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Kirishi Chosen for New Oil Refinery

‘The most recent Russian oil refinery was built in the Soviet Union about 35 years ago.’

Published: March 26, 2014 (Issue # 1803)



  • The KINEF refinery in Kirishi has been in operation since the 1960s and will soon be joined by a second refinery.
    Photo: wikimedia commons

The first new high-conversion residual oil refinery in Russia is due to begin construction in the town of Kirishi, located 150 kilometers southeast of St. Petersburg. Six years in preparation, the Russian Ministry of Energy has granted its approval of the project and the refinery is currently in the design and engineering phase. The first stage of the plant is due to come online sometime in 2017 or 2018 at a capacity of 4 million tons per year, with a subsequent boost to 12 million tons per year.

“The most recent Russian oil refinery was built in the Soviet Union about 35 years ago,” said Maxim Sushkevich, the executive director of the Kirishi-2 Oil Refinery, speaking to The St. Petersburg Times. “After this, only small oil refineries with a capacity of up to one million tons per year were developed. Most other oil refineries are existing plants that have been modernized. The uniqueness of our project is that we are engineering the refinery from the ground up.”

The average rate of residual oil conversion in Russia is 71 percent, according to data from the Kirishi-2 Oil Refinery. Residual oil is oil found in low concentrations naturally or in exhausted oil fields. The figure represents the amount of useful products extracted from the oil, such as petrol or diesel fuel. The remaining 29 percent is made up of mazut, a heavy, low-quality waste oil. The new plant expects to increase the conversion figure to 95 – 97 percent. The refinery is being constructed specifically with this aim in mind.

“Mazut was used in the past for heating. With the move to gas, the demand in mazut is falling in Russia,” said Sushkevich.

“In the past, western oil factories bought mazut as raw material and reprocessed it. From 2015, the taxes on mazut will be equal to those levied on oil. It will become unprofitable to export, as western consumers will not pay the same price for it as they do for oil. If given a choice between buying a good-quality oil or a residual oil, I think the choice is obvious. So there will be a lot of mazut flooding the domestic market,” he said.

It is the domestic market, with its lack of quality fuel, that is the target for the new refinery. The company plans to produce AI-95 petrol, diesel, kerosene and petrochemicals. Yet the company does not discount the possibility of selling the remaining product abroad.

The representatives of Kirishi-2 say that the location of the refinery is suitable, due to prevailing winds. None of the emissions from the factory will affect either Kirishi or St. Petersburg.

It was for this reason that the location was chosen by Soviet authorities for the KINEF refinery, which is often referred to as the Kirishi refinery. The new facility, however, is not related to the old biochemical plant but is a separate entity. The owners of the new plant intend to use the extant infrastructure that is already available on the site, including railway lines and highways that will be used to transport both raw materials and finished products.

“Kirishi-2 will utilize the latest technologies to ensure that the plant is ecologically friendly,” said Sushkevich. “The environment is our priority. Although these technologies will slightly boost our costs, we will recoup our expenses in the end. It is always best to minimize risk, including to our reputation, beforehand. Our goal is for the refinery to wholly service the community, by providing jobs and further stimulating the petrochemicals industry regionally and nationally.”

The refinery’s management estimates that the investment in the first stage of construction will be $6 billion. This will be made up of money from individuals and some private foundations. The Ministry of Energy also runs a program that offers funding for such enterprises, which Kirishi-2 has applied to join.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Sunday, Jan. 25


Get out your running shoes for the 46th International Road of Life Marathon. Dedicated to the end of the blockade, three runs are offered — 5, 21 and 42 kilometer runs — starting in different places outside the city. Busses leave from 13/1 Arsenalnaya Naberezhny at 8 a.m. but check complete details and registration fees on www.newrunners.ru/race/doroga-zhizni-2015



If you are planning a wedding, head over to the Azimut Hotel, 43/1 Lermontovsky Prospekt from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The day includes live music, free dance classes and vendors selling wedding dresses, accessories, cakes and services to help make your special day perfect. Admission is free.



Monday, Jan. 26


Feeling stressed by the crisis? The Northwest Coach University at 3 Ulitsa Vostsstanaya is hosting a master class by lifecoach Tatiana Almazova. She will shed light on the coaching process, the usefulness of coaching during times of economic downturn and how coaching can improve your career and business prospects. The event starts at 7 p.m. and admission is free. Pre-register by calling 424 3700.



Discover the State Hermitage Museum's collection of English painting at a lecture by art historian Yelizaveta Renne at the Prince Galitzine Library, 46 Nab. Reki Fontanki. The event starts at 6 p.m. and the lecture will be followed by a concert of arias, songs and duets by English composer Henry Purcell. The event is free of charge.



Tuesday, Jan. 27


Celebrate the 71st anniversary of the end of the Siege of Leningrad on Palace Square with a free concert at 7 p.m. Listen to WWII-era songs and the poetry of Olga Bergholz while you peruse outdoor exhibitions dedicated to life during wartime. The event is capped off by a fireworks display at 9 p.m.



Stop by the Lexica School of Foreign Languages at 73 Ligovsky Prospekt from now until Friday for a free English lesson. The classes start at 7 p.m. and cover all levels, from Beginner to Advanced. Registration by telephone on 7641692 and a desire to improve your skills are the only prerequisites.







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