Sakhalin Energy is carrying out its first-time MR axial compressor modification and charcoal adsorbent replacement at the LNG plant. The activities have been planned to be a part of the 2020 turnaround that is being executed across the Sakhalin-2 integrated gas chain.
The axial compressor, which was custom-built for Sakhalin Energy and has no analogues in the world in terms of dimensions or capacity, is being modified to enhance its operability. Its purpose is to build up pressure and enable circulation of mixed refrigerant across the natural gas liquefaction cycle.
“Over the years of operating the compressor, we have conducted an in-depth analysis of its performance and come up with suggestions on how to upgrade it so as to improve its reliability and minimise the risk of future failures,” says Alexander Singurov, the company’s Deputy Production Director and the Prigorodnoye Asset Manager.
During the turnaround, the compressor will be stripped of more than 90 tonnes worth of detachable parts, its internals will be inspected, and some elements will be replaced with modified analogues. The process will be supervised online by engineers of the manufacturer, MAN Energy Solutions Switzerland. This will become possible thanks to the use of state-of-the-art explosion-proof digital video units, which can be safely operated within the process area of the LNG plant.
This year, yet another job, i.e. one involving replacement of the charcoal-based mercury adsorbent used during natural gas scrubbing prior to liquefaction, will be a first not only for the LNG plant but also for the whole of Russia. According to the maintenance charts, the replacement must be carried out once every 8 to 10 years. The natural gas originating from the Lunskoye field of the Sakhalin-2 project is pure in composition, so the engineers predict that the adsorbent being removed will contain no mercury in its free form.
Alexander Singurov emphasises that safety is the company’s topmost priority. Therefore, a highly experienced specialist contractor will be hired to perform the maintenance work. Besides, spent charcoal adsorbent containing only a negligible amount of mercuric sulphides is virtually harmless to people. Used materials will be turned over to licensed companies who will haul away and dispose of them.
Some 800 specialists will be involved in the technical activities at the LNG plant, including contractor staff.
26 June 2020