Large petchem complex to be built in European Russia as part of massive gas processing project

June 12, 2019

A large export-oriented gas-chemical project is to be included in a new industrial cluster planned near St Petersburg, Russia. The plan was unveiled during the recent St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIF) by feedstock-rich Gazprom and partners, with completion expected in 2024.

The project envisages the construction of an integrated complex for natural gas processing and liquefaction near the seaport of Ust-Luga, St Petersburg region. It will process ethane-containing gas, which will be supplied via gas pipelines from Gazprom’s deposits in the Nadym-Pur-Taz region. The operator of the complex is RusKhimAlyans, a special-purpose company owned equally by Gazprom and RusGazDobycha (Moscow). A gas chemical facility will be built by RusGazDobycha, another special-purpose company.

The complex will process 45 billion cubic meters/year of gas and produce around 13 million metric tons/year (MMt/y) of liquefied natural gas (LNG), 3.8 MMt/y of ethane, 2.4 MMt/y of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and 0.2 MMt/y of pentane-hexane fraction. The 19 billion cubic meters/year of gas remaining after processing will be directed into Gazprom’s gas transmission system. The ethane produced by the complex will be processed by the gas chemical facility to produce up to 3 MMt/y of several grades of polyethylene (PE). The first trains of the new complex will come onstream in the fourth quarter of 2023 to be followed by the remaining trains in the fourth quarter of 2024.

Vertical integration of the production, transmission, and processing units, coupled with the creation of a single site for ethane production and natural gas liquefaction, will substantially improve the economics of the complex, Gazprom says. The facilities will help increase Russian LNG and LPG exports, and boost production of ethane as well as petrochemicals.

When the gas-chemical complex comes on line, RusGazDobycha will become a major producer of PE in Russia, close to the country’s leader, Sibur. Sibur is about to bring on line its $9.5-billion flagship ZapSibNeftekhim complex at Tobolsk, which will be designed to produce 1.5 MMt/y of PE. Sibur’s second world-scale project, the Amur gas-chemical complex at Blagoveshchensk on the Chinese border planned in a joint venture with Sinopec, will also be designed to produce 1.5 MMt/y of PE. It is expected to come onstream around 2024, the same time as RusGazDobycha’s, bringing the two companies neck-and-neck in PE capacity by then. Sibur already produces some PE, however.

By Natasha Alperowicz

Source: Chemical Week

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