• Wed. Sep 28th, 2022

Nord Stream Turbine Tension Focus Gas Pipeline Parts

ByRandall B. Phelps

Aug 24, 2022

Content of the article

MOSCOW — Tension over the giant turbines that Moscow blames on reduced flows through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline has put stress on the equipment it needs to operate.

The crucial piece is the SGT-A65, a 12-metre-long, 20-tonne Siemens Energy turbine which is due to be brought back to Gazprom’s Nord Stream Portovaya compressor station after maintenance in July.

Content of the article

He is stuck in transit through Germany, with Russia pointing to outstanding issues over his transport and Western sanctions, while Germany blames Moscow for deliberately delaying the process.

Advertisement 2

Content of the article

On Friday, Gazprom announced a three-day shutdown of Nord Stream 1 from August 31 to September 2, as the only gas compressor remaining in operation at Portovaya requires maintenance.

It had already cut gas supplies via road for 10 days for annual maintenance last month, resuming flows at below normal levels on July 21.

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

President Vladimir Putin said the West had unleashed an economic war aimed at destroying Russia and its economy, and promised to sell Russia’s vast energy resources to countries in Asia, such as China, if customers Europeans did not want to buy them.

Gazprom, controlled by the Kremlin, has reduced flows through Nord Stream 1, the largest gas pipeline carrying Russian gas to Germany, to 20% of its capacity due to what it describes as faulty equipment, including the SGT-A65 turbine whose return was delayed.

Advertisement 3

Content of the article

The St Petersburg-based company said Canadian, European and British sanctions made it impossible to deliver the Siemens turbine to the Portovaya compressor station.

Germany said the turbine was just a pretext and that Moscow was using the gas as a political weapon. “They don’t even have the courage to say ‘we are in an economic war with you,'” German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said last month.

Gazprom also shut down another Siemens Energy gas turbine at the station, citing routine maintenance and the “technical condition” of the engine. Currently, only one turbine is in operation.

TURBINES AND COMPRESSORS

Eight aeroderivative industrial gas turbines were originally manufactured by Rolls-Royce for the Portovaya station. Rolls-Royce’s gas turbine manufacturing business was acquired by Siemens Energy in 2014.

Advertisement 4

Content of the article

These turbines are needed to power centrifugal compressors, which build pressure by condensing volumes of gas to ensure smooth transport of fuel.

Rystad Energy analyst Lu Ming Pang said the units required maintenance after 34 months of operation.

“Like the July 12 hold to July 21, market participants are wary of the possibility that flows may not return on schedule, if at all,” he said.

According to Gazprom, six of Portovaya’s gas pumping units have a capacity of 52 megawatts (MW) each, while two units have a capacity of 27 MW each.

Additionally, there are four spare turbines on site to ensure the station continues to pump if some equipment has to leave the site for maintenance, which typically happens every two to three years, a person familiar with the matter said. .

Advertisement 5

Content of the article

Two of the six major units can sit idle without reducing the station’s capacity, a source familiar with the station’s operations said.

Gazprom did not respond to questions about Nord Stream 1 operations.

“Naturally, a lot of people say ‘it’s only the Russians making excuses as they pressure the European energy market,'” said Jonathan Stern, Distinguished Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. .

“It’s quite possible because we don’t know enough from Siemens or Gazprom about the maintenance schedule. The problem is that neither side gives us the information we need.

WHAT IS PORTOVAYA?

The Portovaya compressor station is located near the Russian city of Vyborg, on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, where the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline enters the Baltic Sea.

Advertising 6

Content of the article

The station pumps natural gas across the Baltic Sea via Nord Stream 1’s 1,224 km (760 mile) undersea route to where it lands in Germany’s Greifswald. Gazprom calls Portovaya the largest compressor station in the world.

Nord Stream 1 has a design capacity of 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year. However, the pipeline pumped more than 59 billion m3 in 2020 and 2021 after measures were taken to increase capacity, which represents more than a third of Russia’s total gas supply to the Union. European.

Portovaya reached a daily record of almost 177 million cubic meters per day in 2020.

RUSSIAN TURBINES

Russia produces turbines with a maximum capacity of 25 MW.

Engineering firm Power Machines is developing two types of turbines with capacities of 65 MW and 170 MW each, he said.

The 65 MW turbine is not expected to start operating in test mode until 2024, and the other later in 2022 or 2023.

Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said in a speech to parliament last month that Russia was speeding up testing of large turbines “in the interests of Russia’s power sector”.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Jan Harvey, Barbara Lewis and Mark Potter)

Advertising

comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. See our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.