Gazprom Neft’s Moscow Refinery has further improved the operation of its “Biosphere” biological water treatment facilities, with water — now reaching 99.9% purity — being used for steam generation in line with the plant’s requirements. This technological solution — unique to oil refining in Russia — will further reduce heat and electricity consumption. The economic benefit from these initiatives is expected to reach more than RUB120 million per year. The Biosphere is one of the key projects in the second phase of upgrading and modernising the Moscow Refinery, under implementation by Gazprom Neft since 2011.
Producing steam for production facilities is a crucial component in oil refining — steam is used for heating feedstock, is used directly in technological processes, and is integral to fire safety systems. Steam was previously sourced from a city combined heat and power (CHP) plant, meaning water and energy had to be used in producing it. The Biosphere’s technology ensures optimum cleansing of the Moscow Refinery’s wastewater, meaning this can then be used to produce steam. Additional infrastructure has been put in place as part of this project, involving the laying of more than 1.5 kilometres of pipelines, and the construction of a new pumping station.
“Increasing energy efficiency and reducing resources consumption is an important element in developing the Moscow Refinery. Even in its initial design, the possibility of further reducing resources consumption has been integral to these innovative Biosphere biological treatment facilities. Thanks to this complex now being in operation, more than 80% of water is now returned to the production cycle. Generating steam from this water means the production cycle can be optimised, and the number of operations reduced — cutting heat and energy consumption.”Vitaly Zuber Director General, Gazprom Neft Moscow Refinery
The Moscow Refinery’s Biosphere project was among the key initiatives in Russia’s “Year of Ecology”, allowing the Moscow Refinery to cut water consumption more than five-fold in the space of two years, and saving four million cubic metres of water — equivalent to half the capacity of the Khimkinsky reservoir (the main city reservoir, in north—east Moscow). The Biosphere has received a number of industry awards, including the Moscow City Administration Award for Environmental Protection. A larger complex is now being built at Gazprom Neft’s Omsk Refinery, with work expected to reach completion in 2021. The company’s total investment in Biosophere systems at its Moscow and Omsk Refineries currently stands at more than RUB28 billion.