Primorsk Port: designed capacity achieved

Primorsk, a state-of-the art oil-loading port built on the Gulf of Finland, is successfully operating for almost five years. Having started with 12 mln tons of oil export per year the port was successively building up its capacities as the Baltic Pipeline System (BPS) was built. In April, this year, two events took place - a ceremony of the BPS startup at the designed capacity – 65 mln tons of oil per year and opening of the second mooring complex in the port for loading tanker ships.

Now the port is capable of loading four tankers at a time. The depth near mooring berths amounts up to 17.8 meters that enables accepting ships having 307 m in length, 55 m in width, and with 150 ths tons deadweight. The total capacity of the pump filling stations is 48 ths m3 of oil per hour. The average period for loading of one tanker is 14 hours, and taking into account piloting, mooring operations, border and customs control, and the loading time itself – this makes a little bit more than 24 hours.

“The port was build using the latest technologies,” Nikolay Pankov, Chief Engineer of Primorsk Specialized Sea Oil-Loading Port JSC, explains. “The oil tank farm comprises 18 vertical steel tanks, 50 ths m3 each; their wall thickness was increased by 2 mm compared to the conventional thickness. Oil is delivered to the port by two trunk pipelines: “Kirishi – Primorsk” with 700 mm in diameter and “Palkino – Primorsk” with 1,000 mm in diameter, with the total capacity of 186 ths tons per day. Raw products are pumped into tanks equipped with automatic level gages. Also, an automatic protection system against oil overflow is provided: three sensors are installed along the perimeter of each tank, which actuate when a certain filling level is achieved.”

The port operation technique is based on microprocessor equipment; everything is automated and computerized. Four metering stations are provided – one per each mooring berth. All oil loading lines are equipped with a flow and quality control system that continuously analyzes such parameters as temperature, density, viscosity, water and sulfur content. Loading of tankers on every berth is carried out by pumping units of the filling stations through loading arms manufactured by FMC Company (France).

The loading arms have airtight connections with pipelines of tankers. A system for automatic disconnection of the loading arms is provided in case of any accident on the tanker moored near the berth or during adverse weather conditions, or in case of improper actions of the ship’s captain.

All actions of the operating personnel during oil loading are computer registered and stored in the control room’s archive.

The oil tank farm is equipped with the most effective fire-extinguishing system. In case of fire (both on the berths and on tankers) sprinkling and foam extinguishing systems are automatically switched on that allows eliminating the fire outbreak within a few seconds. At the same time, the port operation technique itself enables preventing occurrence of any emergency situations.

Over 10% of all funds invested in construction were allocated to ensuring of ecological safety in the port было. The port high-power system of sewage treatment works is designed for acceptance of 2,300 m3 of industrial effluents and storm runoffs per day, and 250 m3 – of industrial-and-domestic effluents.

“From the very first day of this project implementation we paid very close attention to ecology; and the reason was for that since only a lazy person could not twit Russia that it was going to do harm to the Baltic,” said Victor Khristenko, RF Minister of Industry and Energy. “From the first day we demonstrated to all our partners and neighbors in the Baltic that we were going to make the best role model. And we did it. As of today, no standards are available with the port operation practices higher than those, which we succeeded to achieve in the Baltic Pipeline System as regards to ecology. Even storm and snowmelt runoffs that have nothing to do with the technology, are delivered to the water collecting system from the whole territory of the port and are treated prior to their discharge to the Gulf of Finland. And the ecological situation in the water area of the Gulf has been improved for the time of the BPS functioning; concentration of all hazardous substances is lower than the maximum allowable one. This is the best response to all our critics.”

“The most advanced technologies are applied at the sewage treatment works that enables accepting all waste types from the tankers coming into the port,” Elena Radchenko, Chief of Ecological Safety and Environment Conservancy Department of Transneft Company, explains. Strict control over the ecological situation in the port is carried out by an independent eco-analytical laboratory. We organized eco-analytical control of ballast water discharge from tankers; and, by the way this control is not performed in any port in the world. To protect the Gulf of Finland from polluted ballast waters we introduced an unprecedented standard in Primorsk Port, i.e. 0.025 mg per liter – four times higher than for drinking water and higher compared to the European standard, which equals to 0.1 mg per liter. Each tanker arriving at our port is visited by the boarder service and eco-analytical lab personnel, which seal all wastes. Then they take samples from all tanks, from different depths, and take them for the laboratory analysis. From the start of the port operation we stopped 21 tankers and prevented discharging of 380 ths tons of polluted isolated ballast that was returned to ships’ home ports. The port has a “black list” of tankers that do not conform to the international navigation standards. Their loading is prohibited that is why they simply do not arrive to Primorsk Port. These unprecedented measures undertaken by the eco-analytical lab personnel resulted in reduction of oil products content in the Gulf of Finland; now it is 0.01 mg per liter. Thus, for the operational years of Primorsk Port the ecological state of the Gulf of Finland has not deteriorated and even improved many times.

The eco-analytical lab has environment management system certificates ISO 14000 (ecological safety standard), ISO 18000 (occupational safety standard), and ISO 9000 (quality standard) issued by a German certification center, which carries out certification audits and annual supervisory control. Since the laboratory has a status of an independent one, all eco-analytical control results are submitted to the supervisory authorities.

The port has its plan for response to emergency oil spills, special certified divisions – emergency-relief service (ERfS) and emergency-rescue service (EReS). The command staff of these services was trained in academies and was certified in the Russian Ministry of Emergencies. They received oil spill response and man rescue at sea certifications. The ERfS and EReS are completely equipped with trained and certified personnel, which number together with the environmental fleet crews amounts to 127 persons. They are equipped with all necessary facilities: oil-gathering equipment, environmental ships, a barge with a tugboat having an oil-gathering system with up to 400 m3 per hour capacity. “Bryansk”, a ship for collection of bilge waters, has a capacity of tanks equaled to 400 m3 and can collect up to 80 m3 of polluted water per hour. Combined motor boats equipped with oil garbage disposal systems of “Bow Collector type are capable of collecting oil, film and garbage from the water surface.

The port has 10,160 meters of different floating booms capable of localizing oil spills up to 1,500 tons. These are both heavy booms designed for oil localization and collection at sea, and light ones – for shoreline protection. Also, we have fireproof booms and sorption booms used for trapping of oil in small waterways (streams, channels). Moreover, the port has 1 ths m of quick deployed booms, which are self-inflating due to its spring that enables their quick deployment for localization of oil spills. In 2002, “Almaz” Plant built two modern ships-boom boats for Primorsk Port.

Sorption blankets, booms and absorbents can be used for collection of surface film oil products in the port.

Also, the port has its tugboats carrying out active and passive escort of tankers coming for loading. Successful movement of sea giants within the port waters depends upon operation of these small vessels.

Go to Index of # 2(16) 2006


# 2(16), 2006