Vysotsk terminal is put into operation at its full capacity

LUKOIL put in operation Phase III of a transshipment and offloading complex (TOC) on the island of Vysotsk, Leningrad region, in the year of its 15th jubilee. The terminal’s designed annual capacity is 11.6 million tons of oil products. Investments in the terminal construction exceeded $500 million. The latest technique with complex automation and three-level flow control puts LUKOIL II in the range of the world‘s most advanced ports.

The terminal was constructed in a very short time – just in four years. For the past two and a half years, since Phase I was put into operation, carbohydrates have been transshipped for export through this Complex. Having started with crude oil shipment, LUKOIL soon stopped the export of raw material. Then the terminal has been used exclusively for transshipment of light and black oil, produced on the company‘s petroleum refineries. This year the traffic in Vysotsk is expected to reach about 9 million tons.

There are three moorings at the terminal. Two of them receive tankers with a 100,000-ton deadweight. One mooring is designed to receive river-sea class tankers, which deliver fuel to the port through Volgo-Balt system. However, the major portion of carbohydrates is delivered to the port by railway. The terminal is equipped with three trestles to discharge products, their construction excluding inadvertent oil spillage in the soil. Each of three exported petroleum products - diesel oil of EURO standard, vacuum gas oil and fuel – are discharged at heir own trestles. Special equipment is used for discharge operations.

Closed discharge system is of utmost importance: oil products are pumped from tanks through pipelines directly to oil storage reservoirs, wherefrom also through the pipelines they are supplied to the tanker. There are heating cables laid in the terminal, preventing the pipelines freezing during winter time.

At construction of Vysotsk terminal LUKOIL has taken all necessary measures for ecological safety. Even in the stage of TOC design more than 170 million roubles were allocated for construction of facilities contributing directly or indirectly to ecological safety.

This year aggregate reservoir capacity reached 460 thousand cubic meters. Storage reservoirs are welded from 15 - 17 mm thick metal sheets. They are double-walled with 1.9 m distance between the walls, which excludes any leakage. All of the constructions are built on special platforms to protect soil and subsoil waters. Additional square protection limits the territory around the reservoirs in case of emergency leakage. Thus, the protection is three-level.

The measures for effective air and harborage protection have been taken. “Nitrogen pillow” prevents carbohydrates from evaporation and ignition. All units and equipment, which can cause oil products spillage, are located on-shore The terminal is equipped with state-of-the-art purification systems for wastewater treatment. Vibration monitoring is used to determine the state of bottoms and equipment. Effective Fire-fighting protection system is mounted at the terminal. It includes reservoirs spraying, water screens at the mooring sites and foam fire-fighting, including alternate method, when the foam envelops the oil film.

On the whole state-of-the-art equipment along with safety precautions make TOC LUKOIL II one of the world’s most secure ports in terms of ecological safety.

Received tankers must satisfy stringent requirements. They must be double-hulled, must be equipped with isolated systems for ballast water and cargo and with modern navigation systems with electronic maps.

“Even at present the capacities of the transshipment and offloading complex allow the annual shipment of up to 15 million ton of carbohydrates, but this target will be achieved gradually, as required,” says Vladimir Nekrasov, the 1st Vice-Presedent of OAO NK LUKOIL. “The terminal has been built in the framework of the company`s strategic development and was put into operation two years before the construction work plan.”

At present Vysotsk terminal is a sea port, capable to receive large-capacity tankers. The terminal is also equipped with a system of laser mooring, which allows measuring the distance from the forward and aft part to the mooring, as well as the vessel speed. This ensures the absolute precision of vessels movement within the harborage.

Navigation system includes the floating part (buoys) and stationary part (beacons). TOC became part of network - the Global Marine Distress and Safety System (GMDSS). Towboats constantly on guard in the terminal harborage are always alert and ready to come to rescue of the vessels in the Finnish Gulf area. A 108-meter tower with shore radars ensures the effective operation of sea traffic control system (STCS). Complex local system is a part of STCS of the whole Finnish Gulf area. The tower as a part of port facilities complex is also used by frontier and customs services.

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# 4(18), 2006