Siberia is a region with one of the most extreme climates on Earth. Extraordinarily hot summers with temperatures of over 40 degrees Celsius are followed by even colder winters with temperatures dropping as far as minus 72 degrees Celsius. The country is often covered in snow for up to nine months in the year. In spite of these climatic conditions, the infinite expanse of Siberia contains huge potential in natural resources. The Tjumen Oblast east of the Ural mountain range stands out here in particular. Due to its riches in oil and gas, the region numbers amongst the richest in all of Russia. As a result of these natural resources, one of Russia’s most important industries – petrochemicals – is flourishing here. In 2013, the largest production plant ever built for polypropylene was opened near the old Siberian capital of Tobolsk as part of an initiative to create one of the most extensive petrochemical complexes in Russia.
ZapSibNeftekhim – the new dimension in Russian petrochemicals
In the next few years, not only the capacity of this industrial region will undergo significant change, but also the dynamics of the petrochemical sector of the Russian economy. Sibur, Russia’s largest player in the petrochemicals sector, is establishing a new flagship project under the name of ZapSibNeftekhim in the area around Tobolsk. The plant contains technologies to produce 1.5 million tons of ethylene fractions, 500 kilotons of propylene fractions, and 240 kilotons of high-margin by-products per annum, such as butadiene and pyrolysis gasoline. With annual production of two million tons, it will contribute towards doubling the production capacity for polymers in Russia and thus be the largest plant of its kind in the entire country. Completion is scheduled for the end of 2019.
Such infrastructure developments are awarded turnkey as so-called EPC (Engineering, Procurement, Construction) projects. The EPC contract partners are usually large, local infrastructure companies. In this project, the Russian infrastructure company Hydromashservice JSC is acting as EPC contract partner for the modular equipment and the pumps. In this type of contract, the basic requirement is that key components – such as pumps – are only supplied by qualified companies with a healthy balance sheet and good financial standing. As a result of meeting the EPC requirements and submitting the best offer in terms of technical expertise and low lifecycle costs, international technology Group Andritz was awarded the contract to supply the large pumps required. Andritz will manufacture a total of seven vertical line shaft pumps that supply the huge plastics plant with cooling water. In addition to the pumps, the complete order also comprises a set of spare parts and a pump inspection test in the presence of the customer on one of Andritz’s own test stands.
Andritz – for custom-tailored pumps
Andritz has occupied the top spot in development and manufacturing of custom-tailored pump solutions for over 165 years. The vertical line shaft pumps from Andritz are used successfully throughout the world in different industrial applications. They are robust and resistant to wear, thus meeting the highest of customer expectations in terms of efficiency, lifespan, maintenance-friendliness, and cost-effectiveness. The high standard of these Andritz pumps is based on decades of experience in designing hydraulic machines and on extensive know-how. As far as customers’ requirements are concerned, there are no restrictions on size and flow rate in the development and manufacturing of these customized pumps. Experienced Andritz experts assist the customer with planning, development, installation, start-up and after-sales service. Engineering, design, choice of materials, and manufacturing are all carried out according to defined standards. The processes are transparent and can be adapted to individual needs. The goals at Andritz are to provide first-class products and services that will guarantee sustained customer satisfaction.
The pumps for the ZapSibNeftekhim project are high-tech pumps that have been developed and manufactured according to the customer’s and project-specific requirements. Each pump has an efficiency of up to 90 percent and conveys 9,216 m³ of water per hour with 2.7 MW motor power. During the inspection test on the test stand at Andritz’s own hydraulic research laboratory, ASTRÖ, in Graz, Austria, in the presence of the customer, the original efficiencies of 84.5% were actually surpassed significantly, reaching approximately 89%.
Taking the climatic conditions in Tobolsk into account, the seven pumps were designed specifically for an extremely low ambient temperature, dropping as far as minus 52°C. Besides design and delivery of the pumps, installation and commissioning work on site will also be supervised by Andritz personnel. These pumps were delivered to Tobolsk together with their spare parts in December 2017.
Completion of this monumental project not only contributes substantially towards strengthening the petrochemical industry in Russia, not least by using an innovative, economical, and – at the same time – highly sophisticated Andritz pumping solution, but also towards a social upswing in the city of Tobolsk. It is estimated that 1,700 employees will be needed to operate and maintain the plant. In addition to creating thousands of new jobs, more taxes and other revenue will have a positive impact on the city’s budget and on social developments overall as well as the quality of life there.