Interview with Mikhail Kozlov - tkIS Russia CEO
Tell us about the Russian office of tkIS
The Russian office of thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions has been part of Uhde since 1995. However the company itself was founded much earlier, in 1953 - at that time it was called Gipropolymer.
Since its foundation, Gipropolymer has been involved in the design of chemical production facilities in more than a hundred areas. Industrial facilities based on its designs have been created and are still in operation in twenty geographical locations across the CIS and abroad.
Due to the joint work of Gipropolymer and Uhde on several projects since 1970s the reorganization of the institute into the local organization of the German company took place.
Today the Russian division of tk IS employs about 400 people. The company has two offices - an engineering hub in Dzerzhinsk and a business development office in Moscow.
We are successfully working both with Russian customers and implementing international projects with other companies of tk IS group, e.g. our engineers have been or are taking an active part in the projects of Brunei, MOL and NCIC.
How is the business situation in Russia?
The coronavirus pandemic has of course also affected business in Russia. Some projects have been postponed, some plans have been reconsidered and some promising projects have been cancelled altogether. But in my opinion, the situation in Russia is more favorable than in many other countries.
I would like to say proudly that even with the decline in market activity, 2020 was one of our most successful years in recent times. We achieved excellent financial results and a high level of utilization of our engineers.
We continue to actively search for and conclude new contracts, and hopefully 2021 will be even more successful and productive.
What are the most promising areas in Russia?
Considering the large volume of hydrocarbons, oil and gas refining technologies will be important in Russia for quite a long time. However, we actively recommend high value-added processing of hydrocarbon materials to our customers, for instance, integrated polymer production chains.
Another interesting and successful topic for the Russian industry is fertilizer production. There are several major producers of fertilizers and related products in Russia and the CIS, and we are in close contact with all of them in the hope of jointly upgrading existing facilities and developing new ones.
Globally, the emphasis of projects is increasingly shifting to green technologies. And what can you say about green technologies in Russia?
In the future, further development of environmental legislation is expected, which will lead to an expansion of the range of environmentally friendly technologies in Russia.
And yet, due to the large amount of hydrocarbons, purely "green" technologies are unlikely to be applicable in Russia in the coming years. Much more relevant can be considered "blue" technology, which implies a significant reduction in the impact on the environment, but does not always allow the use of renewable sources.
What plans does the company have for development?
Everything is simple here. We participate in tenders, including projects with complex equipment supply, and hope to sign several large contracts that can provide the company with a long-term workload.
We continue to train and develop our Russian engineers in order to remain leaders in Russian engineering!