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Biosphere technologies deliver a four-fold reduction in water consumption at Gazprom Neft’s Moscow Refinery

Saving water is one of the key priorities in Gazprom Neft’s ongoing development of its directly-owned refineries, in Moscow and Omsk. As at end-2020, the Moscow Refinery had delivered a four-told reduction in water consumption and wastewater volumes — these savings having been made possible thanks to innovative “Biosphere” biological treatment facilities. These water-treatment technologies, developed by Russian scientists, guarantee water purification of up to 99.9%, allowing water to be returned to the production cycle. The Moscow Refinery’s biosphere commenced operation in 2017; construction of a similar complex at the Omsk Refinery is expected to be completed in 2021. Gazprom Neft’s total investment in these two projects is expected to reach more than RUB28 billion.

The Moscow Refinery’s Biosphere has saved more than 10.5 million cubic metres of water in its three years in operation. Construction of Biosphere facilities at the Omsk Refinery remains ongoing: installation of water-storage tanks is now complete, as is construction of membrane bioreactor pools, due to house ultrafiltration membranes capable of capturing the tiniest particles, and installation of large-scale equipment for filtration and physical-chemical purification units.

The Biosphere is an automated multi-stage system, bringing together several of the steps involved in water treatment, with all industrial effluents and storm drainage from the plant passing through flotation blocks, biological treatment facilities, and membrane and charcoal filters, in turn. This technology involves microorganisms that absorb and process residual oil products throughout their lifecycles. An additional feature of the Omsk Refinery’s Biosphere will be an ultraviolet water disinfection unit. After going through each of these stages, water is returned to the production cycle, and filtered oil products recycled. The technologies involved in the Biosphere have received a number of industry and government prizes and awards.

Notes for editors

Gazprom Neft became a signatory to the UN Global Compact — the largest voluntary international corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainable development initiative in the world — in 2020, as part of the company’s ongoing implementation of its sustainable development policy. The same year also saw the company receiving the highest ranking of all Russia’s oil companies in the annual CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) ratings — the most authoritative international survey on companies’ climate responsibility, worldwide.

Gazprom Neft is undertaking a major programme to modernise its Moscow and Omsk Refineries, involving total investment of more than RUB700 billion to2025. Plants have seen the construction and reconstruction of key technological facilities, allowing the complete transition to the production of Euro-5 fuels, significantly improving energy efficiency and environmental friendliness in production. Implementation of the second phase of this project remains ongoing, as a result of which refining depth (the “conversion rate”) and light product yield are expected to to match those of the best refineries, worldwide.