High-quality service is a required factor in the efficiency and reliability of gas treatment equipment

The efficiency and reliability of process equipment for gas treatment and gas supply directly depends on the most important factor – high-quality technical service during the warranty and post-warranty operational period. In the ENERGAS Group, these tasks are solved by the service and technical division created back in 2008. We spoke with the Alexander Kramskoy, Chief Executive Officer of ServicENERGAS.

Alexander Alexandrovich, the specialization of the company ServicENERGAS obliges you to delve into the root of all the necessary tasks facing servicing process equipment, especially in the gas treatment and gas supply segment, where increased safety requirements are imposed. What priorities do you note here?

– I will immediately emphasize the importance of the process equipment in the production structure of gas energy and the oil and gas industry. Not so long ago, as applied to generating facilities, the division went into "primary" and "auxiliary" equipment. Now, experts are more scrupulous and accurate in professional terminology and speak of "generating" and "process" equipment. It is not just a pun.

The point is that, in my opinion, it is wrongful and even fundamentally erroneous to call "auxiliary", for example, gas treatment process equipment – the operability of any power plant equipped with modern gas turbine, gas reciprocating or combined cycle gas turbine units directly depends on the efficiency, reliability and maintainability of this process equipment.

This is already an axiom: without a high quality and continuous integrated gas treatment, the source gas entering these power plants simply will not receive the necessary project parameters for purity, humidity, temperature, pressure and flow. That is, systematic, efficient and reliable operation of power units will not be provided in accordance with their design capabilities.

It seems to be a direct relationship understandable for professionals, but, alas, not all specialists yet give due importance to the quality of the gas treatment process and gas supply, and, accordingly, the technical service of equipment which work for the end result. For objectivity's sake, nonetheless, I note that we at ServicENERGAS annually state the growth of examples of professional understanding and responsibility for maintaining the efficiency of process equipment.

Most operating companies are aware of the flawed approach "when it breaks, then we will fix it" and take care of performing programs of the planned service. After all, in the end, timely maintenance of gas treatment units provides clear benefits. The main thing is that the assigned resource of the units themselves is ensured and the uninterrupted operation of the coupled equipment throughout the entire facility is guaranteed. Whether in the gas power industry, the oil and gas sector, or in another gas-using industry.

Please tell us more about such an experience.

– The competence of ServicENERGAS is the solution of the whole complex of service tasks on the process equipment supplied by ENERGAS and other manufacturers – during the erection, pre-launch preparation and commissioning, in the course of operation.

I will cite the following data: as of March 2020, the total operating time of all existing ENERGAS units was more than 13 million hours. Every year dozens of new gas treatment units are commissioned. Naturally, for their normal operation and full working out of the assigned resource, timely maintenance is required, and, if necessary, upgrading, routine or major repairs.

Now about our opportunities. Mobile brigades of ServicENERGAS are based in Moscow, Belgorod and Surgut. Service specialists have high technical qualifications and unique experience in performing work at highly dangerous and technically complex facilities. Last year, our engineers made over 300 visits to work at various sites, including remote and hard-to-reach.

In the first place, I will put equipment upgrade projects. Sometimes a situation arises when upgrade creates the only opportunity to ensure the regular operation and the declared technical characteristics, or even the operability of the equipment.

I will give an example. The basis of the compressor station No. 4 Western Tebuk of LUKOIL-Komi LLC is made up of units of one of the Russian manufacturers. So, these units failed so often, that the operating company was forced to make their overhaul in the annual plans of mandatory service work.

But CS No. 4 is an essential element of the extractive and generating infrastructure of the region. The station compresses associated petroleum gas coming from the Pashninskoye, Savinoborskoye and N. Odesovskoye fields. The compressed APG is pumped into the transport pipeline to the city of Sosnogorsk, where it is used as fuel for the turbines of the Sosnogorsk CHPP. A compressor station utilizes about 100 thousand cubic meters of gas per day.

We were invited to help sort the situation out. ServicENERGAS experts examined the equipment and identified two main problems that were caused by design errors: 1) the lubricating oil entering the screwed compressors had a critically low temperature, which constantly led to the "licking off" of sliding bearings with subsequent damage of the main compressor components; 2) the actual characteristics of the units according to the inlet pressure and gas delivery pressure did not correspond to the required design parameters at the facility. As a whole, this has caused emergency shutdowns, especially in colder seasons.

First of all, we upgraded the oil system, installed the bypass of the heat exchanger and provided the ability of quick start in the winter. We reduced the compression ratio of the working environment. We expanded the temperature range of oil and compressible gas, made new settings, improved the cooling system of compressor units. We installed new ACS software. At the same time, the specialists of our repair service performed an overhaul of the compressors.

As a result, over the past two years, the operation of this equipment does not bring any complaints. The operability and reliability of the units are now maintained in routine mode – through scheduled maintenance carried out by our service engineers.

This is an example in the oil and gas industry. And what about electric power industry facilities?

– It should be said about the project, completed at the CHPP-1 production site of Ufa CHPP-4 (LLC Bashkir Generation Company). Here our specialists carried out technical re-equipment of gas turbine power plant GTPP-25P in part of gas treatment and fuel feeding.

At first stage, the feeding pipeline was upgraded. It is now equipped with highly efficient filtration system. The degree of gas purification is 100% for particles larger than 5 microns. The throughput is 7,600 m3 / h. According to the process flow diagram of gas treatment, the new system is installed before a booster compressor station (BCS), which provides gas compression and its supply to the GTPP turbine.

The second stage of project consisted in the implementation of a scope of works to upgrade and bring the BCS to modern standards for the production and operation of gas compressor equipment.

A new screw oil-filled compressor is installed – the main element of the BCS. Two-tier capacity control system is improved; improvements allow the compressor station to respond as quickly and correctly as possible to changes in load under transient operating modes of a conjugated gas turbine. Maintenance and upgrade of the BCS oil system were performed which now uses ester synthetic oil ESTSYN CE specially created for units based on screw compressors.

The BCS cooling system is upgraded in order to reduce the temperatures differential of the compressed gas and oil in oil system. Modern software is installed; after connecting and setting up, the updated BCS automated control system is reintegrated with the upper level of the APCS of the gas turbine power plant. There were added new set points and protections. BCS was pressure testing with nitrogen – checking all assemblies and connections for tightness.

At the final stage (after start-up and adjustment works and own tests) there was took place comprehensive testing of equipment under load – in conjunction with gas turbine unit. Testing was conducted stepwise under various turbine capacity modes – from 2 to 22 MW.

As a result, the implementation of the Ufa project has raised fuel gas quality, gas feeding reliability and, consequently, GTPP operation efficiency.

What else, besides upgrade projects, does ServicENERGAS live in?

– A significant place in our work is occupied by routine (local) and major repairs. At the same time, we do not accentuate who supplied the equipment – our parent company ENERGAS or other manufacturers.

This January, at the combined-cycle power generating unit CCGT-225 of the Syzran CHPP there was completed inspection type "C" (overhaul) of gas turbines. Fuel feeding to the PG6111FA turbines is carried out here by ENERGAS system which comprises gas treatment station and compressor station consisting of three units.

A break in the CCGT operation allowed us to perform major repairs of gas compressor units No. 1 and No. 3. The ServicENERGAS specialists replaced screw compressors, carried out local repair and restoration works, replaced consumables, including gas filters of 1st and 2nd purification stages and oil filters, replaced the previous oil with an oil of the new generation ESTSYN CE, fulfilled pressure testing of units, carried out pre-start tests.

Usually the repair is preceded by audit work. One of the latest examples is the technical audit of vacuum compressor stations (VCS) at a number of Gazpromneft-Noyabrskneftegaz JSC facilities in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area. As a result of the inspection there were compiled defect sheets, prepared recommendations on replacement of defective and exhausted assemblies and components, proposed plan for routine works and major repair of the VCS. In total, our experts checked four stations.

We carried out the most extensive restoration activities on vacuum CS operating at the BPS-1 and BPS-3 of Vyngapur field. These VCSs form here the basis of a system for recovery of APG coming from low separation stages. Among other things, the range of works included the dismantling of compressors, their delivery to the repair site in Noyabrsk and back, the actual repair of the units, re-installation, adjustment, and own and integrated tests of VCS as part of the facilities.

Technical audits are conducted not only on existing equipment. For example, at the end of last year, we were accredited with the revision of the membrane facility propylene recovery at the SIBUR Tobolsk petrochemical plant. And already this March, ServicENERGAS completed the preparation of this equipment of immense complexity for commissioning.

It sounds somehow easy and straightforward.

– Honestly speaking, this project became a real professional challenge for us. The start of the facility in Tobolsk was preceded by a thorough study of the project, a range of repair, upgrade and adjustment works, as well as a testing cycle.

Employees of exclusively the highest technical level of the company were involved in the work – leading engineers and engineers-experts; our chief engineer constantly supervised the project. At various stages, the specialists of customer, LLC SIBUR Tobolsk, of manufacturer of the facility, BORSIG, and of our Swiss partner, Enerproject SA, made an invaluable contribution. In general, this project deserves, of course, a separate discussion.

In general, from an engineering and technical point of view, complex tasks are especially interesting. As an example – reconstruction of the starting compressor unit for the gas turbine power plant of the East-Perevalnoye field. We consistently carried out its repair, upgrade of the oil system, the replacement of the main element – screw oil-filled compressor. The new aggregate was additionally equipped with a system for monitoring the temperature of the sliding bearings and a system for monitoring the axial shear of the compressor screws. There was installed new software, connected and configured ACS, carried out start-up and adjustment works of unit. The equipment was commissioned after its own tests and a 72-hour comprehensive testing as part of the GTPP.

I would like to note that such practice of attracting our service engineers and experts by operating enterprises is constantly growing.

Thus, ServicENERGAS performs the whole range of technical activities: erection supervision and engineering supervision; preparation of equipment for launch (adjustment and testing); maintenance during the warranty period; service support in the post warranty period; technical audit; upgrading; routine repair; overhaul with the dismantling of equipment; technical advice and training of customer’s operational personnel; reconstruction of equipment taking into account new operating conditions; comprehensive reconstruction of faulty equipment; supply and replacement of spare parts, components and consumables.

On the last item, I note that we are talking only about original spare parts and consumables. Because the equipment supplied by the ENERGAS Group is designed so precisely that the use of analogs with unconfirmed characteristics leads to equipment breakdowns.

Well, what other key company differences and features does your team have?

– The basis of the work of ServicENERGAS is the principle of professional specialization. Therefore, in our company in the status of the engineering departments, four departments work in concert: construction and erection, launch, service and repair.

The entire service process is based on organizational and engineering experience that we have accumulated in carrying out and maintaining 153 energy and oil and gas projects in 37 regions of Russia and the CIS countries.

Since 2007, the ENERGAS Group has commissioned 294 units. Project geography is from Sakhalin to Kaliningrad. Our equipment operates in the Far East, and in Yakutia, Siberia, in the Far North, in the southern and central regions of the country, in Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as outside the country – in the Republics of Belarus, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

On top of that, the concern for current supplies and the expanding of the product range of ENERGAS. From one year to another, the number of service projects related to equipment from other manufacturers is growing. As a result, the amount of work increases significantly, and new specific features arise. Hence, the tasks of professional development of our engineers, maintenance of the high quality of technical services, and the selection of new qualified personnel are particularly important.

And here we fundamentally count on the capabilities of the Repair and Training Center – RTC, which is being built at the production site of the ENERGAS Group in Belgorod.

Tell us more.

– The repair shop is created by upgrading the existing repair base. It is being equipped with new equipment, modern machines and assembly and disassembly mechanisms, specific devices and tools. The area of the warehouse of original spare and component parts will become larger. At the same time, we optimize and clarify the regulations for restoration work. The range of repaired equipment is expanding.

At the design stage, we carefully studied the relevant experience of the world's leading manufacturers of screw compressors. If it is possible to implement all the solutions, then in terms of equipment and thoughtfulness, our repair shop will have no analogues in Russia.

The functions of training and professional development are assigned to the training complex, the structure of which allows combining theoretical and practical training. The practical training site is being equipped with analogues of the elements and systems of the ENERGAS gas treatment units operating at the facilities. These are compressor blocks, various process modules, electrical components, control systems, engineering systems.

We develop seminar and test-training programs of various complexity levels in advance. Standard courses include basic skills in installation, start-up works, launch, maintenance and repair. Specialized "advanced" courses include training in fine adjustment of equipment, considering emergency situations and troubleshooting algorithms, exploring new standards for the production, operation and maintenance of equipment.

With the opening of our own Repair and Training Center, we will have the opportunity, what is called "from scratch", at a qualitative level to conduct training and the admission of our mechanics and engineers of initial tier to independent fieldwork.

As for our experienced and proven specialists, the RTC opens up prospects for improving the existing system of professional development and recurring certification of employees. Therefore it provides the best employees with career growth in the structure of the company and opens up the possibility of obtaining high positions of engineers of the 1st category, leading engineers, and engineers-experts.

We also plan to organize internships for students of specialized degrees of technical universities based on the RTC continually – of course, in the expectation that in the future this approach will provide ServicENERGAS with worthy young specialists.

Alexander Alexandrovich, you have now slightly revealed the future of the company. What, in your opinion, is the main priority for the success of this future?

– It is well known that the criterion of truth is practice. In addition, our experience shows that the regular scheduled maintenance of the working condition of the equipment and the prevention of malfunctions are much cheaper than major repairs in case of an unexpected breakdown. From a professional perspective, I am very pleased to ascertain that more and more operators are aware of the inferiority of the "economy" in the service.

Therefore, on a mutually beneficial basis, the ENERGAS Group develops as a main priority the Long-Term Services Program. In the framework of this Program, we, together with the operating companies, elaborate long-term plans and sign long-term contracts (up to 36 months) for carrying out comprehensive maintenance of process equipment.

The list of actions is coordinated with the customer and the schedule of work is determined. A "road service card" is born, where each stage becomes less costly for partner than similar work performed one-time or, moreover, in an emergency mode. This is our expectation for overall professional success. The correctness of approach is confirmed by life itself.

An illustrative example is the maintenance of fuel supply equipment for the 4th and 5th power units of the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk CHPP-1, the largest energy source in the Sakhalin Region. For the past eight years, we have been performing service activities here at the gas treatment unit and at five two-stage compressor units. Routine works are carried out every 4,000 hours of operating time – with the sequential shutdown of the units, which ensures non-stop operation of the power plant.

Does this direction require new methods of work?

– Absolutely true, let me explain with an example. In January, ServicENERGAS and LUKOIL-Komi extended for three years a long-term agreement, under which our engineers perform comprehensive maintenance of gas treatment and gas supply systems for the power supply complex "Usa" (GTU-CHPP at the Usinsk oil field) and power supply complex "Yarega" (GTU-CHPP at the Yarega oil and titanium field). These multifunctional systems provide the design parameters of fuel gas for purity, humidity, temperature, pressure, and flow. They consist of 9 process units: two packaged gas treatment units and seven gas compressor stations in the Arctic version.

Well, to fulfil our obligations under this contract as efficiently as possible, we specially created a separate subdivision Ukhta in the structure of ServicENERGAS. Its employees are located continuously at the sites of power supply complexes and ensure the uninterrupted operation of gas treatment units.

The main advantages of the new format are obvious: thorough knowledge by service engineers of the features of "own" equipment, continuous and direct monitoring under operation of the equipment, clear planning for the supply of components and consumables in the required volume, prompt response to emergency situations and the ability to anticipate their occurrence, "live" working dialogue between specialists at the facilities.

It is this approach that we consider the most promising, and work in this direction is a priority. The immediate plans include the creation in the company’s structure of special subdivisions, geographically tied to clusters of key facilities of the service and technical segment.

How do you cope with the difficulties arising from the coronavirus epidemic?

– In short, we are always ready for operational work at any facility in the oil and gas industry and electric power industry, where the process units supplied by ENERGAS operate. Our service experts can also provide specialized assistance to all enterprises operating gas-using equipment – in terms of ensuring high-quality treatment of working gas of any type and composition.

The situation is certainly not simple. Sanitary restrictions have been introduced at the regional level and the level of our customers. The sites on which we work are classified as high-risk facilities and are often vital infrastructure elements. Therefore, we must be fully ready for field trips and supply of spare parts to ensure the maintenance of the declared level of reliability of our equipment; this is what we are currently doing.

In the last month only, service activities were carried out at a number of facilities, among which N. Odesovskoye field, Central CHPP in St. Petersburg, Kharasavey field, Vostochnaya GTU-CHPP in Vladivostok, Yarega field, Grozny TPP, Rechitsa field, Yelabuga GTU-TPP, Usinsk field, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk CHPP-1, Verhnekolik-Egan field, Syzran CHPP, CGCTP of Rospan International in East Urengoy, petrochemical plant SIBUR Tobolsk.

I want to emphasize that we strictly comply with the requirements of regional authorities and customers. The preparation, even before entering the facility, it is necessary to undergo self-isolation and testing for coronavirus in the region. To date, we have received the passes required for movement. At the same time, outside business trips, our employees work remotely from home. Of course, we want to give a special appreciation to our specialists, who in the current conditions, start-up or maintain equipment directly at the facilities. In short, the epidemic rigorously examines our collective responsibility and personal discipline, organization and psychological endurance.

Thank you, Aleksander Aleksandrovich, for the informative and interesting conversation.

– Taking this opportunity, I express my gratitude to our colleagues and partners – specialists of all companies that successfully operate modern process equipment for gas treatment and gas supply. Dear friends, ServicENERGAS is open to collaboration and ready to come to your rescue.

Industry-specific magazine "SPHERE. Oil & Gas"

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