OPRA installations at an oil field in Western Siberia

OPRA’s advanced OP16 units are currently in use across Russia and the company is also running six turbines in CHP mode at Krasnaya Polyana, site of the 2014 Winter Olympics, writes Camilo Contreras.

Over the past eight years OPRA Turbines has supplied power solutions, based on advance turbine technology to several sites across Russia, including cogeneration solutions for numerous oil and gas fields, industry and Sochi, the venue of the Winter Olympic Games in 2014.

OPRA Turbines manufactures robust, low-emission gensets using the OP16 series of gas turbines, providing advanced 1–10 MW solutions for the oil and gas, marine, industrial and commercial power markets.

Unique gas turbine

The OP16 differs from axial turbines and has been designed as a reliable industrial engine that requires low maintenance and has a long life. The OP16 is an all-radial, single-shaft turbine aimed at power generation applications in the 2 MW range.

OPRA installations at Tedinskoe oil field in Northern Russia

An all-radial rotor construction makes the OP16 a very simple turbine engine. It offers exceptional robustness and performance compared with conventional axial turbines and reciprocating engines in the same power range. OPRA Turbines benefits from more than 50 years of advanced, patented gas turbine technology and has a culture of innovation and unique expertise in all-radial gas turbines.

The centrifugal compressor and the radial turbine components provide high thermal efficiency at a relatively low pressure ratio of 6.7:1. This ratio means that additional pressurisation of the gas fuel is unnecessary. The turbine can operate uncooled at higher inlet temperatures – the lack of cooling apertures prevents clogging, reduces corrosion and allows the engine to run on a wider range of fuels.

The OP16 has four can combustors, which are easily accessible for inspection and maintenance. The combustors are able to burn a wide range of fuels and come in different versions for further flexibility. The main ones are:

  • Liquid fuel burning;
  • Gas fuel burning;
  • Dual-fuel version, where switching from liquid to gas fuel can be done under full load – low emissions on liquid and gas are also available;
  • Burning of low calorific fuel.

The hot exhaust gases from OP16 sets can be used for processes and for heating applications. Running an OP16 on flare gas eliminates wasteful flares while also generating usable power and heat. At full load, about 5 MW of heat is available in the exhaust gases and 5.4 tonnes of high-pressure steam can be generated every hour. The low emissions and high exhaust temperature allow for the direct use of the exhaust heat.

The cogeneration market in Russia is emerging, although the drivers of its growth differ from those in Europe and North America, where gas fuel availability, gas prices and public incentives are the main factors. In Russia, power capacity and distribution problems are the main reasons why end-users deploy cogeneration systems for industrial and oil and gas applications, fuelled by a widely available and low price natural gas.

Powering the 2014 Winter Olympics

The early need for power to be used in constructing the sites and facilities for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia drove equipment orders as early as 2006 for OPRA Turbines.

OPRA Turbines has successfully supplied and commissioned six OP16 gas turbines operating in combined heat and power mode as a power solution for facilities owned by Russian energy giant Gazprom at the site of the games at Krasnaya Polyana, Krasnodar Krai, near Sochi. Facilities include hotels, entertainment centres, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, lifts and an industrial zone with power plants, laundry facilities and a fire station.

The site has seen some seasonal peaks in demand for power and heat, even though the Winter Olympics are still nearly two years away, but three or four units running on natural gas meet its 4 MW power requirements. One of the turbines has been upgraded to dual-fuel to also run, if necessary, on diesel. So, there is 50% redundancy in the system, with two units on standby to provide increased availability.

A heat recovery system enables the OPRA turbines to provide district heating for the Olympic site, including the Grand Hotel Polyana, a luxury hotel with an Olympic-size swimming pool.

Power is also supplied to the Biathlon and Ski Complex, where the biathlon, cross-country skiing and Nordic combined (cross-country skiing and ski jumping) competitions will take place.

Three of the turbines were commissioned in 2007, with the remaining three the following year. They have accumulated 120,000 running hours in island mode, as there is no grid connection and power was needed during the construction phase of the facilities as well.

Almost 600 metres above sea level, the site was originally a small mountain village now being redeveloped for the Olympics. By now, the power supply of the resort area will have increased by over 1000 MW, of which 300 MW would be for Olympic sports facilities, according to Russian authorities.

Seven OPRA units installed in parallel in Russia to deliver 14 MW of electricity and 20 MW of heat

Serving the oil & gas industry

Tedinskoe oil field

The Tedinskoe oil field operated by Lukoil and located in the Nenetsk Autonomous Region of northern Russia is a typical example of a small, remote oilfield that requires on-site power and heat generation to enable oil and gas production.

In 2005, OPRA Turbines installed two of its OP16 combined heat and power (CHP) units to provide on-site heating and baseload power, with some of the heat used to supply trace heating for oil pipelines to enable winter oil pumping.

The OP16 units use wellhead gas to supply 1.8 MWe each. They are also attached to hot-water boilers, providing 3 MW each in thermal energy.

The gas turbines have been in operation since 2005, building up an impressive performance record. They have each achieved around 50,000 hours running time, working constantly, although 40,000 hours is the standard period between overhauls for the OP16 turbines.

Yuzhno-Russkoye gas field

Operated by OJSC Severneftegazprom, the remote Yuzhno-Russkoye gas field is located in the Krasnoselkupsky district near Novy Urengoy in western Siberia, Russia. The site can be accessed by road over frozen lakes during winter, when the ambient temperature can be as low as -55°C (rising to around 25°C during summer), with frequent snow storms and high winds.

Severneftegazprom’s gas treatment facility is a highly automated complex, and one of the most sophisticated units of its kind in Russia. The field contains high-quality natural gas reserves estimated at 1 trillion m3, making it one of the largest in Russia.

Since 2009, seven OP16 gas turbine units have been running on natural gas to provide baseload power and heating at the site through water heat boilers attached to the turbines. The overall power and heat provided is used for running the field facilities.

The seven OP16 gas turbine units provide energy to this facility, which delivers gas to the Unified Gas Supply System and is released through the Nord Stream pipeline to Europe via Germany.