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The pipe loses competition

Against the backdrop of the protracted development of the gas transportation network in Primorye, the development of the LPG market

The pipe loses competition
Photo: Vladivostok Airport - one of the first consumers of LPG // author: volkova natalia / shutterstock
Five years ago, in 2011, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin officially launched the Sakhalin - Khabarovsk - Vladivostok gas pipeline in the capital of Primorye. The transition of city power facilities from coal to natural gas began as early as next year - this was largely due to concern for the environment Vladivostok. The city has indeed become significantly cleaner - coal dust remained for residents of the capital in Primorye in the past, but despite this, the long-awaited gas did not reach the Primorye region in full. 

According to Andrey Shutov, Development Director of the Center for Gas Technologies, gas supply to the private sector, industries and, which is very important, its tariff cost for the end consumer, are in direct connection with the economic development of the Far East. “The main natural gas fields are located on the Sakhalin shelf, and a single gas transmission network with the mainland has long existed. However, this network is not loaded even by a third, ”says Mr. Shutov.

In fact, the capacity of the Sakhalin - Khabarovsk - Vladivostok gas pipeline allows pumping up to 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year. According to some experts, the current load may be about 6 billion cubic meters of gas per year. As the EastRussia correspondent was told in the Administration of the Primorsky Territory, "currently, the objects of the city of Vladivostok consume about 1 billion cubic meters of gas per year." 
At the same time, according to the Administration, in accordance with the General scheme of gas supply and gasification of the Primorsky Territory, the total gas consumption of the Primorsky Territory is 11 billion cubic meters of gas a year. This figure, we recall, is supported by plans for gas supply to such large consumers as the gaming zone Primorye, Artemovskaya CHPP, the gas chemical and petrochemical plant in Nakhodka, the Nakhodkinskaya CHPP, the gas processing plant in the Khasansky district, the LNG plant and others.

Pipe will wait for consumers
Information on the development of gas supply and gasification of the Primorsky Territory to the EastRussia correspondent was provided by the acting director of the Department of Energy of the Primorsky Territory Alla Fortun:

“For the gasification of Primorsky Krai, the Sakhalin - Khabarovsk - Vladivostok gas transmission system was built. The first gas consumption facilities were commissioned as part of the implementation of the subprogram “Development of Vladivostok as a center for international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region” of the federal target program “Economic and social development of the Far East and Transbaikalia for the period up to 2013 of the year”, approved by an order of the Government of the Russian Federation of 15.04.1996 N 480, this is Vladivostok CHPP-2, VTETS-1, TC "Severnaya", plant SOLLERS-DV, mini-CHP about. Russian ("Northern", "Central", "Oceanarium"). Consumers of the FEFU campus are also connected to gas supply, ”says Alla Fortune.

The development of the gas transmission system, and with it the increase in gas consumption, largely depends on the prospects for the emergence of large consumers in the region. Thus, the General Scheme of gas supply and gasification of the Primorsky Territory provides for gas supply to the integrated entertainment resort "Primorye". According to the Primorsky Krai Development Corporation, JSC, it is planned to reach the full design capacity for natural gas consumption by the Primorye resort by 2021.

“The commissioning of the inter-settlement gas pipeline should be synchronized with the preparation of gas consumption facilities with a gas flow sufficient for reliable and safe operation. Thus, the commissioning of the gas pipeline is possible no earlier than 2019-2020, ”said Alla Fortun.

- JSC "NHG" plans to start the gas analysis from the second quarter of 2019, JSC "VNKhK" - from the IV quarter of 2020, - noted in the administration of Primorsky Krai. - The decision to build the Nakhodkinskaya CHPP has not yet been adopted by PJSC RAO ES of the East. The construction of the LNG plant in the Khasansky district was postponed by PJSC Gazprom for an indefinite period.

Alexander Frolov, Deputy Director General of the National Energy Institute, notes that, first of all, a resource base is needed for gasification. Secondly, it is required to build a gas transmission infrastructure.

"The problem is in the infrastructure that local authorities must prepare. That is, if a little simplified, the task of Gazprom is to bring gas to the settlement, and local authorities to prepare everything necessary to receive this gas inside the village. At the moment, the low gasification rate of Primorye is a disaster for Gazprom, because the Sakhalin-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok gas pipeline is under-loaded, and there is the Kirinskoye field, which needs to be put out to full capacity, "the expert notes.

And consumers will not wait for the pipe
Thus, the situation develops in such a way that gasification will take place not earlier than in two years for a number of objects, and for some, it is not expected in the near future. But there is no time to wait for such clusters as, for example, the gambling resort "Primorye" - gasification is needed as soon as possible, and the price is not the main factor for supply.

When the gambling zone was originally designed, it was assumed that the objects would be connected to the trunk gas. However, while this idea remains on paper, therefore, the developers decided to take the opportunity to build energy on the basis of liquefied propane-butane (liquefied hydrocarbon gas supplied by EasternGas). According to the company, mainline methane is, of course, a cheaper option compared to liquefied propane-butane, but in the absence of this, LPG becomes a very competitive fuel. 

EasternGas was the first independent energy company in 2015 to come to Primorsky Krai - to Ant Bay, near the city of Vladivostok, where it built one of Russia's largest modern boiler houses on liquefied hydrocarbon gas. The capacity of the boiler house is 7,4 MW.
The first resident of the gambling and entertainment resort Primorye took advantage of the services of this company.

“It was a bold decision for foreign investors to start cooperating with us without waiting for gasification. Since the beginning of our cooperation, there has not been a single failure, the entire heating season has passed successfully, ”says EasternGas Director Konstantin Dzhunkovsky.

At the moment, there are still many places in Primorye that are awaiting gasification, and the experience of the gambling zone is becoming in demand. For example, the Vladivostok airport used EasternGas services. The boiler room was used for heating in the winter. Movses Bargesyan, General Director of the organization providing the Knevichi airport in Vladivostok - JSC First Investment Company, says:

- When the heating season started in Vladivostok in October 2015, we agreed on a scheduled basis with suppliers who will supply us with liquefied hydrocarbon gas for heating. But one of the potential suppliers failed us already during the beginning of the heating season - the gas did not begin to be supplied on the agreed date. We had to urgently seek a way out of this situation. While EasternGas has already built its boiler room for the gambling zone. We turned to this company and since then we have established cooperation on gas supplies for our airport.

According to Movses Bargesyan, today LPG is the optimal fuel for Primorsky Krai. Konstantin Dzhunkovsky notes that there is a huge potential for the use of LPG in the region: most enterprises in Vladivostok and its environs are heated with non-environmentally friendly fuel. Many residential areas, hospitals, schools, social facilities in Primorye are currently heated with fuel oil and coal.

According to the calculations published in the sources of Gazprom, the transfer of energy facilities to gas will achieve a regulatory level of emissions of harmful substances, because gas is the most environmentally friendly fossil fuel, and when it burns into the atmosphere does not reach ash and sulfur, and significantly less nitrogen and carbon . "Now many enterprises consider LPG not only as highly efficient, but also as an environmentally friendly fuel," Konstantin Dzhunkovsky resumed.

What is the advantage of LPG
Andrey Shutov, Development Director of the Center for Gas Technologies, emphasizes that Sakhalin gas is mainly export-oriented. Therefore, taking into account the real plans for gasification, as well as the objective complexity in the construction of gas pipelines, the use of LPG may become a way out for many consumers.

According to the expert, there is not enough consumption on the mainland for laying medium-magical and local gas pipelines, and there is no corresponding financial opportunity for connecting natural gas.

The key advantage of LPG over methane (with similar indicators of environmental friendliness and energy intensity) is that in hard-to-reach and sparsely populated areas, where the prospect of building gas mains is remote, LPG can be connected today. And the accumulators that plan to build in the near future in Primorye to send LPG for export, will be a significant factor in reducing the price of the resource for local consumers. Experts point out that in modern conditions, the transportation of LPG does not even require a railway - the delivery can be provided by automobile tank-containers.

“The specific heat of combustion of liquefied gas is about 25% higher than that of natural gas,” says Dmitry Ostanin, head of the technical department of Moszapadgaz LLC. The expert emphasizes that the higher the specific heat of combustion of the fuel, the lower its consumption.
“They produce LPG at gas processing plants from associated petroleum gas or the condensate fraction of natural gas. Moreover, the greater the proportion of propane in production, the better it will evaporate during the cold season, which is important in the Far East, ”concludes Dmitry Ostanin. 
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