Gazprom brings energy security of Kaliningrad Region to new level
A commissioning ceremony for an offshore gas receiving terminal and a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) called Marshal Vasilevskiy was held today in the Kaliningrad Region.
Taking part in the event were Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, Alexander Gutsan, Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Northwestern Federal District, Anton Alikhanov, Governor of the Kaliningrad Region, and heads of the Company’s relevant subdivisions, subsidiaries and contracting organizations.
Gazprom makes comprehensive efforts to improve the reliability of gas supplies to the Kaliningrad Region. Earlier, the Company set up the Kaliningradskoye underground gas storage (UGS) facility and increased the throughput capacity of the Minsk – Vilnius – Kaunas – Kaliningrad gas pipeline, the only route for gas deliveries to Russia’s westernmost constituent entity until now.
In order to further enhance energy security in the Kaliningrad Region taking into account the geographical setting, Gazprom carried out an alternative gas supply project focused on LNG deliveries by sea. A gas receiving terminal based in the Baltic Sea and onshore was built in the Kaliningrad Region.
A key component of the terminal is a fixed marine berth with a breakwater. This facility is unique as far as domestic engineering practices are concerned. It is located 5 kilometers from the shore, where the sea is about 19 meters deep, which allows the floating regasification unit to be moored. The berth is a 125.5-meter monolithic slab of high-strength concrete resting on 177 piles. Special equipment for receiving gas is installed on top of the slab along with mooring devices. From the seaward, the berth is protected with a robust 728-meter C-shaped breakwater. Its structure helps the vessel operate safely and is able to withstand powerful Baltic storms.
Marshal Vasilevskiy is the only FSRU in Russia. The vessel transports LNG (174,000 cubic meters of reservoir capacity) and performs regasification operations, converting LNG to gaseous form.
The regasification process starts at the FSRU as soon as the vessel is moored at the berth. Liquefied gas is converted to gaseous form and fed into the existing gas transmission system via a newly-built 13-kilometer connecting gas pipeline. Afterwards, gas is delivered to consumers or injected into the Kaliningradskoye UGS facility.
Thanks to the terminal and the FSRU, up to 3.7 billion cubic meters of gas can be delivered by sea on an annual basis. If necessary, the new facilities will meet the current and future needs of the Kaliningrad Region.
“A unique project that has no equivalent in Russia, a sophisticated project of national importance is now completed. The Kaliningrad Region has been provided with a totally independent gas supply route. Gazprom has brought the region’s energy security to a fundamentally new level. The Company will continue to work towards improving the reliability of gas supplies to the Kaliningrad Region,” said Alexey Miller.
The breakwater designed to protect the berth has a complex structure, with 29 metal cylinders (20 meters in diameter, 21 meters in height, and weighing over 200 tons each) placed along the full length of the stone foundation (so-called stone base) that rests on the seabed. The cylinders are filled with rubble and their outer surface has an anticorrosion polymer coating. From the seaward, the cylinders are bolstered by a mound of rocks (weighing up to 6 tons each) and more than 20,000 special reinforced concrete blocks (tetrapods weighing from 7.8 to 25 tons).
The Marshal Vasilevskiy FSRU has three regasification lines (including one backup line). The Arc 4 ice-class vessel has the capacity to independently navigate in ice with a thickness of up to 0.8 meters.
The Kaliningradskoye UGS facility, Russia’s first storage created in salt caverns, was put onstream in 2013. This type of facility has a number of advantages over storages made in depleted reservoirs or aquifers. Salt caverns are ideal leak-proof containers as salt domes are fully impermeable to gas. It is possible to promptly switch Kaliningradskoye from injection to withdrawal and vice versa (multiple cycling capability), as well as to bring the facility to its peak performance in a short time.
At present, the Kaliningradskoye UGS facility has four storage reservoirs in operation, with the working gas inventories of 174 million cubic meters. The gas storage is being expanded further: it is planned to increase the number of reservoirs to 14 and the working gas inventories to 800 million cubic meters by 2025.