The Russian president officially opened a giant gas processing plant in the Russian Far East on June 9. It will be supplied by the Force de Sibérie gas pipeline, operated by Gazprom. Its main customer will be the Chinese Sinopec.
Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the signal on June 9 that the first unit of the Amur GPP gas processing plant (named after the Amur River that separates Russia from China) will go into production. Still under construction by Gazprom, it is located near the town of Svobodny, some 5,700 kilometers east of Moscow.
During this ceremony, which took place by videoconference, the Head of State, after congratulating the teams, hailed “an industrial complex […] of strategic importance “and underlined its cost” exceeding 1 trillion rubles [11 milliards d’euros]”, Ie an amount equivalent to that of the Nord Stream 2 submarine gas pipeline project.
Vladimir Poutine also expressed his confidence in the full entry into service of this installation, which should include five production units by the deadline scheduled in 2024-2025. Finally, he welcomed the international dimension of the project, which brings together some 35,000 German, Croatian, Italian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Russian and Serbian nationals for the entire duration of the project.
The governor of the Amur region, Vassily Orlov, for his part hailed a “historic moment for the region and for the whole country”. He also praised the construction of road, rail, river and social infrastructure accompanying the implementation of the project.
27 kilometers of access roads, a quay on the Zeïa river and some 40 kilometers of railways have in fact already been created. A residential area for the employees of the factory is under construction in the town of Svobodny, and should eventually include a clinic, a kindergarten, a school, a sports complex and a cultural center with a concert hall.
1000 suppliers and 500 subcontractors
Construction began in October 2015. Gazprom, through its subsidiary Pererabotka Blagoveshchensk, is the investor, one of the customers and the operator. The site is managed by a subsidiary of the Russian petrochemical group SIBUR, and the basic equipment for gas separation is supplied by the American-German Linde. Around 1,000 equipment suppliers and more than 500 contracting companies participated in the project, which is financed by 22 banks from Europe, Asia and Russia (Gazprombank, SberBank, VTB Bank, Otkritie Bank and VEB.RF) .
The plant is supplied by the Chaïadinskoye gas field, operated since 2019 and producing 25 billion cubic meters of gas per year with proven reserves of 1,200 billion cubic meters. The extracted gas is transported by the Force of Siberia gas pipeline which connects the region to China. Another deposit, that of Kovytkinskoye, producing 27 billion cubic meters per year, with proven reserves of 1,800 billion cubic meters, should soon be connected to the gas pipeline, and also contribute to the production of the plant.
Operating at full capacity, the plant will produce 2.4 million tonnes of ethane, 1.5 million tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and 200,000 tonnes of pentane-hexane. The main customer will be the Amur Gas chemical complex, a joint venture between the Russian company Sibur and the Chinese petrochemical company Sinopec.