby chemical complex.