TGC-16: TAIF’s big energy

The history of formation and development of Group’s generating company

Modernisation, efficiency, eco-friendliness, reliability are key principles pursued by all TAIF Group companies and characteristic of its energy component. The new history of TGC-16 JSC dates back to 2010, but the manuscript of the power plants themselves (Kazan CHPP-3 and Nizhnekamsk CHPP) is much longer. And the history of TGC-16 has always been closely linked with the history of the development of Tatarstan petrochemistry. In the year of the 100th jubilee of the Tatar ASSR and 30th anniversary of TAIF Group, Realnoe Vremya publishes a cycle of articles on TAIF Group in Tatarstan’s history. This part is dedicated to Group’s big energy: TGC-16 generating company that has celebrated its 10th jubilee in 2020.

Kazan CHPP-3: built for big chemistry

The early 60s of the past century are the era of large-scale construction and launch of new areas in the industry in the USSR. Powerful plants were built in the north of Kazan, including the future flagship of Tatarstan and Russian petrochemistry — Kazanorgsintez.

The capacities of operating generation of Kazan (CHPP-1 and CHPP-2) weren’t enough anymore to provide both the growing city and new enterprises with necessary amounts of energy. On 11 May 1964, the State Committee for Energy and Electrification of the USSR approved the task to design a new CHPP in the capital of Soviet Tataria. The main goal of the power plant became to supply the future petrochemical giant and a considerable part of the republic’s capital with heat and electricity.

“During those years, the republic, especially the capital, had a big shortage of energy. Suffice it to say that we often had to turn off city lighting and even tramway lines at peak hours. The capacities of the CHPP-1 and CHPP-2 didn’t meet the city’s needs for electricity,” remembered first Director of the Kazan CHPP-3 Fatykh Shagiyev. “First of all, I familiarised with technical documentation approved by the design task. What I learnt simply amazed me: low-calorie Kuznetsk coal from Tom-Usinsk Field with high humidity and ash content was to become the main fuel for the CHPP-3”.

They couldn’t expect reliable and uninterrupted operation from the CHPP with such fuel. Shagiyev made sure of this after sending a brigade of boiler engineers to examine boilers of the Tom-Usinsk Hydropower Plant. Coal coming to the plant even from the closest fields — just 6-40 kilometres from the hydropower plant — was frozen in wagons, which excluded mechanical unloading, not to mention the Kazan CHPP-3 where coal had to cover 3,500 k. The director of the plant had to send a letter to Moscow.

“I based on a report of the brigade of engineers, explained the catastrophic deficit of electrical and thermal energy capacities in Kazan, tried to explain the economic aspect of the issue. I made proposals based on the above. Firstly, to leave mazut as the main fuel at the Kazan CHPP-3. Secondly, to envisage the construction of an oil refinery in the republic to provide all power plants of the Tatar republic with fuel. The letter was addressed directly to Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers A. Kosygin. I realised I breached the subordination, understood the consequences, but I put the importance of my activity above all. And the issue got moving, not immediately, with difficulty, overcoming numerous obstacles I managed to transfer the Kazan CHPP-3 from coal to mazut,” Shagiyev himself remembered.

The elaboration of the project of the Kazan CHPP-3 ended in May 1985. In September, 101 hectares of land was allocated for it. The construction began in 1966, and a year later, in December 1967, three peak water heating boilers PTVM-100 with a capacity of 100 Gcal/h each were put into operation. The plant began operating in January 1968 with the launch of the fourth boiler the constructors began to erect the main building and prepare for the assembly of energy equipment.

In December 1970, the State Commission received the first launching facility — TGM-84A energy boiler and ST-60-130/13, while the Kazan CHPP-3 generated the first industrial current on 8 January 1971 already. The gradual launch of the equipment of the plant’s first phase was completed by 1973. The plant’s capacity was 260 MW by then.

In August 1977, after the assembly of gas pipelines and hydraulic fracturing, the Kazan CHPP-3 began using gas. The construction of the second phase of the plant began in 1980, and the installed capacity of the Kazan CHPP-3 reached 440 MW by October 1983. Before 2010 the KCHPP-3 was part of Generating Company PJSC (now Tatenergo JSC), then it joined TGC-16 JSC. Today it is the biggest industrial thermal power plant in Kazan with an installed electrical capacity of 789,6 MW and heat capacity — 2,390 Gcal/h.

Nizhnekamsk CHPP is the age of Nizhnekamskneftekhim

1967 is a special year for Nizhnekamsk because the backbone enterprise — Nizhnekamsk Chemical Factory, which later was named Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC, produced the first goods. The energy heart of industrial Zakamye region began to beat in February 1967. The thermal power plant provided the country with the first industrial current on 26 October, 1,5 hours to the midnight.

The decision of the CPSU Central Committee and the USSR Council of Ministers On Construction of Europe’s Biggest Petrochemical Complex and Satellite City in the Tatar ASSR was made as early as 1958. And it was already clear then that the future petrochemical complex and the city growing next to it would need their own source of energy.

The decision to build the Nizhnekamsk CHPP was signed by the Council of Ministers on 25 April 1962. And preparations began on a construction site designed for the plant in July 1963.

1965: the temporary base and support facilities were erected, the main building was built, foundations for boilers were laid. The first of two transformers was hooked up a year later, electricity was turned on and auxiliary mechanisms, turbines, the first phase of chemical water treatment, mazut equipment, ZRU-110 switchgear were tested. 1967: the plant was put into operation and fed Nizhnekamsk Chemical Factory with thermal and electrical energy.

Four years later, the CHPP grew into six boilers and five turbines. Five years later, there were launched seven boilers and six turbines. The total electrical energy capacity of the plant reached 480 MW. By 1977, 11 turbines with a total electrical capacity of 1,000 MW had been operating. The CHPP’s thermal power capacity became 3,885 Gcal/h. In 1984, all boilers of the plant consumed natural gas, which allowed significantly reducing the environmental impact.

The biggest industrial CHPP of Tatarstan (and one of the largest in Europe) joined TGC-16 JSC on 1 June 2010. Its contemporary history dates back to this moment: the manuscript of modernisation and introduction of the latest technology.

“Our power plants were created by one decree on republican petrochemistry in the middle of the last century. The Nizhnekamsk CHP was designed for Nizhnekamskneftekhim, Kazan CHPP-3 — for Organic Synthesis. It was the biggest enterprises at that moment and drivers of financial development nowadays. This is why these two plants had and keep having colossal importance for industrial development, it is the biggest heat and steam producers in the republic, while the Nizhnekamsk CHPP-1 is probably the biggest heat producer in Russia,” Eduard Galeyev noted in an interview with Realnoe Vremya.

TAIF Group: billions of investments in energy

Immediately after the acquisition of the power plants, TAIF Group thoroughly elaborated stages of a strategic programme aimed to increase the reliability and efficiency of the energy complex. The role of support and key instrument in achieving goals that were set were given to dramatic modernisation of generating capacities. TAIF Group’s investments in big repairs and reconstruction of the Kazan CHPP-3 and Nizhnekamsk CHPP exceeded 13 billion rubles in less than six years, that’s to say, from 2010 (when TGC-16 was created) to 2016.

So in 2013, according to Energy Saving and Energy Efficiency Improving Programme that was adopted, the first turbine drive was put into operation at the Nizhnekamsk CHPP that allowed reducing energy consumption for the plant’s own needs by 2,5 MW. Thanks to this, 23 million kWh of electrical energy a year is saved. And it isn’t the only advantage of the use of turbine drives. Due to such improvement of the system, the enterprise’s available electrical capacity grows — electrical energy and heat increased. In 2014, two turbine drives were assembled and launched at the Kazan CHPP-3 as well.

The first stage was designed to provide sufficient reliability of uninterrupted supply of heat and electricity to consumers. The second stage is integrated reconstruction, substitution and upgrade of power plants. Moreover, TAIF’s management strictly ensured that the implementation of investment projects wouldn’t bring to a rise in the value of the enterprise, which means growth of the price for thermal and electrical energy for end consumers.

In 2014-2015, an open 110 kW switchgear was reconstructed at the Kazan CHPP-3 together with Grid Company. The construction of 220 kW aerial cable lines at the CHPP-3 allowed dividing electrical energy supply into separate lines from the CHPP-2 and CHPP-3, thus creating two really independent sources of electrical supply of enterprises of Kazanorgsintez PJSC and providing the first category reliability of electricity supply. Risks of emergency shutdowns due to technological violations in the external network were almost excluded for the first time in many years.

The scale of the reconstruction of the turbine with turbine drives, a major overhaul and big works on the modernisation of the equipment operating at TGC-16’s facilities before 2010, that's to say, since the creation of the generating company, was seen at the plant a long time ago.

“The company believed in its power, made sure it was able to perform serious tasks to modernise and launch new equipment. With this experience, we decided it was necessary to build and launch a gas turbine at the Kazan CHPP-3,” Eduard Galeyev remembers.

The biggest gas turbine in Russia — 405,6 MW — built within integrated modernisation of the plant based on General Electric’s 9HA.01 gas turbine, which is the biggest and most effective in the world, was solemnly launched in 2017.

Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov, heads of federal ministries and agencies participated in the ceremony. The gas turbine allowed increasing efficiency and reliability of the power plant, reduce the amount of emissions in the environment, triple electrical energy generation in combined cycle keeping the previous heat production volumes and decreasing the prime cost of thermal energy sold to consumers and the lack of electrical energy in the Kazan energy region.

The launch of the gas turbine marked the end of the integrated modernisation at the Kazan CHPP-3. The plant became one of the basic points in creating a 200 kW energy ring around Kazan. Four energy sources — the CHPP-3, Central, Zelenodolsk and Kinderi substations — are connected with 220 kW lines, which can supply a reserve capacity if needed, which excludes emergency shutdowns of industrial enterprises and the population.

“The turbine has been operating for several years already and has proved to be great. Thanks to this, the energy shortage of Kazan suddenly reduced (by 400 MW). The capital of Tatarstan net power flow reached almost zero. A high level of reliability of the operation of Kazanorgsintez and other industrial facilities of the Kazan energy region was provided. The machine is economically very efficient,” the director general of TGC-16 JSC told Realnoe Vremya.

Task: to provide energy supply reliability

Trying to improve the reliability of energy supply to consumers, including the biggest oil refineries and petrochemical companies of Tatarstan and Russia, the enterprises of TGC-16 JSC constantly work to develop and maintain the manufacturing infrastructure and equipment in a proper state.

So in 2018 the reconstruction of the chemical shop No. 1 at the Nizhnekamsk CHPP ended. The installation of two new high-speed clarifiers and three chains of ion exchangers allowed increasing chemically desalinated water production by 400 t/h having increased the reliability of the performance of the water treatment unit in general. In 2019, the Nizhnekamsk CHPP completed reequipment of the chemical water treatment shop No. 2. Its productivity in chemically desalinated water rose by 200 t/h. The total amount of investments was around 450 million rubles.

In 2019, the Nizhnekamsk CHPP completed the reconstruction of river water channels. TGC-16 JSC invested over 100 million rubles in this project by significantly increasing the reliability of the power plant to supply industrial consumers (Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC, TAIF-NK JSC and others) as well as the population of Nizhnekamsk with steam and hot water.

Thanks to big reconstruction of the Nizhnekamsk CHPP, the plant’s power generation has increased by more than 60% compared to 2010.

“In 2018, the Nizhnekamsk CHPP-1 generated the biggest amount of heat in its history: all Soviet and post-Soviet records were broken. The plant reached its peak electrical and thermal energy,” Eduard Galeyev noted in one of the interviews with Realnoe Vremya.

The Kazan CHPP-3 also breaks records in combined cycle electrical energy generation. Its production has almost tripled in the last 10 years since the power plant joined TGC-16 JSC.

Course for eco-friendliness

The policy of TAIF Group is high social responsibility, including in a careful attitude to the environment. Modernisation programmes fulfilled at TGC-16 JSC to increase efficiency and reliability are also aimed to reduce the negative impact on the environment. Resource-saving technology is actively introduced. Reequipment of condensate treatment of the chemical shop No. 1 of the Nizhnekamsk CHPP that was in 2015 together with Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC allowed using reverse industrial condensate in the production cycle, thus decreasing river water consumption by 13,6 million tonnes and reducing the discharge of sewage by 2,3 million tonnes.

Internal environmental requirements of TAIF Group are even higher than global and Russian standards. But the companies try to excel these indicators. The construction of a new gas distribution point in 2016 and gas pipeline from the Heavy Residues High Conversion Facility at TAIF-NK JSC to the Nizhnekamsk CHPP-1 allowed creating a gas consumption system for the facility’s gas. Thanks to this, the gas that used to be burnt on flares began to be used as fuel of the power plant, which enabled to achieve not only an economic effect but also reduce the amounts of emissions of nitrogen oxides up to 840 tonnes a year into the atmosphere.

The launch of the modern 9HA.01 gas turbine at the Kazan CHPP-3 in 2017 had a positive impact on reducing gross and brake specific emissions into the atmosphere. It uses dry low NOх emission technology, thanks to which average amounts of nitrogen oxide emission from the gas turbine turned out to be 1,3 times below the norm of technological indicators by BAT. The enterprise’s reduction in gross emissions is 1,8 times, brake emissions generated to make electrical energy has decreased two times, brake emissions per unit of consumed fuel has been 2,3 times since 2017.

In 2019, the Kazan CHPP-3 launched stormwater and industrial sewage treatment facilities. The total costs on the project were 165 million rubles. The new treatment system allows effectively clear sewage of the enterprise from sediment and oil products. As a result, the Kazan CHPP-3 got two treatment systems at once: chemically contaminated sewage and stormwater and industrial sewage. In 2018, 360,000 tonnes of treated sewage returned to the circulation cooling system of the Kazan CHPP-3 after treatment of oil-containing sewage in 2019. As a result of the operation of treatment facilities, 7 tonnes of oil sludge and 50 tonnes of sediment of suspended substances.

Reliable energy supply

“TGC-16 keeps developing and constantly improving indicators. Brake specific fuel consumption for electrical energy reduces every year. This allows the company to keep its competitiveness. If brake specific fuel consumption for electrical energy in 2010 at TGC-16 JSC was 305,6 grams per kWh, in 2019, it was just 235,8 g/kWh. The reduction in brake specific fuel consumption for electrical energy totalled 69,8 g/kWh. This is equal to 1,5bn cubic metres of saved natural gas in 10 years,” Director General of TGC-16 Eduard Galeyev stressed.

TGC-16’s installed electrical capacity nowadays is 1,669,6 MW, thermal one is 6,136 Gcal/h. The operation in cogeneration mode (one of the most environmentally friendly technologies of the modern time meeting international requirements for reducing hydrocarbon footprint in products and provisions of the Paris climate accord) enables the energy workers of TAIF Group to keep one of the lowest tariffs in the republic. Both power plants, which are part of TGC-16 JSC, show one of the best results in the country in efficiency and brake specific fuel consumption for thermal and electrical energy generation. It is planned to increase the installed generation capacity at TAIF Group to 43 GW. The main concept is to create a reliable foundation for further development of consumers — both industrial consumers and the population.

Actively developing plants of TAIF Group and other enterprises of Kazan and Kama agglomerations, intensive construction of modern blocks of flats, social facilities require quality energy supply. TAIF Group has already invested billions of rubles in the construction and modernisation of plants, which are part of TGC-16 JSC, and millions to increase the reliability of heat and electrical energy supply for consumers.

“Thanks to all innovations we have introduced in the last 10 years, TGC-16 keeps heating tariffs at an accessible level for consumers. We will do our best to prevent an upsurge in the price of heat even though we are in a difficult situation now: when costs on fuel — gas — grow every year, while the price for electrical energy falls behind because of a big number of launches of electrical energy plants in Russia,” the director general of TGC-16 noted.

Nowadays TGC-16 JSC accounts for over half of the thermal energy market among Tatarstan’s generating companies. Heat generation grew from 17,1m Gcal in 2011 to 20,7m Gcal in 2019. At the same time, TGC-16 produced 9,3bn kWh of electrical energy in 2019. Electrical energy generation in the network was 8,3 billion kWh.

To save and multiply results

Now TGC-16 JSC plans to implement new big projects. In 2019, within the CSA (Editor’s Note: capacity supply agreement), the company submitted four applications for steam turbines of the Nizhnekamsk CHPP and Kazan CHPP-3. The generating company successfully went through a competitive selection process and got a chance of modernising the 100 MW turbine at the Nizhnekamsk CHPP, which will allow increasing its reliability and economy, first. The company plans to replace the turbine and rotor of the generator, afterwards the life of the equipment will expand to more than 30 years.

In late 2019, the governmental commission for electrical energy, chose another 19 projects on modernisation of operating thermal power plants, including three facilities TGC-16 owns: the company will modernise the 50 MW equipment at the Kazan CHPP-3, while the Nizhnekamsk CHPP plans to replace two turbines with a total capacity of 165 MW. So 265 MW of generating capacities of the company will be upgraded. This work will go on within further selection processes in the CSA. At the same time, nowadays the company launched a big programme aimed to upgrade energy boilers. It is eyed to invest over three billion rubles to replace the heating surface of boilers until 2030.

“The main task of TGC-16 JSC today is not only to save the results it has achieved by now but also continue the dynamic development of the generating component of TAIF Group. The already implemented and developed projects on modernisation of existing plants and construction of new capacities are designed to increase the efficiency of key performance indicators of the plants. I think we will achieve the goals,” Director General of TGC-16 JSC Eduard Galeyev explained the tasks the company was set in an interview with Realnoe Vremya.

By Yekaterina Kharitonova, Arseny Favstritsky

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