Gasmen coming to Russian Far East
August 5, 2019
Sergey Pravosudov, Editor-in-Chief of Gazprom Magazine
As part of the Eastern Gas Program, the Amur Gas Processing Plant (GPP) construction project is moving forward at a fast pace. The huge facility near the town of Svobodny in the Amur Region will be a crucial link in the future process chain for the supply of natural gas from the fields of Yakutia and the Irkutsk Region to China via the Power of Siberia gas pipeline. This summer, over 21,000 construction workers are engaged in the project. In July, the equipment for the facility’s third production train (of which there will be six in total) – a methane extraction column (demethanizer), a nitrogen removal (denitrogenation) column, and an ethane extraction column (deethanizer) – was installed at the construction site.
Within the summer navigation period of 2019, over 120 units of equipment weighing a total of more than 13,000 tons will be delivered to the construction site of the Amur GPP. Loading and unloading works are performed by special 1,350-ton and 750-ton cranes at the facility’s temporary berth.
Amur Gas Processing Plant (GPP)
Investor and employer of the construction project: Gazprom Pererabotka Blagoveshchensk.
Design capacity (processing): 42 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year.
Helium production: up to 60 million cubic meters per year.
Ethane production: around 2.5 million tons per year.
Propane production: around 1 million tons per year.
Butane production: around 500,000 tons per year.
Pentane-hexane fraction production: around 200,000 tons per year.
Production trains: 6.
Greatest asset is people
Staff recruitment is already in progress for this high-tech facility. Specialists are coming from Orenburg, Astrakhan, Salavat, Novy Urengoy, and other oil-and-gas regions of Russia. It is planned to hire 219 people in 2019, 688 people in 2020, and another 594 employees in 2021, when the first two production lines of the plant will have been put into operation. By the time the Amur GPP reaches its design capacity, i.e. in 2025, its number of employees will be around 3,000. Owing to the automation of production processes at the Amur GPP, the plant will have the highest labor efficiency among all gas processing facilities in the sector.
“Qualified professionals are attracted by the opportunity to take part in one of the largest gas projects, the prospect of working with the most advanced equipment in the sector, and the possibility of professional and career growth at a new large-scale facility,” explains Lyudmila Zubova, Head of the HR Directorate at Gazprom Pererabotka Blagoveshchensk.
Installation of methane extraction column (demethanizer) at third production train of Amur GPP
However, it is equally important to provide comfortable living conditions for the specialists moving to the Russian Far East, which is why residential facilities and public amenities are being built for the employees of the Amur GPP. As of today, one multifamily residential building has already been erected in the center of Svobodny, and another one will be finished this August. In the northern part of the town, construction is also in progress for a residential neighborhood comprising 42 five-storey houses and 36 townhouses with a total area of 168,000 square meters, which will accommodate about 5,000 people. The plant’s employees will receive their living quarters complete with furniture and household appliances. The residential neighborhood will also have a new school and a kindergarten with a swimming pool, a health clinic, as well as sports and cultural facilities. Through the efforts of Gazprom, a new sports center equipped with a swimming pool is already functioning in the town, and the construction of a church is reaching completion.
The social infrastructure will be become the property of the federal and municipal authorities. The residential estate will be owned by Zhiloy Mikrorayon, a special-purpose company that belongs to Gazprom.
A residential neighborhood comprising 42 five-storey houses and 36 townhouses with a total area of 168,000 square meters to accommodate about 5,000 people is under construction.
At the same time, the company is training local personnel. This year, the first graduation of a Gazprom Class (25 people) took place at School No. 1 in Svobodny. The students are regularly taken to the construction site and provided with advice on further professional training required for subsequent employment at the Amur GPP. Gazprom Pererabotka Blagoveshchensk at its own expense implemented a number of improvements at the Amur Technical College located in Svobodny in order for the College to comply with the federal state educational standards. Special equipment was purchased for laboratories, training workshops, and classrooms, with repair and installation works performed as well. The company actively cooperates with higher education institutions: Amur State University, Kazan National Research Technological University, Tomsk State University, Eastern University, the University of Tyumen, and, of course, the Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas.
The new facility means new possibilities for the young and ambitious. It has to be noted that the plant is being built in a very interesting region to live in: Blagoveshchensk, the main city of the Amur River region, is located at the Chinese border 140 kilometers away from Svobodny. Blagoveshchensk is separated from the Celestial Empire by the Amur River, the motorway bridge over which will be opened in 2020. A cable railway, which will also be constructed above the Amur River, will allow people to reach China in just six minutes. As numerous tourists make regular trips to the border city of Heihe and to other Chinese cities, they also have a chance to explore the culture and sights of China and other countries of Southeast Asia.