SIBUR ramps up fractionation capacity in Tobolsk to 8 mtpa

Tobolsk, 29 July 2016. SIBUR has completed the reconstruction project for the facility processing natural gas liquids (NGLs) at the Tobolsk production site, boosting the site's total fractionation capacity from 6.6 to 8 mtpa.

Over the last several years, SIBUR has been consistently building up gas fractionation capacity at the Tobolsk site. When launched in 1984, the Tobolsk site’s gas fractionation unit processed around 2 mtpa of NGLs. As part of the ongoing ramp-up process starting from 2005, its capacity reached 3 mtpa, 3.5 mtpa and 3.8 mtpa in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively. The second fractionation unit, commissioned in 2014, made the total capacity of the Tobolsk site hit 6.6 mtpa.

The new ramp-up project comprised three stages: revamping the loading rack, building propane storage tanks, and upgrading the gas fractionation unit put into operation in 2014. During the project, fractionation trays for the column equipment were completely replaced this spring.

In addition to the Tobolsk site’s personnel, the facility revamp process involved 1,200 construction workers from different Russian contractors. NIPIgaspererabotka, a leading Russian research centre for facility design, supply and logistics chain, and construction for the petrochemical industry, was engaged to develop the design and engineering solutions (general designer).

During the project, 2,878 piles were driven, 4,137 thousand cu m of concrete were poured, 1,695 t of metal structures, 38,890 m of pipes, 77,480 m of power lines and 484,170 m of process control cables were installed. Equipment was supplied by around 220 companies: heat exchangers by Izhevskkhimmash, GEA Mashimpeks, PK TT, tanks by Penzneftekhimmash, flare equipment by FPK Kosmos-Neft-Gaz, spherical tanks by Uralhimmash, pump equipment by AET-Group and ITT, transformer substation by Electronmash, and the cooling tower by FANS-Vostok.

 

For the first time in Russia, the project utilised spherical tanks with a volume of 2,400 cu m (standard volume – 600 cu m) to store propane fraction, which helped cut Capex and achieve Opex savings in operations.

 

SIBUR’s investment in the project totaled RUB 5.5 bn net of VAT.

SIBUR is consistently implementing a major programme to build the West Siberian petrochemical cluster under Russia's Oil and Gas Chemical Development Framework through 2030. By signing long-term contracts with oil and gas majors in Russia, the Company has consolidated access to by-products of hydrocarbon extraction available in the region. For initial on-site processing, SIBUR doubled its capacities for associated petroleum gas to 24 bcm (including Yuzhno-Priobskiy GPP) by upgrading and building new compressor stations and gas processing plants.  To transport gas products to its Tobolsk facility, in 2014 SIBUR built a 1,100 km pipeline from Purovsk to Tobolsk with an annual capacity of up to 8 mt, and a 1.5 mt rail loading rack. The increase in the volume of light hydrocarbons supplied to the Tobolsk site was phased with ongoing expansion of gas fractionation capacities. By growing LPG output at its gas fractionation units, the Company embarked on deep conversion projects to produce polymers. In 2013, SIBUR launched a propane processing and polypropylene production facility with an annual capacity of 0.5 mt, and is currently building ZapSibNeftekhim capable of manufacturing 1.5 mt of polyethylene and 0.5 mt of polypropylene annually to contribute to import substitution for some of the most popular polymers in Russia used in various industries, including construction, automotive, FMCG, and packaging.

Part of the additional LPG volumes produced in Tobolsk will be supplied to markets in Northern and Northwestern Europe via the Ust-Luga terminal, which in 2016 saw its transshipment capacities go up from 1.5 mtpa to 2.4 mtpa for LPG and from 2.5 mtpa to 2.8 mtpa for light oils. At the end of 2015, SIBUR and an investor consortium comprised of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and leading international investors completed a deal to secure investments in the LPG and light oils transshipment terminal of the Ust-Luga sea port. In line with the arrangements, SIBUR acts as the terminal operator and will guarantee full LPG capacity utilisation under a long-term contract. To ensure full capacity operations for the light oil terminal, there are long-term contracts in place with transshipment market players. The expansion of the Ust-Luga capacities helped grow Russia’s seaborne transshipment infrastructure.

“Focus on deep processing of hydrocarbons is part of our strategy. We have secured access to new hydrocarbon resources in the northern part of West Siberia and have increased processing capacity utilisation of our integrated Tobolsk facility, which makes us well-positioned to ensure profitable and high-quality growth in fuels and petrochemical production,” said Dmitry Konov, Chairman of SIBUR's Management Board.