Gazprom Neft: Developing its green energy

MOSCOW, July 2 – IA Neftegaz.RU. Combating climate change, developing green energy, saving energy resources by increasing the efficiency of their use – these are today issues on the first list of priorities for the entire world economy and for all energy-intensive production. Oil refineries produce one type of energy, and many others spend on its production. Andreev, Head of the Energy Department of the Logistics, Processing and Marketing Group (BLPS) of Gazprom Neft, spoke to the official publication of Rosprirodnadzor “Clean Air” about how to green refineries and about the opportunities offered by the development of renewable energy sources. energy resources.

Increased energy efficiency – is it more about the economy or the environment?
– Both. At first, of course, the main catalyst was the economy. We have clearly calculated the effect of reducing energy consumption, converting energy saved into money, and showing the payoff of the projects. In recent years, the Green Agenda has come to the fore, and at BLPS we have begun to look very carefully at how the program’s activities affect CO2 reduction.2numberX and other gases. So we can say that the energy saving program has a new life.

Were the economic goals maintained at the same time?
– Of course, absolutely. The fact that the level of energy intensity of products has a direct impact on their cost and, as a consequence, on the level of competitiveness of the enterprise is a well-known fact. For oil refining, this is noticeable, because our refineries consume a huge amount of energy resources – electricity, steam and fuel. The share of energy costs in direct production costs is approximately 40%. Therefore, we have always worked to reduce energy costs.

Why?
There are several directions of movement. The main thing is a constant decrease in energy consumption. In 2012, we approved a major energy saving program. Formed for three years due to the need to monitor the payoff of activities, while we adjust and complete it every year – this is living history. The ideological basis of the program is the global standard for energy management ISO 50001. The second direction is to improve procurement of third-party energy resources by selecting the most profitable market offers for electricity, using the pricing approved when purchasing heat.

Does it keep up with the level of energy efficiency?
– We are objective at the level of good refineries in Europe. This is not an unfounded statement, this is evidenced by the corresponding indicator of our enterprises, which is calculated as the ratio of the actual energy consumption of the plant to the energy consumption of the average refinery in the world in a similar configuration. This energy efficiency ratio compares to all refineries in the world.

Upgrade for efficiency

– What made it possible to reach this level and why do you plan to move forward?

– The main thing is to build new high-tech facilities and modernize existing refining capacities. Another strong improvement factor is the introduction of digital technologies. In principle, we started dealing with digitization when it was not in use. All this was called the automation of production and the introduction of microprocessor technology into power plants. We also deal with intellectual accounting systems for energy consumption.

Are there examples of how modernization projects affect energy efficiency?
– Perhaps the most obvious example is the construction of the Euro + oil refining complex at the Moscow Oil Refinery. Replaced five outdated installations simultaneously. Thanks to its launch, the station immediately reduced energy consumption by 15%. In the Omsk refinery, thanks to new projects, we are constantly working to increase the share of consumption of secondary energy resources. Due to the technologies of using flue gas, recovering heat energy in heat exchangers, and using secondary steam energy, we reduce the energy intensity of production processes. Implementation of energy-saving solutions is a mandatory requirement for all projects. There are also a lot of smaller, but also marginal projects of the Energy Saving Program, which provide an additional reduction in the energy intensity index and a reduction in CO2 emissions.2 At about 370 thousand tons / year. Previously, all of this was considered an additive effect, but now it intentionally allows us to reduce the carbon footprint of our organizations. Optimizing combustion systems in process furnaces has an accompanying effect in the form of reduced nitrogen oxide emissions.x.

These are new important indicators with which we will now assess the impact of energy-saving program measures. This is her new addition.

The size of the carbon footprint depends not only on the level of energy efficiency of the refineries, but also on the purity of the energy purchased by the refineries. Are you somehow trying to manage this factor?
– It’s really a problem. At the moment, we buy all the electricity consumed by the plants from the wholesale market, with the exception of 1 megawatt of solar energy, which we produce ourselves at the Omsk refinery. More than 50% of the thermal energy is also purchased. And all this energy is different. Electricity, which we buy for the needs of refineries in the wholesale market, is paid in full at the prevailing competitive rate, without dividing it into dirty and clean. Therefore, we are exploring opportunities to reduce the carbon footprint of products, including by reducing the “carbon intensity” of the fuels and energy resources used in production.

One of the tools to reduce our carbon footprint could be to replace energy from coal-fired thermal power plants with power from generators running on the basis of renewable energy sources through bilateral Free Electricity Supply Agreements (FDD) for our companies.

Separate area – we will consider CO2 reduction programmes2 from our suppliers. Wherever possible, we will gradually replace “dirty” energy with our green generation. Our first solar power plant is already successfully operating at the Omsk Oil Refinery.

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green energy

– Is this a real project, a real attempt to get involved in renewable energy?

We are totally serious about developing our green energy. Of course, 1 MW of the solar power plant in the ONPZ is not so much. But this is less of an economic project and more of a technology testing ground. A year of operation allowed us to develop a number of ideal technical solutions for Russia, which we plan to use in the future.

– Is it already clear how these projects will be?
– First of all, we plan to increase the capacity of the solar power plant in the Omsk refinery to 20 megawatts. The use of an energy storage system in this project will make it possible to increase the reliability of power supply to factory facilities of their own generation. In addition, we intend to implement several renewable energy pilot projects at our off-refinery assets. An analysis of about 80 sites has already been carried out, which made it possible to divide them into groups according to the degree of prospects for renewable energy projects.

– Is the main motive for development in this direction is to reduce the carbon footprint of products?
– Yes, but not only. Our efficient power generation will increase the reliability of power supply to our assets and reduce the cost of purchasing energy resources, which is getting more and more expensive every year. So far, electricity from the wholesale market is, of course, cheaper than generating it from renewable energy sources. However, according to our estimates, grid parity will come in Russia in the near future, that is, the cost of producing renewable energy, taking into account investments, will be equal to the cost of electricity from the grid. This will open up new opportunities for optimizing energy costs at our production sites.

The possibility of increasing energy efficiency and creating a special generation in the resource-intensive refineries is clear. Does it make sense to develop this trend in the areas of logistics and sales?
Technology is getting cheaper every year – this is a fact. Now we are developing projects to create our generation in the Rostov, Kursk, Krasnodar regions, where they can repay without any state support. These are very small things – less than a megawatt, but this is still a direct payoff. Of course, we will not invest in non-refundable projects.

But saving energy is always beneficial. We install efficient light sources at gas stations and implement control systems that regulate lighting, air conditioning and heating depending on the weather and time of day. All this gives a very good effect. In oil depots, complexes and filling stations, we improve the operating modes of pumps, electric motors and boilers that heat fuel. The main drivers for reducing energy consumption are, of course, oil refineries – they are large and powerful. But we also participate in marketing organizations, and for each of them we have developed our own program.

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