Anticorrosion System at Oil Refinery

Great difficulties are on the way of establishing modern petrochemical enterprises. But they are not connected merely with the fact that considerable investments are needed. The construction of Antipinsky Oil Refinery in the Tyumen Region has become an example of a successful project on the establishment of oil refinery facilities from scratch.

Oil refinery units constitute the basis of the complex. Off-site facilities are included in the industrial structure in order to accept oil, ship finished oil products to consumers, provide refinery units with energy sources, exercise quality control over technological processes, supply the enterprise with water, heat, and electricity.

The refinery is connected to oil-trunk pipelines of Transneft JSC at Tyumen-3 oil pumping station, it operates a delivery and acceptance point consisting of the oil-volume measurement system and the oil metering station. There are two either-direction rail-tank filling racks, three oil and crude discharge racks, two tank-truck filing racks, a unified computerized control system integrated with the computer network of the refinery, high-speed external communication links.

“Fire protection and anticorrosion activities have been carried out at the enterprise just from the date when its construction began. Even nowadays they are conducted on a regular basis. Application of fireproof and anticorrosion coatings is included in annual work plans for the purpose of achieving maximum protection for the existing infrastructure against the impact of negative factors and environments,” Chief Engineer of Antipinsky Oil Refinery Andrei Serbsky is quoted as saying.

The most difficult anticorrosion works were carried out at the Finished Product Shipment and Oil Acceptance Sector.

Oil refineries are built in workflow phases. It is conditioned upon the fact that the construction of such facilities as oil refineries with maximum possible refining efficiency reached during the production of a full range of high-quality motor fuels requires considerable capital investments. Each workflow phase implies the organization of some finished production cycle, oil refining, and shipment of a certain set of oil products to consumers. This is the way of development of Antipinsky Oil Refinery CJSC. According to Andrei Serbsky the most difficult anticorrosion works were carried out at the Finished Product Shipment and Oil Acceptance Sector. It is subject to scheduled operations of loading of products to railway cars which were underway in the course of works. The cargo traffic on dispatch and acceptance of rail cars did not stop, too. Metal structures were located between two fronts of filling and works were performed during intervals between oil-product loading. But the works had to be suspended from time to time due to unfavorable weather conditions sometimes for several days and sometimes people had to work at night.

Quality control over completed anticorrosion works is exercised at the enterprise by Lead Mechanic Office and Technical Supervision Department. Besides, in most cases visual analysis only is not enough and specifically for these purposes non-destructive testing equipment has been acquired.

By the way, the absence of at least one component of control can lead to extremely undesirable consequences: thus, poorly studied technical documentation can lack all specific requirements for conducting some or other tests. If one takes a dry-layer thickness meter and obtains several values using it, such activities cannot be called painted-layer thickness measurement, because each measurement procedure is to be carried out according to established standards. It results in serious claims imposed by the project participants. Sometimes problems develop in the course of applying coatings giving rise to two eternal questions: “Who is to blame?” and “What is to be done?” To put it otherwise, on whose account defects extending the time period of putting the facility into operation and generating expenses should be. That is why the main criteria for selecting a contractor company for performing works at Antipinsky Oil Refinery CJSC facilities were the availability of approvals for anticorrosion activities, technical equipment suitable for carrying out these works, a comprehensive process flow chart needed for performance thereof which takes into consideration even the state of environment during the application of coatings, as well as experience of taking part in similar projects. Naturally, it means that a proposed contractor should have a very worthy reference list. As for materials required for anticorrosion and fire-protection works they have been selected on the basis of thorough analysis: they were displayed at specialized exhibitions, service personnel willing to cooperate with Antipinsky Oil Refinery applied test coatings to the sections of pipelines and equipment operating under conditions similar to actual as much as possible.

Annual scopes of anticorrosion work at the enterprise are rather impressive. But at the current stage of industrial development it is not planned to establish a special department for carrying out activities on chemical protection of surfaces. “Maybe we will set it up in future. The quantity of equipment is growing, new processes, in which corrosive and aggressive environments originate, come into existence. If it turns out that to engage outside organizations in these works becomes more expensive than to cope with them using our own resources we will train personnel for the purpose of fulfilling such works,” Chief Engineer of Antipinsky Oil Refinery Andrei Serbsky said.

During the recent eighteen months activity of leading service companies which some time ago began to promote anticorrosion services is declining.

During the recent eighteen months activity of leading service companies which some time ago began to promote anticorrosion services is declining. By the way, these are the enterprises which have amassed experience on both, domestic and international market, with Russian and foreign customers. At the same time a lot of new companies have appeared whose activity is not always up to the mark. Nevertheless, qualified personnel is extremely in great demand since it is not easy to maintain experienced foreign specialists from Ukraine, Croatia or other states. Experts in the area of anticorrosion protection who were employed at plants in Nikolayev, Sevastopol, Kerch and lost jobs in connection with economic crisis are going to Russia. But payment demands and expenses for foreign workforce are rather high. That is why in recent years top managers of organizations and separate structural units express their intentions to delegate their employees to training centers more frequently. All these factors can contribute to taking a decision on the establishment at Antipinsky Oil Refinery of a department for the application of fire protective and anticorrosive coatings.

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