The Amur gas processing plant under construction near the town of Svobodny, in the Amur Region of Russia, is expected to be one of the biggest natural gas processing facilities in the world with a design processing capacity of 42 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas a year.
Gazprom Pererabotka Blagoveshchensk, a subsidiary of Russia’s state-owned Gazprom Group, is building the facility with an estimated investment of approximately £10.2bn ($13bn).
Construction on the Amur gas processing plant was started in October 2015, with 61.9% of the works completed as of May 2020.
The Amur gas processing facility will spread over 800ha and comprise six production lines, with the first two lines expected to commence operations by 2021. The remaining lines will be brought online before the end of 2024, and the plant is expected to reach its ultimate design capacity by 2025.
The plant will process natural gas and other valuable components such as helium, propane, butane, ethane, and derivatives of pentane-hexane used in the petrochemical and other industries. The processed gas will be delivered to China via the Power of Siberia pipeline.
Amur gas processing plant infrastructure details
A helium production facility, which is believed to be the biggest of its kind in the world with a capacity of 60 million cubic meters (mcm) per year, will be installed at the Amur gas processing plant.
The plant will also produce 2.5 million tonnes (Mt) of ethane, 1Mt of propane, 500,000 tonnes (t) of butane, and 200,000t of derivatives of pentane-hexane per year.
The gas plant construction is estimated to involve 80,000t of steel structures and 220,000m³ of concrete.
Ethane fraction produced at the plant will be supplied as main feedstock to SIBUR’s Amur gas chemical complex which is expected to produce up to 2.3Mt of polyethylene (PE) and 400,000t of polypropylene (PP) a year.
The construction of the Amur gas chemical complex was started in August 2020.
Gas supply to China
The Amur gas processing plant forms a key part of Gazprom’s 30-year gas purchase and sale contract signed with China National Petroleum (CNPC) in May 2014 to supply 38bcm of gas a year through the Power of Siberia gas pipeline from Russia to China via the eastern route.
Gas source for the Amur gas processing plant
The Amur gas processing plant will be supplied with multi-component gas from the Yakutia and Irkutsk gas production centres, also developed by Gazprom.
The Chayandinskoye filed serves the Yakutia gas production centre, while the Irkutsk production centre is based on the Kovyktinskoye gas field.
The project finance deal for the Amur gas processing plant was signed in December 2019 and it won the Russian ECA-backed Deal of the Year Award in June 2020.
Approximately £3.26bn ($4bn) is arranged by 14 banks from Japan and Europe under the Western export credit agencies’ insurance cover for a period of 17 years.
Gazprom will source an additional £891m ($1.1bn) on an uncovered basis for a tenure of 15 years, while the remaining project funding is being provided by eight Russian and Chinese banks.
NIPIGAZ, a part of Russian petrochemical company SIBUR Group, is the general contractor for the project.
German technology company Linde signed an engineering and supply contract for ethane and NGL extraction as well as helium production equipment for the processing plant in December 2015. Linde is collaborating with SRDI Oil & Gas Peton for developing the equipment.
China Petroleum Engineering & Construction (СРЕСС) was awarded an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract for the booster compressor shops as well as the gas dehydration, purification, and fractionation units in April 2017.
Gazprom awarded a £3.47bn ($4.6bn) contract to a consortium of Tecnimont, a Maire Tecnimont subsidiary, and Sinopec Ningbo Engineering, a subsidiary of Sinopec, to provide engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning, and testing services for infrastructure, off-site facilities, and utilities at the Amur gas processing plant in June 2017.
Tecnimont signed a subcontract worth £1.15bn ($1.6bn) with Rönesans’ subsidiary Renaissance Heavy Industries (RHI) for the construction of exterior facilities of the Amur gas processing plant along with roads and communication channels between the process units, and LNG tank with a load rack in May 2018.
Penetron was contracted to provide Penetron Admix integral crystalline water-proofing admix technology to protect the plant’s foundation structures against extreme climate conditions.