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05-06/2010 Fast search  

Gazprom Transgaz Kazan. To new frontiers
Rafkat Kantyukov

Gazprom’s subsidiary – Gazprom transgaz Kazan – will turn 55 in July. It is not a good round figure but rather a certain stage to evaluate the progressed path and set new large-scale goals. Director General of the company Rafkat Kantyukov told VIP-Premier in an interview about achievements and development prospects of the enterprise.

Rafkat A. Kantyukov has been director general of Tattransgaz (now Gazprom transgaz Kazan) since March 1998. Born on August 23, 1953 in the village of Allaguvat in Sterlitamak district of the Soviet Autonomous Republic of Bashkiria he began his service record at 17 years as a lathe operator at Salavatnefteorgsintez Company. After army service he worked for five years as a driver at the same enterprise. He graduated by correspondence from the Industrial Vocational School and Ufa Oil Institute and was promoted to the position of a shop manager at the Salavat petroleum and chemical enterprise (now Salavatnefteorgsintez). He then worked for ten years in the Extreme North where he participated in the buildup and development of Yamburg and Zapolyarnoe oil and gas condensate fields. He careered from an engineer to deputy director general of Yamburgazdobycha amalgamation. He studied in the United States, England, and France. He was a deputy of three convocations of the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan and since 2007 has been member of the Presidium of the State Council of Tatarstan. He holds the degree of Candidate of Technical Sciences and is a Merited worker of the Russian oil and gas industry, Honorary worker of the Russian fuel and energy complex, and Honorary worker of the gas industry. He was awarded with numerous state and industry decorations and honorary titles


– Mr. Kantyukov, you have been heading Gazprom transgaz Kazan for 12 years out of its 55-year-long history. They often say Tatarstan is a leader among Russian regions by the level of gas distribution. And what is in store? What is the production growth dynamic of the company and development prospects?

– You are right to say that natural gas accounts for over 97 percent in the fuel and energy balance of Tatarstan. Our gas complex is one of the biggest in the country and Gazprom transgaz Kazan annually sells in the republic close to 15 billion cubic meters of the blue fuel. Natural gas distribution has reached 98.71 percent, including 99.64 percent in towns and settlements, and 96.93 percent in the countryside. Over 15 thousand industrial facilities, communal utilities, agricultural farms, and over a thousand boiler rooms are gas–fired.

However gas transportation business has a lot of work in store despite the achievements. Intensive housing construction is accompanied by the construction of gas pipelines to the buildings and settlements. Besides, we are still in charge not only of gas transportation by trunk lines, but also of supplies to consumers through gas distribution networks, which means up to each boiler room and stove in an apartment bloc. Today we supply gas to over 1.3 million apartments. It is an immense responsibility related to the human factor.

Besides, new horizons are opening for us due to the implementation of major industrial projects on the republican territory. Suffice it to say that Nizhnekamsk industrial hub is already consuming up to 50 percent of all the fuel supplied by Gazprom to Tatarstan. The figure will only grow in the coming years due to the construction of new oil refineries.

To implement 2009 projects Gazprom transgaz Kazan used its own funds to reconstruct gas distribution stations in Nizhnekamsk, replace all technological equipment, and provide separate gas vents. Besides, from 1997 to 2008 we overhauled the Minnibayevo-Izhevsk gas trunk line and fully replaced the pipes to increase gas supplies to Nizhnekamsk industrial hub from three to six million cubic meters a day or from one to two billion cubic meters a year.

Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, won the right to host the Universiade in 2013, which demands to build several world-class sport facilities. That means existing communications have to be re-laid and new ones constructed, including gas pipelines. We proposed to carry out all work rapidly and in the warm seasons of the year to inflict minimal inconveniences on consumers, specifically on households.


– The construction of an underground gas storage facility is a major ambitious project of your company. What does it mean from the engineering and economic points of view? What does it give to the company and the fuel and energy complex of Tatarstan?

– The construction of such a storage with a capacity in the limits of one billion cubic meters of gas is a difficult and multi-stage process. The facility will rule out the very possibility of gas supply disruptions which is specifically important in winter when fuel consumption considerably grows.

Geological prospecting provided huge volumes of information that has to be systemized. We plan to engage in information processing the scientific-production firm GITAS and Tatneftegeofisica Company which enjoy a major experience in data interpretation for objects on the territory of our republic.

Gazprom and Tatneftegeofisica are drafting an agreement to process and re-interpret data obtained through 3D seismic prospecting and VSP (vertical seismic profiling). The work has to be completed in the second half of 2010 and will provide a geological model of the researched structure which Gazprom will use to finally estimate the feasibility of creating and underground gas storage there.


– Gazprom transgaz Kazan takes major effort to switch automobiles from petrol to gas. What is the benefit of the task and what impedes the process?

– Yes, it is a reality that gas is becoming a fuel for XXI century automobiles. In contrast to petrol and diesel fuel, natural gas is environment-friendly and cheaper. It is specifically important for megalopolis where vehicle exhaust gases pollute the atmosphere. It is not incidental that many countries adopted at the state level environmental programs and laws to decrease the harmful impact of road vehicles by using gas fuel. We also offer a good example: today 63.3 percent of Gazprom transgaz Kazan automobile fleet has been switched to natural gas.

Tatarstan has possibilities to expand the use of natural gas in road transportation. The existing network of gas-filling stations allows to drive on gas through the whole territory of the republic. The level of gas distribution is close to 100 percent which allows building a gas-filling station practically in every settlement. Besides, KAMAZ truck works has mastered the production of a big line of gas-fired trucks and passenger vehicles, while the Soyuz design bureau in Kazan has been producing lightweight plastic gas tanks for long. Today Tatarstan has eight gas-filling compressor stations and two gas-filling modules, as well as shops to install gas fuel equipment on vehicles. In 2009 a facility was launched in Almetyevsk to re-inspect automobile gas tanks and the construction of a gas-filling station with a daily re-gassing capacity of 100 cars is underway in Buinsk. The startup of the station in the autumn of 2010 will provide compressed gas for transit vehicles driving along Kazan-Buinsk-Ulyanovsk route.

However state support is necessary to use the existing potential in full, as well as several new laws and corresponding viable programs.


– Gazprom transgaz Kazan is active in social sphere development. How do you resolve housing problems of the workforce?

–Naturally, housing provision is a major encouragement. An employee is fulfilling his duties more exactingly if he is convinced he will timely receive wages and will be provided with housing for his family, as well as health care and summer rest. From 2002 to 2009 the company did a lot to provide comfortable housing for the workforce. Only last year 50 employees and pensioners improved living conditions and re-settled to new modern apartments. It should be noted that mortgage crediting is efficiently used in the Republic of Tatarstan. Our company agreed with several banks on granting easy-term loans for housing construction to our employees living in towns, countryside settlements and villages.

– What does your “company vocational training” mean?

– We clearly understand that personnel training and re-training is of major significance in modern conditions when production and labor skill requirements permanently grow. In 2009 we trained and re-trained 2467 employees in various educational curricula, including 1956 managers and experts at the educational facility of our company. According to Gazprom’s training and re-training schedule for managers and experts, 44 employees of our company improved their skills and 14 of them were trained in educational establishments of the industry. Last year 11 employees received diplomas after completing Business Administration re-training courses in Kazan State Financial and Economic Institute.

We have a stable workforce. Personnel turnover comprised 1.1 percent last year, which the lowest figure among Gazprom subsidiaries! Like the whole industry we are working to rejuvenate the human resource. Forty-four young specialists whose education was paid for by the company graduated in 2009 from the Almetyevsk State Oil Institute and Kazan Architecture and Construction University and were employed by the company. This year another 45 young specialists will graduate.


– How do company employees benefit from republican sport development?

– They say “Kazan is a city of champions!” It is a joke, which has its share of truth. Tatarstan is truly paying much attention to professional sport development. An important role was played by Universiade expectations and the presence of athletes, coaches, and a proper sport infrastructure. The main Kazan-based teams – Rubin Football Club, Ak Bars Ice hockey Club, and Zenit-Kazan Volleyball Club – retained the title of Russian champions this year. The UNIX Basketball Club from Kazan has also played well and won the bronze in the national championship. The Sintez water polo team from Kazan, the Dynamo-Kazan bandy team, and athletes from Kazan sport schools and clubs often win medals in major Russian and world competitions.

Gas workers are specifically proud of our Zenit-Kazan volleyball team. Today it is one of the best teams in Russia, which won the European Champions League and is a three-time winner of the Cup of Russia and three-time acting national champion! Major off-season training will take place and we hope our guys will again glare with medals on victory podiums of Russian and international competitions!

Today close to five thousand gas workers and their family members participate in corporate sport movement. Our company annually holds winter and summer games and the best of the best join the corporate team of Gazprom transgaz Kazan to compete at Gazprom sport competitions. It is inspiring that our athletes display will to win and show good results every year.

We also pay attention to children’s and youth sports. The Gazprom To Children program is actively implemented and modern children’s sport grounds have been launched. In Kazan and Naberezhnye Chelny modern tennis courts were opened, while in Bugulma the construction of a multi-functional sport complex with a swimming pool is nearing completion.

Due to major support from Gazprom and personal attention of company CEO Alexei Miller all the projects have been successfully implemented! It is common knowledge that everything big starts with something little… The Gazprom To Children program allows to considerably improve the regional sport infrastructure. That means our country will soon be proud of new sport stars!


– You have been a deputy of the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan for over 10 years and are now a member of its presidium. That is a sign of major respect of the republican public to you personally and the company. How do you combine immense office duties with the work in the supreme body of state authority in the republic? What does it give to the company and the industry? Do other company employees participate in state bodies of authority of various levels?

–You have to agree that today the interaction model with state agencies is not limited to the executive authority and local self-government. I am convinced that in order to promote a constructive solution of important social and production issues, such as the creation of economic, organizational, and legal conditions for normal operation of the gas supply system, the gas industry shall have its representatives in the regional legislature and other elected bodies, while Gazprom’s affiliates and enterprises shall directly participate in regional policy formation.

Since 1999 I have been representing Gazprom transgaz Kazan in the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan. In March 2009 republican voters elected me for the third time. The socially-oriented policy of our company as an integral part of Gazprom allowed me to get elected for the second time to the Presidium of the State Council out of 100 deputies of the current convocation.

Besides me, the production and social policy of Gazprom transgaz Kazan is represented by 48 employees of our company who are members of municipal, district and local councils where they advocate Gazprom interests in social and economic development programs of the region.

By Gazprom transgaz
Kazan PR service

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