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A new Gazprom emerges

Summary

Over the past eighteen months, Russian gas monopoly Gazprom has put in train a restructuring programme which aims to radically transform the company. Nitrogen & Methanol presents its annual update on the Russian gas situation along with a look at the detail of the planned reorganisation of the company.

Abstract

At the moment, the Russian gas industry is still Gazprom. Apart from some isolated production of associated gas from oil drilling everything else still belongs to the great former state monopoly, now partially ­privatised. An estimated 94% of gas production and 100% of transmission is in Gazprom’s hands, and while local distribution companies handle gas sales domestically, some 20% of Russia’s gas is also sold directly by the company. Gas sales netted $20.5bn in 1996; 48% in Russia, 22% to Western Europe and 14% to Eastern Europe, with 16% to the rest of the Former Soviet Union – mostly the Ukraine. This last figure is under review in light of problems with payment

By any standards Gazprom is huge. The company accounts for over 7% of Russia’s GDP, and 25% of government tax revenues. It possesses one third of the world’s gas reserves (around 33.4 tcm). It supplied 20% of the gas consumed in western Europe last year, 55% of that consumed in eastern Europe, and virtually 100% of that ­consumed in Russia.

However, while Gazprom once enjoyed an unprecedented degree of favour with the Russian government, via Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin, a former company chairman whose political party has been extensively backed by Gazprom’s coffers, the climate has changed in Russia to the extent that the company has been forced to restructure its activities.

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Least cost approaches to ammonia plant efficiency

Summary

Tom Evans investigates some of the latest ways in which ammonia producers can improve their plant performance without breaking the bank.

Abstract

In the increasingly competitive world of ammonia production, producers are always looking to improve plant throughput and lower costs. This is especially true for the operators of older, higher-cost plants where modernisation is needed to compete with more modern lower-cost producers. The following article aims to cover some of today’s modern and popular options for improving ammonia plant efficiency without excessive expenditure. For a detailed study of current CO2 removal energy saving options, see Nitrogen 229, pp. 37-52.

Objectives for modernising an ammonia plant include the following:

  • Increase capacity
  • Increase energy efficiency
  • Accommodate a change in the feedstock
  • Improve plant operating conditions, thus prolonging equipment life
  • Combination of all or several of the above

 

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Revolutionary reactor

Summary

Dmitri L. Astanovsky and Lev Z. Astanovsky of Fast Engineering Ltd., Russia, describe the development and success of the company's novel ammonia synthesis reactor

Abstract

The main objectives for advancing existing and new ­ammonia plants are as ­follows:

  • Reduce energy consumption
  • Reduce capital investment
  • Solve environmental problems

Many companies in the world are carrying out research projects in the design of new processes, equipment and catalysts, as well as the modification of existing processes, in an attempt to meet these targets.

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