Aleksin Plant of Heavy Industrial Valves - Tyazhpromarmatura
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Competition in valve manufacturing: ability and progress of Russian producers

"Pipeline transportation 2008"
Reporter: Deputy Chief Engineer
Anisimov V.P.

Pipeline transportation of Russia has a history of more than a hundred years, it started with industrial development of oilfields in Baku and Grozny. As it was said by Dmitry Mendeleev the main purpose of pipelines was making one of the bases for oil industry development and introduction of Russian oil into world market.

Today pipeline companies not only organize and expand geography of conveying systems but also carry out reliable, economically efficient and ecologically safe supplies of hydrocarbons for customers.

It is impossible to solve this problem without modern, reliable equipment. It is naturally that requirements for engineering data and for quality of the equipment become more and more strict. The brightest example of such a process is realization of two major pipeline projects – pipelines "East Siberia – Pacific Ocean" and "Vankor-Purpe".

In such conditions healthy competition between different equipment suppliers becomes fundamentals of production development and search of effective engineering solutions. It also allows Customers to choose products meeting modern requirements for quality and safety.

One of the most important parts of conveying systems is stop valves because valves ensure efficient isolation of possible troubles and preventing emergencies.

Analyzing modern Russian market of pipeline valves, a sharp rise of competition between manufacturers becomes evident. New enterprises are constructed and traditional valve makers expand the range of their products. Foreign companies come in Russian market. Technical level of products, especially domestic, constantly improves. Today to be competitive in our field means to keep up on world valve manufacturing and to use latest novelties and achievements of this branch.

The main modern tendency of world valve making is manufacturing of equipment for certain operation conditions. For this purpose new designs are developed, modern sealing materials are used, inspection methods are improved and become stricter.

Alexin plant of heavy industrial valves pays special attention to these parameters.

Products of our plant are well known to oil industry workers and gas industry workers. They operate successfully on the oil pipelines BPS, Tajshet+30, KCP, gas pipelines Blue Stream, Jamal-Europe, SRPO-Torzhok, oil product pipeline "North". Quality of Alexin valves is proved not only by numerous opinions of enterprises which use the valves but also by its portion at the sites of major pipeline companies of Russia and CIS. According to information submitted by Administration of gas and gas condensate transportation of PJSC "Gazprom", more than 74% of total amount of valves operated by "Gazprom" – valves made by Alexin plant. We have lately introduced a range of engineering novelties. They include:

  • orbital welding of transition pipes;
  • anticorrosive coatings for valves of buried installation;
  • modification of loaded friction couples;
  • application of lubrication modified with disulphitemolybdenum.

Production capacities of PJSC "Tyazhpromarmatura" allow us to satisfy any demand in valves for main hydrocarbons transportation. In 2007 the plant manufactured and supplied more than 1500 pipeline valves DN 700-1400 mm. Products were supplied to all major pipelines under construction, for example, Vankor-Purpe, ESPO.

Another component of enterprise competitiveness is a wide choice of types and dimension types of valves. Opportunity to purchase different valves at the same plant allows Customer to optimize his cost of transportation and reduce service expenditures.

PJSC "Tyazhpromarmatura" works actively in that direction. It extends dimension types of slide gate valves – production of gate valves DN 300-400 mm for different pressure range is mastered. Safety valves with increased flow factor are manufactured.

A full range of check valves DN 1000 mm for oil is under development. In this development we used new engineering solution – put damper inside the valve which allows to make products having many advantages.

Valves for natural gas transportation are also under development. On the threshold of construction of gas pipeline "Bovanenkovo-Uhta" a full range of ball valves DN 1400 mm Pp125 was developed. These ball valves employ absolutely new pneumohydraulic actuator which allows to reduce consumption of gas and hydrofluid. Stops, which limit ball turning, are put inside the ball valve.

Considerable disadvantage of Russian valve manufacturers in competitive activity for some time past was absence of steady and organized production of ball valves which are able to operate in aggressive service conditions. There are no finished tested sealing technologies of our own. Customers are not ready to wait. We found a way out of this situation. Together with Italian company "Petro Valves" we work out valves for environments with increased aggressivity, for example, with increased content of hydrogen sulfide. Industrial cooperation with Italians, who have experience in supply of ball valves resistant to long term influence of aggressive factors, will allow PJSC "Tyazhpromarmatura" to offer Russian customers qualitative domestic products analogues of which previously used to be bought abroad.

At the same time engineers of Alexin plant together with leading sealing producers carry out testing of new modern materials. Today we test such materials as PEEK, flubon, superfluvix and by the end of 2008 we plan to start production of ball valves intended for operation in environment with high temperature, increased content of methanol, diethyllenglycol as well as for operation with unleaded benzine.

It is doubtfully that these achievements are possible without close cooperation with our partner, company "Oil and Gas Systems".

Thanks to investment policy of this company, directed to extension of production capacity and improvement of products quality, over a period of the last two years the company realizes some major investment programs. For example, blank production was fully reequipped, efficient equipment of leading world companies was purchased. Welding and metal working production are equipped with new facilities; the project was developed for foundry which allows to increase capacities up to 20 000 tons of castings, to improve quality of casts and to optimize design of products` bodies.

Planned realization of investment programs and new production developments allow Alexin plant of heavy industrial valves to compete with different manufacturers, including foreign companies, and win tenders for supply of equipment for major projects.

For example, for the last year volume of supply of Alexin pipeline valves to the foreign countries raised and became over 13,5 million US Dollars.

Last year we performed a contract for supply of a large batch of ball valves DN 1400 mm to Kazakhstan for extension and reconstruction of gas pipeline "Middle Asia – Center".

Valves of Alexin plant were recognized to be better than Chinese during a tender for equipment for the third line of Kazakhstan-China pipeline, section "Kenkijak-Kumkol`". International expert organization Moody assessed the companies. The plant developed and manufactured a new ball valve DN 800 mm for this project. It`s significant that in the beginning we were ordered only the aboveground part of the equipment, but after the Chinese ball valves started to fail they ordered also the buried part of the equipment. It is planned to produce 60 large-size valves.

There are two more examples of competitiveness of our valves. Ball valves of Alexin plant will operate at the gas station in Turkmenistan. This station is constructed by Belgium company ENEX. And it invites tender for supply of equipment for the station. We have already supplied valves for pipeline "Sugaromu –Krasny most", Georgia. The tender was issued by American investment company Millennium Challenge, which sponsored this project.

Import substitution is one of the most urgent objectives which were defined by Russian government. Scale of activities of domestic oil and gas industry is so large that it is of great significance for development of economy in whole and concerns interests of many people. Capacities of machine building companies which supply products for Fuel and Energy Complex allow to compete with foreign manufacturers not only for a good case of the industry but also for socio-economical development of regions and creation of favorable business atmosphere, support good working conditions, social and spiritual wellbeing of people.

I am sure that today Russian valve manufacturers are able to fulfill these tasks. The evidence of this is example and experience of PJSC "Tyazhpromarmatura".




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