“Fortum” found losses in the pipe “Gazprom transgaz Yugorsk”
Generator refused to recover funds for emergency at Nyaganskaya GRES
The long-term conflict between Fortum, previously controlled by the Finnish Fortum, and Gazprom Transgaz Yugorsk (GTU) has reached a new stage due to a major emergency in Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug. After a series of processes and examinations, the arbitration refused the generator to recover damages. According to the power engineers, due to the ingress of substandard fuel – gas, to the Nyaganskaya GRES in the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug, which, apparently, was associated with improper maintenance of the main gas pipeline, the station’s specialists were actually forced to unload it to the minimum capacity twice a day. This incident led to an emergency and equipment damage. However, this approach was not supported by all experts. A number of analysts have stated, for example, that third-party objects could not have entered the pipeline from areas within the area of responsibility of a Gazprom asset. In addition, experts drew attention to technological features that did not speak in favor of the version with substandard gas, and work defects related to the Fortum itself. For example, a degraded control system was noted, which, apparently, was not the last argument in favor of the GTU. Until the decision comes into force, and as the industry emphasizes, it will affect another much larger financial conflict.
The Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug Arbitration Court issued a new decision on the protracted conflict between PJSC Fortum (managed by the Federal Property Management Agency) and Gazprom Transgaz Yugorsk (GTU)
To clarify, the dispute is associated with an emergency at the Nyaganskaya GRES “Fortuma” and has been going on for several years, having passed through various instances and examinations. Initially, the generating company filed a lawsuit against GTU and PJSC Gazprom for the recovery of damages in the form of expenses for the repair of gas meters.
Representatives of Fortum claim that the Nyaganskaya GRES received gas of inadequate quality between March 7-8, 2018, transported by Gazprom Transgaz Yugorsk, as a result of which the equipment failed and the company suffered losses.
Restoring the picture of events, the power engineers reported that on the 7th at 04:20 Moscow time, a decrease in the inlet gas pressure at the automatic gas distribution station (AGDS) was recorded due to freezing of the protective grid of block box No. 2 and the ingress of foreign objects (pieces of metal, parts of a metal hook thali, ice hail).
The pressure drop led to a decrease in flow, freezing of commercial gas metering units and their failure.
“In order to avoid a shutdown, power units Nos. 1, 2, 3 were unloaded by the personnel to the minimum load, which, in turn, led to the filing of an emergency request for a long-term limitation of available power,” follows from the documents.
Further, repair work was carried out to clean the filters at the entrance to unit box No. 2 of the Nyaganskaya GRES AGDS, after which the station’s load was restored.
However, at 17:42 there was again a drop in gas pressure. “Gas pressure drops on the filter-separators of the inlet section of the gas pipeline of block-box No. 1, 2 <…> reached values at which an alarm was triggered. The load of the Nyaganskaya GRES was reduced by 1335 MW, the gas pressure continued to drop <…>, in connection with which the operational staff decided to further reduce the power of the power units <…> 19:41 Moscow time, the power units were unloaded to a minimum capacity of 5 MW each, gas pressure from the AGDS dropped to 3.2 MPa,” the representatives of the generator described the situation.
The next step was a message from the dispatcher on duty of the Taiga Linear Production Department of Gazprom Transgaz Yugorska about the need to transfer gas supply to the use of the Urengoy-Center 1 gas pipeline and stop supplying Urengoy-Uzhgorod. And already further, the load of the Nyaganskaya GRES was restored after cleaning the filters of the block box.
After the incident, Fortum representatives decided to conduct their investigation causes of the emergency and involved experts.
“The study found that the cause of the incidents <...> was the supply of fuel gas to the GRES site in a state of saturation of hydrates and condensates. The root cause of active hydrate formation and saturation of the gas flow, followed by supercooling and freezing of the liquid fraction until almost complete shutdown of the gas supply to the gas turbines of the power units, was the disturbance of the technological regime of the gas pipeline and the subsequent decrease in pressure in the main gas pipeline, ”followed from the position broadcast by power engineers in court.
However, a number of experts came to a different position. In particular, apparently, the question of how third-party objects could get into the pipeline was discussed.
According to one of the conclusions, the ingress of foreign objects (pieces of metal, parts of the metal hook of the hoist, ice hail) from the sections of gas pipelines belonging to the area of responsibility of Gazprom into the gas pipeline branch at the Nyaganskaya GRES AGDS and their movement onto the protective grid during the incident is excluded .
There was also a difference in the diameter of the pipes, which did not speak in favor of the version of the gas of inadequate quality. “When transporting substandard gas with a 4.6-fold difference in throughput of the main gas pipeline Dу1400 and the gas pipeline branch Dу300, throttling with freezing would occur at the connection point, the beginning of the gas pipeline branch <…>, then on the shutoff valves and 90-degree bends and not could significantly clog the lattice in the tee at the AGDS inlet with hydrates. In other words, the gas pipeline branch at the AGDS of Nyaganskaya GRES 12 would begin to freeze from the beginning, and not from the end,” the experts concluded.
The final touch in the decision, in particular, was the conclusions of the latest examination, which spoke of defects in the operation of facilities in the area of responsibility of Fortum itself.
“These defects contributed to the creation of the incident <...>, since they led to the accumulation of hydrates in the filters (lack of automatic condensate discharge), had a degraded mode control system (discredited time stamps, lack of telemechanical signaling and measurements, violations of the real process of managing operational switching, etc.) , i.e. the plaintiff did not take all the necessary <...> measures to prevent the incident, ”said hzikhidtidekrt expert.
As a result, the court heard the experts, and the generating company was denied the recovery of funds. It should be noted that another claim by Fortum against Gazprom Transgaz Yugorsk, which is connected with the same incident and in which claims for more than 40 million are announced, is in the KhMAO arbitration proceedings. As observers note, if the conclusions of this process are not challenged, the generator, apparently, will fix the next losses.