Gazprom to boost small-scale LNG production in Russia
Yekaterinburg hosted today a circuit session of the Gazprom Science & Technology Council's Workshop on Efficient Distribution and Utilization of Gas and Other Energy Resources. The session addressed the development of a regulatory framework for small-scale production, storage and utilization of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Participating in the event were Oleg Aksyutin, Member of the Gazprom Management Committee, Head of the Gas Transportation, Underground Storage and Utilization Department, leaders and experts representing specialized structural units of the Company's administration and subsidiaries – Gazprom VNIIGAZ, Gazprom promgaz, Gazprom transgaz Yekaterinburg and over ten Russian organizations engaged in the development and manufacturing of natural gas liquefaction equipment.
In his welcoming address to the event participants Oleg Aksyutin mentioned that over one-fourth of all natural gas produced in the global market at the moment was liquefied for subsequent marine transportation. That was the reason for ongoing high-capacity plants construction. Russia's first high-capacity plant was launched on Sakhalin in 2009.
At the same time, Russia has been increasingly interested in producing comparatively small amounts of LNG. It is particularly important in view of the Russian Federation President and Government instructions on implementation of the ambitious Russian Regions Gasification Program. Therefore, in the coming years the Company is planning to use small-scale LNG, especially in those regions where pipeline gas supply is not feasible.
The meeting participants exchanged experience in implementing projects for LNG complexes construction at gas distribution stations (GDS) and compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations. It was emphasized that such complexes occupied a relatively small area, featured low steel intensity and high energy efficiency. At the same time, in almost every case gas pipeline branches had enough capacity for LNG production, while GDS and CNG filling station personnel took over such complexes operation.
LNG produced at small-scale plants may be efficiently consumed by households and utilities, heat and power generation facilities as well as natural gas vehicles. Moreover, LNG may be used to support gas distribution networks operation during GDS maintenance periods and as a standby fuel in case of peak demands.
In this context, the meeting underscored it was necessary to develop the regulatory framework for the design, construction and operation of small-scale LNG plants in Russia.
As part of the meeting, members of the Science & Technology Council Workshop took part in the startup of pilot commercial operation of the LNG production complex with the capacity of 3 tons per hour at the premises of GDS-4 (Yekaterinburg).
Gazprom has been supplying LNG to Russian consumers since 1998. At present, along with the facility launched near Yekaterinburg, Gazprom operates another four LNG plants: two in the Leningrad Oblast, one in the Sverdlovsk Oblast and one in St. Petersburg. Small-scale LNG production complexes are located at the premises of gas distribution or CNG filling stations. Over the years of small-scale facilities operation, Gazprom has produced and supplied to consumers 33.8 thousand tons of LNG (46.6 million cubic meters of gas).
Compressor stations, underground gas storage facilities and low-yield fields, in addition to gas distribution and CNG filling stations, are suitable for locating small-scale LNG plants.