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ESPO Gets New Stations

Date of publication: 10 September 2015 Printable version

Construction of three new oil pump stations (PS) has been launched in Irkutsk region in the scope of ESPO system delivery capacity extension to 80 m tons of oil annually.

Eastern Siberia - Pacific Ocean Project management Center, LLC (PMC ESPO, LLC, a subsidiary of Transneft, JSC) is entrusted project implementation.

To implement the project of ESPO extension, six new PS and revamping of 15 existing stations, increasing the tank farm capacity by 50,000 m3, construction external power supplies facilities (six substations PS 220/10 kV and HV lines with the total length above 950 km) will be required in the section from the Taishet pipe-end pump station to the Skovorodino PS.

Six new PSs - Nos. 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9 - shall be constructed in Irkutsk region. Constructing three of them (Nos. 3, 6 and 9) will be launched this September, and expected to be completed in July 2017. As of now, the general contractor has been determined. Engineering survey of construction sites has been finished in respect of the rest PSs, design documentation has now been developed. It is intended to launch construction in mid-2016.

“These PSs are used to maintain pressure in the pipeline system required to transport the needed volumes of oil. By 2020, the delivery capacity of Eastern Siberia - Pacific Ocean oil pipeline shall grow up to 80 m tons per annum versus 58 m tons currently,” PMC ESPO officials explained.

Construction, erection and special operations will start at the sits in winter, primarily because the heavy construction vehicles cannot travel on the marshy soil in summer. By winter, the sites shall be cleared of woody vegetation, access ways will be laid, construction vehicles and materials will be delivered. Construction sites are remote enough from any settlements, so the resource delivery schemes are based on the region’s available road network.

For instance, construction site for PS No. 3 in Bratsk district is 34 km away from Vikhorevka, the nearest populated area.

Only off-road vehicles supported by caterpillar tractors can help access the site in winter and in summer.

PS No. 6 has been built in Ust-Kut district, 70 km away from the Lena railway station (based in Ust-Kut). It seems to be distinguished for the most favorable logistics - nearly two-thirds of the access route passes by a paved road (a real luxury for builders who got used to taiga and swamps), while the last 30 km follow the haulage road.

PS No. 9 is the closest to the north. It has been constructed in Kirensk district, 33 km off the Korshunovo village. By its suitability for cargo and people delivery, this seems to be the most challenging facility. Try to make your own judgment: cargoes are delivered into Kirensk district during a brief period of northern supply haul, and afterwards by a service driveway of the ESPO pipeline system, or by winter roads by trucks to the construction site.

“On the one hand, new construction is not inside the remote taiga: after the first phases there have been laid the oil pipeline, the service driveways, and power supply lines. This makes the life easier for clients and contractors to some extent. But one should realize that the PS sites are remote from the existing communications. Anyhow, access roads need to be designed and constructed for each oil pump station, plus external power supply facilities, including the linear section, and substations,” PMC ESPO officials note.

The area needs to be cleared, support installations and camps have to be erected. All the areas scheduled for construction have severe continental climate with extremely low temperatures in winter and high temperatures in summer.

The vast experience gained by PMC ESPO, LLC during construction in extreme environment of the ESPO pipeline, the Kuyumba-Taishet oil trunk pipeline and other facilities, knowledge of the region, its geology and climate will play into the hands of professionals, enabling to ensure most efficient deliveries of materials and equipment to the remote sites, to build quicker, and to optimize labor inputs.

Some 250-300 jobs will be created during construction of each station. The HR policy of Transneft, JSC encouraged maximum engagement of locals in the work, PMC ESPO, LLC officials said.

“What’s more the builders will leave and facilities will need maintenance. It is more profitable for the company to engage local staff for that purpose (with adequate qualifications), rather than bring professionals from far-off places. So even after construction is finished, new stations will retain jobs in the region,” PMC ESPO officials noted.

Reference

Performance parameters of the ESPO pipeline system at the Taishet pipe-end pump station - Skovorodino PS section of 2,694 kilometers long (exclusive of backup lines of underwater crossings) after reaching the capacity of 80 m tons of oil annually will be ensured by 21 PSs.

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