Vesti Special Report on the Power of Siberia! Absolutely Massive Energy Project Nears Completion!
POWER OF SIBERIA. EASTERN ROUTE. SPECIAL REPORT
This is the largest infrastructure project in Russia. It's the largest-scale construction project of this century. This is the Power of Siberia gas pipeline. Almost five years have passed since they began building the gas pipeline. People from all over Russia are working on the project. The work is being done everywhere. Roads, bridges, and the relevant infrastructure are being built simultaneously. At the gas field, almost everything is ready to be put into operation. The necessary amount of gas supplies via the Power of Siberia is 1.3 trillion cubic feet of gas per year. Two gas fields — the Kovyktiskoe and Chayandinskoe — will provide this gas. The latter will be put into operation first.
Boundless forests extend for many miles. There are no traces of civilization. It's almost 120 miles to the nearest inhabited locality. It's here in the deep taiga where the Power of Siberia begins. There are a few months left before the Chayandinskoe oil, gas, and condensate field is put into operation. The active stage of construction at the Chayandinskoe field began in 2015. The builders were given a serious task — to construct an entire complex of hi-tech buildings in the deep taiga, on schedule, as well as roads, bridges, and everything necessary for those who will work here.
Dmitry Malyshenko, deputy CEO of Gazprom Dobycha Noyabrsk: “These are the main facilities — buildings for gas inlet ducts, buildings for low-temperature separation, the building of the central duty gas-compressor station, the facility for membrane separation of gel residue, the building for methanol regeneration, residue stabilization, and other relevant facilities. Specialists are here, highly-qualified specialists with experience in working at Gazprom facilities.”
There's a team of professionals who have built a number of plants. Thus, for Alexander Anatolievich Van, the Chayanda isn't the first field where they have to build everything from scratch.
Alexander Van, specialist in reconstruction and construction, of Gazprom Dobycha Noyabrsk: With the experience I gained when we put Vankor into operation, I was invited to take part in putting the Chayanda into operation. There are many, many nuances and differences, even though it's also in the north. But it's in Yakutia; the conditions and aspects of it are a bit different.
One of the main peculiarities is the soil. It's clay at the Chayanda. Despite the fact that there's permafrost all around, the builders play it safe. There's a serious load on the foundation. That's why they utilize thermal stabilization of the soil. There's a thermal stabilizer near every stilt on the entire gas field. It's a kind of a refrigerator. There's special gas inside of each pipe. It is cooled by the cold outdoor air, turns into a liquid, and goes down, where it cools the deep soil.
The Compressed Natural Gas Plant 3 produces 880 billion cubic feet of gas per year. This is the key facility of gas production. First of all, it provides purification and de-watering to the gas mixture. Secondly, it ensures the necessary pressure of the gas in order to put it into the pipeline. Gas compressor units ensure it. There'll be four of them at Compressed Natural Gas Plant 3.
Dmitry Tarochkin, leading engineer of Gazprom Dobycha Noyabrsk: Gas compressor units are equipped with gas-turbine units that are made in Perm. The compressors are made by REP Holding. Each of them has 25 megawatts of power.
The air-cooling unit has also been completed. Besides the purification and de-watering, the Chayanda gas will undergo an additional procedure. They'll separate helium from the gas mixture. This will be carried out at the facility for membrane separation of helium residue. It's also almost completed. Although this gas is very rare and valuable, the industry still doesn't need as much gas as the Chayanda field has. That's why only a part of extracted helium will go to the Amur Gas Processing Plant. The rest of it will be put back into an underground soil unit and stored there.
In the territory of the gas treatment unit, there's a flyover bridge that connects all of the production facilities into one chain and ensures their working capacity. There'll be 1,500 miles of cables alone. Given the remoteness from civilization and specific environmental conditions, the production at the Chayanda field is supposed to be fully autonomous. They're building their own power plant there. To serve the needs of all of the enterprises, communal facilities were built not far from the main facilities. Here are the fence and sewage facilities. It affects the environment as little as possible.
Artem Nescheret, deputy plant foreman of Gazprom Dobycha Noyabrsk: Thermal destruction is the burning of industrial process waste in process furnaces. After burning 260 gallons of process waste, we have just a third of a pound of ash. As of now, this is one of the most advanced technologies in our country. There are just several such facilities in the country.
After the infrastructure development and putting the field into operation, about 250 people will work in the gas field. They're building a resting base for the future employees of the Chayandinskoe gas field. There'll be a fully equipped gym and even a swimming pool there. For those who are working in the field now, there's an entire complex of temporary buildings and structures. There's a dormitory, recreation room, medical station, and canteen, of course.
- What's your name?
- Mikhael Gasoyan.
- I'm Vera. Nice to meet you. You came out of the canteen. Is there tasty food here?
- The food is fantastic. It's incredibly tasty.
Mikhael is an engineer. He went to work at the gas field on the Yamal in Noyabrsk 25 years ago for the first time.
Mikhael Gasoyan, engineer of Gazprom Dobycha Noyabrsk: When I come here, honestly, without any exaggeration, it's a hobby for me. There are great people here. The working days go by. For me, it's a pleasure to work like this.
People from all over the country came here. The number of workers is comparable to a population of a town such as Lensk or Peleduy.
Dmitry Malyshenko: “If we look at where our specialists and contractors come from, they're from all over Russia. As of now, a total of 12,000 people are working in the field. Locals also work here.”
The republic's residents occupy various positions. There are both workers and engineers among them. Pyotr has been working in the energy industry for ten years already. He once left his hometown to get an education and then return to work in his home region. He's responsible for the compliance with the environmental regulations at the field. They pay a lot of attention to it while building.
Pyotr Vinokurov, leading engineer of Gazprom Dobycha Noyabrsk: There are about 254 river crossings, there are bridges, the road. We monitor all of these river crossings. We take samples. I remember how last summer, we stopped on the road and a bear approached us.
- Wasn't it scary?
- It was the first time that I saw one so close. It was very scary. It was huge.
Then, there's the pipeline section of the Power of Siberia. From this point, from the Chayandinskoe and Kovyktinskoe gas fields, the gas will cover a distance of almost 1,800 miles and then go into the Chinese gas pipeline system. It isn't an easy way. The pipelines go through permafrost, swamps, mountainous areas. Every time, mile after mile, the builders had to adapt to the peculiarities of the terrain and even wait for a certain season to put a pipe into a trench.
The junction point and the place where the Power of Siberia ends is the underwater crossing under the Amur River. We were here at the beginning of the construction of the border crossing a year and a half ago. Back then, one could walk under the Amur at the depth of over 65 feet. Now, the tunnels are built, the pipes are laid, and the joints are welded up. The construction of the underwater crossing has been completed. They need to weld the tie-in joint. The working pressure in the Power of Siberia is 9.8 megapascals. To maintain it, they're building compressor stations along the whole length of the gas pipeline.
The Zeisk compressor station is designed to export gas. It'll be the eighth and final one in the chain of compressor stations along the Power of Siberia. Just a year and a half ago, there was a practically empty field here.
Evgeny Samokhin, engineer of Gazprom Transgaz Tomsk: “It changed in one year. There was a field, foundations, and nothing else. In one year, everything was built, flyover bridges appeared.”
The newly built compressor station will provide jobs for the region's residents very soon.
Alexander Krivtsov, engineer-in-chief of Gazprom Transgaz Tomsk: “The gas industry is new to this region. The staff engaged in the works is interested in it. Having our corporate institute, we can train staff.”
They're working hard now. The inspection, launch, and fitting of equipment are being carried out. It's the final stage after the installation and construction.
Evgeny Samokhin: The launch and fitting of all of the facilities are the most important works. We assembled everything mechanically. Everything's being assembled. Now, we need to put some life into this mechanism for it to be a single organism.
There are supposed to be five gas compressor units at the compressor station. All of them are made in Russia. Two of them are of 16 megawatts. And three are of 32 megawatts. They're Ladogas, which we already know, are made by the Russian REP Holding plant.
The centrifugal air blower is the heart of a gas compressor unit. Gas is compressed here, and the pressure almost doubles. This composition is pretty rare for compressor stations, and there are reasons for it.
Alexander Krivtsov: This composition will allow the regulation of the gas transportation system more gradually. It'll be necessary to adjust the pressure of the gas to within two decimal places in order to transport it. For this, we'll precisely and gradually regulate it. Depending on the amount of gas, we'll need to use this or that unit, or several at once.
Evgeny Samokhin: “It's the most important compressor station of the Power of Siberia pipeline as it works for export. So the responsibility is very high. After us is only China.”
And there's a gas measuring station near the border-crossing point. The block valve station and the treatment facility startup unit are also there. This is the final Power of Siberia facility before the Chinese border. The readiness of these facilities is over 90%. All of the tests have already been completed.
The gas measuring station, as it's clear from its name, is designed to measure the amount of gas supplied to China. Using special equipment, they'll monitor both the amount and composition of the gas they supply. The Russian specialists will monitor these parameters together with the Chinese specialists. Then, the Russian gas will cross the Russian-Chinese border. Almost everything is ready for it to reach Chinese consumers. The builders have no doubt that all of the work will be completed right on time and they'll handle any difficult conditions of work.
Mikhael Gasoyan: The weather is frosty in January and February. Honestly, there were difficulties. Everyone did the same work. We went along the most difficult path and we'll go to the end. And we'll put the Power of Siberia into operation on time as planned.
The demand for natural gas in China is growing. It means that there are pre-conditions for wider cooperation. They'll begin to supply Russian gas via the Power of Siberia gas pipeline even before the scheduled date — December 1st, 2019.