Turnkey Skin Effect-Based Systems for ZapSibNeftekhim

March 10, 2020

SST Group has recently completed a project involving fitting the pipelines at SIBUR’s new operation ZapSibNeftekhim with heat tracing system based on skin-effect.

Turnkey Skin Effect-Based Systems for ZapSibNeftekhim

February 17, 2020 marked five years since the start of construction of the new ZapSibNeftekhim site — it was on that exact day that the first pile was driven. Since then, a giant operation has grown on the previously deserted site near Tobolsk, Russia, with an area of 460 hectares, which will allow SIBUR, Russia’s largest petrochemical company, to triple its output of polyethylene and polypropylene.

ZapSibNeftekhim and the existing SIBUR Tobolsk site are connected by an inter-site pipe rack. It enables transportation of pyrobenzene, liquid alkali, normal butane, and propane fraction from the SIBUR Tobolsk site to the new operation. To maintain process temperatures, prevent freezing, and ensure process continuity, the five process pipelines of the inter-site pipe rack with a total length of 35 km are fitted with heat tracing systems based on skin-effect by SST Group.

Turnkey electric heating solutions

SST Group is one of the few globally full-cycle manufacturer of induction-resistive (skin effect-based) electric heating systems. This solution is considered one of the best performing for heating pipelines up to 60 km long without an auxiliary power supply network. The system’s operating principle is based on the combined proximity effect and surface effect.

The induction-resistive system IRHS-15000 offered by SST Group consists of a subsystem of heating elements, power supply and monitoring and control subsystems, fasteners and thermal insulation.

We offer a full range of services involved in fitting pipelines at oil and gas facilities with skin effect-based systems, including installation, installation supervision, commissioning, and maintenance. The safety of IRHS-15000 when operated in hazardous areas is evidenced by the international ATEX certificate.

Project phases

SST Group won ZapSibNeftekhim’s tender for the supply of electric heating systems in 2016. Design and delivery of the equipment to the site began in 2017. In addition, SST Group engineers were responsible for installation supervision, field supervision, and commissioning.

Three audits were held as part of the project: incoming control at a dedicated site in Samara, the second audit at the ZapSibNeftekhim site when the equipment was delivered, and the third audit when putting the systems into operation.

The design bureau NIPIGAZ, which is part of the SIBUR Group, acted as the control center. However, in various phases of the project, engineers from ZapSibNefteKhim and the parent company were also involved.

Unique solutions for SIBUR

Another project element unique to ZapSibNeftekhim, as SST Group acknowledges, was a sophisticated control power station, a key element of the power supply and control subsystems of the solution. It was composed of six modules.

An interesting experience was the development of software for the automated electric heating control systems (ACSH) using Siemens technology. Also, as part of the ZapSibNefteKhim project, the level of training offered to the customer’s staff in operating electric heating systems was radically improved. At a separate request from the customer, SST Group prepared and presented dedicated training material focused on operating the IRHS-15000 electric heating system at the SIBUR’s site. Its development took three weeks, while the training course was held on the customer’s site and took a week, including both theory and practice in the field.

The project is completed by now. We wish SIBUR success and many years of problem-free operation of the new site.


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