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Unit Birwelco completes 85MW HVAC back-up heater for Yamal LNG

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LNG Industry,

Unit Birwelco has announced it has completed the construction of a complex, multi-million pound project to supply a pre-assembled fired heater package to a Russian LNG Plant.

The 900 t skid-mounted module pre-assembled 85MW fired heater package will supply essential heating to the client’s process plant and offices on the north-east of the Yamal Peninsula.

This has been one of the most important projects undertaken by Unit Birwelco to date, because of its sheer scale, because of the scope of the services required and because all structural elements, mechanical equipment and instrumentation had to be configured to function at extremely low temperatures. The equipment is for use in Northern Siberia, where the ambient temperature regularly plummets to minus 50°C.

The project schedule was 16 months in duration, but because the Arctic Northern Sea Route remains open to shipping for only part of the year, timely completion of the project was essential.

Because of the harsh local weather conditions the equipment was to be installed 2 m above ground level on a purpose-designed support grillage, to ensure plant operator access areas were kept above the winter snow and pack ice levels.

The package was also to be supplied with all documentation translated into Russian and fully certified to meet stringent Russian technical passport requirements.

Unit Birwelco General Manager, Carl Blewer, commented: “Load-outs are always spectacular events to watch and this one was particularly satisfying, since it was the culmination of such a challenging and exciting project for Unit Birwelco and for our specialist team of engineers, designers and project personnel. The sheer scale of the heater package, the requirement for the maximum possible extent of pre-assembly, and the specialist metallurgical considerations imposed by the extreme Siberian winter temperatures, combined to make this a very demanding project. In particular, all the equipment that we engineered had to be able to operate in Arctic conditions, with a design temperature of minus 50 degrees Centigrade. All structural elements, heater pressure parts, and piping materials were made from low temperature carbon steel, whilst instrumentation and electrical items had to be winterized with trace heating and insulation, or placed within heated enclosures.”

“All those involved at Unit Birwelco are to be commended for their application and expertise in delivering this impressive project on time, to exacting project specifications and to a very challenging schedule. The Yamal project has, at times, required us to take a radical approach to our design and delivery methodology, not least because of the comprehensive project specifications and Russian national standards applied by our client. Consequently, it has been a real showcase for the full range of expertise we offer at Birwelco," he continued.

The project scope included design, fabrication and pre-assembly of the modularised dual fuel gas fired heater, which stands at more than 50 m tall, weighs 900 t and will deliver in excess of 85 MW of heat duty.

The fired heater, is the largest Russian heater supplied by the company to date, involving 40 000 engineering and project hours, and engaging Unit Birwelco’s skilled engineering, procurement and construction teams.

Mr Blewer added: "Unit Birwelco is one of only a small number of contractors worldwide who can fulfill the full cycle of work from engineering and procurement through to construction for large-scale projects within the oil, gas, refinery gas, refinery, chemical, petrochemical and utilities industries."

Edited from press release by

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