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Solutions by SST Group Successfully Operate at Eastern Siberia-Pacific Pipeline

SST Energomontazh, part of SST Group, supplied to the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Project 40.5 km of heating cables with a combined capacity of 1,110 kW, as well as an inductive-resistance heating systems (IRSN-15000) based on skin-effect with a combined length of 8 km and a capacity of 267 kW. The heated sites include the sea oil-loading port Kozmino and 18 oil pumping stations, including the head oil pumping station Taishet.

The oil transportation system Eastern Siberia-Pacific spanning approx. 5,000 km is one of the world’s longest oil pipelines. The commissioning of the Eastern oil pipeline allowed the export of the new generation oil ESPO (Eastern Siberia — Pacific Ocean) to world markets.

Pipeline with a Siberian character

Construction of Phase 1 of the transportation system (ESPO-I) began in 2006. On April 28, the first joint was welded at the pipeline’s km 0. In 2008, the construction of an oil seaport started in the bay of Kozmino, and a record year and a half later, the port was ready to receive oil for export shipments.

The project ESPO-I continued during the Siberian freezing winter. On December 28, 2009, a 3 km long pipeline between the Taishet oil pumping station and Skovorodino was put into operation. From Skovorodino, crude oil was sent by rail in huge tank cars towards the Sea of Japan coast.

To increase the shipment volumes and to speed up the oil transit to the seaport Kozmino, the project ESPO-II was undertaken. In December 2012, the pipeline system was put into operation. As part of the project, an oil pipeline with a length of over 2,000 kilometers, including new oil pumping stations, was built, the oil pumping station Skovorodino was retrofitted, a 500,000 m3 tank farm was put into operation, and the capacity of the port facilities, including power and communication infrastructure, was expanded.

The Eastern oil pipeline crosses multiple water bodies and runs across regions of permafrost. To prevent the oil being pumped from freezing, state-of-the-art technology, including electric heating, is used. In addition, to ensure the uninterrupted operation of the equipment and comfortable conditions for the personnel in the harsh Arctic environment, the use of heating cable systems on the project’s sites is of paramount importance.

Conquering the permafrost

As part of the two phases of the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean transportation system, the engineering company SST Energomontazh, part of SST Group, outfitted its oil pumping stations and the seaport Kozmino with the state-of-the-art electric heating systems based on the skin-effect (IRSN-15000) as well as electric heating systems based on series-resistance heating cables MIC, LLS and self-regulating cables HTP, BTC, BTX.

Electric heating systems by SST Energomontazh support an uninterrupted operation of the pumping units at 18 oil pumping stations, including Taishet, the project’s largest head oil pumping station featuring a tank farm.

Solutions by SST Energomontazh also ensure the uninterrupted operation of another strategic ESPO site — the sea oil-loading port Kozmino. Here, the solutions by SST Group are used to heat the tank farm, rail ramp, berthing facilities, and the communication corridor. As part of the Kozmino Seaport Expansion Project back in 2010, SST Energomontazh supplied electric heating and thermal insulation systems for onshore and offshore structures, heat and power equipment, fire-extinguishing and domestic water supply systems, rail ramp accommodating 74 cars, Kozmino tank farm site, and the seaport’s receiving oil terminal.

Heating technology for ESPO

Many years of experience and a broad range of solutions allow SST Energomontazh to complete projects of any complexity by adapting to the customer’s needs.

On the majority of ESPO sites, based on thermal design, the high-temperature series-resistance heating cable with mineral insulation MIC was used. It is typically used to heat process equipment operated in aggressive and explosive environments. The heating cable MIC is designed for efficient and reliable operation where a high operating temperature has to be maintained, combined with high thermal output. MIC cable has excellent mechanical strength and high resistance to corrosion.

In the Eastern oil pipeline, the self-regulating heating cables HTP, BTC, BTX by OKB Gamma were also used. These cables respond to the ambient temperature by adjusting the heat generation level.

Self-regulating cable prevents unnecessary energy consumption and is an energy-efficient product. The main elements of the cable are two parallel copper conductors, with a heating element made of a temperature-dependent semiconductor layer (conductive matrix) sandwiched between them along the entire length of the cable. Self-regulating cables by OKB Gamma are explosion-proof, as evidenced by the international certificates ATEX, VDE and IECEx.

Time-tested solutions

It is not the first time SST Energomontazh is taking part in projects by PJSC Transneft. Solutions by SST Group were adopted in the heating systems of the trunk pipelines Kuyumba-Taishet and Zapolyarye-Purpe.

“Strategic partnership with our colleagues at Transneft opens the opportunity to design unique integrated solutions that are fully adapted for smooth operation in the harsh climatic conditions of the Arctic. The pipeline system Eastern Siberia — Pacific Ocean is an illustrative example of effective cooperation. We are proud of the contribution that we make to the projects by PJSC Transneft and we look forward to further joint projects,” summed up Valery Tyulyukanov, Chief Operations Officer at SST Energomontazh.