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The new path of methanol

The new path of methanol

The Metafrax Group delegation presented its point of view on the prospects for the development of the Russian methanol industry within the framework of the "Leaders of Russia and CIS countries: Gas and Chemistry 2024" conference, held in Moscow on February 27-28.

The conference was attended by Ivan Feoktistov, First Deputy General Director of Metafrax Chemicals, Evgeny Gavrilov, Director for Strategy and Investments, Lyudmila Zueva and Tatyana Artyushkova, representatives of the Strategy and Development Department, Andrey Eremeev and Konstantin Ardashev, Director and Deputy Chief Engineer of the AUM plant.

Lyudmila Zueva, Head of the Strategy and Development Department, moderated the round table "The New Path of methanol: Challenges and Prospects". During the discussion, industry representatives and experts discussed the state and prospects of the methanol market in Russia, the impact of sanctions on product exports and new markets.

Metafrax experts noted that the industry faced a number of internal and external challenges, in particular, the destabilization of methanol prices in Russia and the surplus of the product within the country. Exporting companies are also forced to reorient themselves to new markets with lower margins, face an increase in the cost of export logistics and the turnover period of railway tanks. In addition, Lyudmila Zueva noted a decrease in the volume of methanol consumption within the country and a significant decrease in exports.

The session participants identified the expansion of the use of methanol in Russia as an alternative fuel on ships, rail transport and in the thermal power industry, as well as the active promotion of Russian methanol to friendly markets, in particular China, as the main ways to ensure capacity utilization of methanol producers.

Metafrax Group representatives act as a moderator and organizer of working groups to promote methanol as a marine fuel in Russia. Earlier, representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia noted that the department considers it appropriate to develop this area.

- The topics discussed at the conference are relevant for our company and the gas chemistry industry as a whole. We see great demand and market opportunity for the use of methanol as an alternative synthetic fuel. This will help to balance the methanol market in Russia, which is currently oversupplied in terms of production capacity. And also to solve the problem with the environmental friendliness of the internal combustion engine due to the fact that methanol allows engines to operate with significantly lower levels of CO2 and nitrogen oxides emissions," commented Ivan Feoktistov.

To promote methanol to China, the participants of the discussion noted, government support is needed in the development of port infrastructure for methanol transshipment, as well as the expansion of railway capacity, including priority transportation of methanol cargoes.

As part of the business program of the conference, Metafrax Chemicals Strategy Manager Tatyana Artyushkova chaired a session on technologies for the gas chemical industry. Together with representatives of Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas and the Institute of Petrochemical Synthesis named after Topchiev of the RAS (Russian Academy of Science) discussed the problems and prospects of refinery gas processing, the development of innovative domestic processes for processing gas raw materials.

Andrey Eremeev presented to the professional community information about the technology of processing of purge gas from methanol production at the PSA plant, followed by the use of product hydrogen for ammonia production at the AUM complex, told about the uniqueness and features of the plant operation.

According to the organizers, the conference allows the heads of gas and chemical companies to present their current and prospective investment projects on the development and modernization, tasks in their implementation and expectations, and allows design institutes, suppliers of equipment, technologies and services to offer their solutions, get an idea of the volumes and needs of the market. The conference allows to enter into partnership and dealer agreements, contributing to the development of business within Russia and on the international market.