The construction of Togliatti nitrogen plant began in November 1974. Togliattiazot was constructed under the agreement with Armand Hammer’s Occidental Petroleum, a prominent U.S. company, on a compensation basis.
The Soviet party was receiving advanced equipment and technologies, while the Americans secured guaranteed supplies from the new chemical plant.
Thousands of workers were needed in order to implement the ambitious project for the chemical giant construction. For this reason, the construction was declared the All-Union Intensive Komsomol building project. Enthusiasts from around the whole country arrived in Togliatti. Many young men and women forever dedicated themselves to the plant and became founders of labor dynasties that have been the pride of Togliattiazot. The best construction and installation companies of the country, as well as foreign specialists, provided substantial assistance in the plant construction. Simultaneously, Togliatti-Odessa ammonia trunk pipeline was being laid to stretch over two thousand kilometers.
Vladimir Nikolayevich Makhlai
Within a short time Vladimir Makhlai and his new team of professionals conducted extensive reforms at the whole plant and eventually got Togliattiazot over a bad patch turning it into an enterprise with high potential.
In April 1979 Togliattiazot produced the first tons of ammonia. In the same year, the first urea production unit was put into operation. After that, just half a year later, the second unit was commissioned. In August 1983 liquid carbon dioxide was first produced; in October 1985 urea-formaldehyde resin production unit was commissioned; in June 1986 the seventh and last ammonia unit was launched. Out of 7 ammonia units constructed at the site, 4 were manufactured by Chemico, the others were АМ-76. Two urea units with the production capacity of 480,000 tons per year were built under the project of the Italian company Snamprogetti. The enterprise, unparalleled in the country, was gradually gathering pace.
In 1985 Vladimir Makhlai, who had made significant progress at Gubakha chemical plant by that time, became the head of Togliattiazot under the direction of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Government. The new director and his team managed to ensure stable operation of ToAZ and turned it into the successful enterprise. The fact that at least three hundred major design and construction mistakes had to be rectified shows what massive volume of work was done by the team to make that happen.90s
After market reforms in early 1990s, Togliattiazot managed to maintain and then to strengthen its positions on the world chemical market. In 1992, by decision of the staff, ToAZ was reorganized into a Joint-Stock Company. Vladimir Makhlai became the First Chairman of the Board of Directors of TogliattiAzot; he held this position till March 2011.
Sergei Vladimirovich Makhlai
Over the seven years of Sergei Makhlai's on a post of the Chairman of the board of directors, ToAZ has retained its position as one of the world's largest producers of ammonia and grown production.
In March 2011 Sergei Vladimirovich Makhlai was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Over the seven years of Sergei Makhlai's tenure, not only has ToAZ retained its position as one of the world's largest producers of ammonia, but it has also grown production from 2.3 mln tonnes in 2012 to 2.9 mln tonnes in 2016 under a programme for production capacity upgrade launched in 2012. Working under the programme, in 2015 – 2016 ToAZ completed a major renovation of ammonia units 2, 3, 4, and 6 and of both urea units. A construction project is under way for the third urea unit with a daily capacity of 2,200 tonnes. ToAZ is currently designing a unit that will produce 1,860 tonnes of ammonia daily from sweeping gases.
Investments in the upgrade programme will have reached RUB 80 bln by 2021.