It is the first plant of this kind being established at this extremely harsh weather latitude above the Arctic Circle. In winter wind gusts can reach 144 km/h and temperatures can be as low as -50°C with an annual average of -10.5°C. There is almost no natural light during the 5 winter months and the sea is frozen for seven to nine months per year.
The Yamal LNG project is being built by a joint venture (JV) between TechnipFMC (50%), JGC Corporation (25%) and Chiyoda Corporation (25%). It is owned by Novatek (50.1%), Total (20%), CNP (20%) and China Silk Road found (9.9%). The project is a integrated complex for natural gas and gas condensation production, consisting on three trains (production units) of 5.5 mpta (Million Ton per annum) each. It is located closed to the Sabetta port in Russia. It will receive gas produced from the South Tambey Field located in the Northeastern part of the Yamal Peninsula in the territory of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. The LNG plants are part of the Gas transformation chain for far country export. Unlike neighborhood countries receiving gas via pipeline, this process is consisting on liquefying the gas for sea transportation using LNG tankers to serve far located countries. This project delivered customers are located in Japan, Korea and China. Liquefaction is the only way to reduce the volume of the gas for storage and/or transportation. It takes up about 1/600th the volume of natural gas in the gaseous state. The liquefaction process requires a lot of cooling and condensing capabilities generally provided by API 661 Air Fin Coolers. Kelvion Thermal Solutions SAS built its core activity on this business during the last 25 years during which LNG industry has been booming. The success story first started in the 90th in Malaysia and Indonesia followed by the booming in Nigeria, Algeria, Qatar and Australia from 2004 to 2014. In 2004 Russia invested in a first big plant supplied by Kelvion in the Sakhalin Island and lately in Yamal area. Since three years, it is now the US market that took over its place in this race to become the largest natural gas supplier of the industry. The big challenge on the Yamal LNG is obviously the temperature of the site. Not only the project design had to take into account these much strengthened conditions but also the way to build the plant was an issue.
The project team decided to have the whole plant modularized outside Russia in order to work faster and in better conditions away from the cold weather using established infrastructures which are not available in Sabetta area. Thus, large modules supporting Kelvion Air fin Coolers were built and transported by sea to the final location in Russia for connection at site. These modules are 45 m high (top of the air coolers) which is the highest modules Kelvion has been dealing with in the Oil and Gas industry to date. The sea motion had to be taken into account for the design and calculation of the Air Coolers which were awarded to Kelvion Thermal Solutions back in December 2013. The order was the largest ever for Kelvion reaching 45.3 Mo€. The scope of supply included the engineering, procurement, fabrication and assembly of 421 air coolers bundles assembled as 218 bays covering 21 process units of the plant. Among the large numbers were the 595 fans and mechanical drives required for the air coolers and the 932 header boxes for the tube bundles. The project is consisting on three phases so called trains which were delivered is a specific sequence to fit the construction requirements. The project organization involved Kelvion Thermal Solutions SAS factory in France and Kelvion Thermal Solutions Jiangsu in China. The duration was three years up to the final delivery in December 2016. Kelvion thermal Solutions SAS received the order managed the project, the engineering and the header boxes manufacturing. The header boxes were then shipped over to Kelvion Thermal Solutions in Changshu by containers. Kelvion Thermal Solutions Changshu was then producing the required finned tubes, and assembling the tube bundles using the header boxes received from France. All the supporting structures were ordered from France and delivered to Changshu as well as they had to answer very specific low temperature mechanical criterion. Then our team in Changshu established their own assembly yard in Daxinhua port along the Yangtse River to assemble the air cooler bays which were too big to transit by road. Some of the bays were reaching more than 7 m wide and 16.5 m long for a unit weight of 50 T. The client was then sending vessels on which we loaded our air cooler bays to be transported to the final assembly yards located in Tianjin, Qindao and Penglai. The customer then erected our Air Coolers on top of the modular pipe rack sections for alignment and piping connections. Then each of those large modules are being shipped again to their final location in Yamal Peninsula for site installation using a summer road or winter road depending on the status of the sea freezing nearby the plant. The first train is due to be commissioned within 2017 and production of liquefied gas should start in 2018.
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