Project: 85MW HVAC Back-up Heater for the Yamal LNG plant, Sabetta, Russia


UnitBirwelco completed a major design, material supply, fabrication and modularisation of a 85MW HVAC back-up heater for the Yamal LNG plant in Sabetta, Northern Russia.

Fabricated in northern Spain and shipped 3,000 miles via the Arctic Northern Sea Route, the fired heater will supply essential heating to the client’s process plant and offices.

Client’s challenge

This was one of UnitBirwelco's most demanding and technically complex projects because of its sheer scale, 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 degrees Centigrade.

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 two metres 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 to be supplied with all documentation translated into Russian and fully certified to meet stringent Russian technical passport requirements.

The Role of UnitBirwelco and the Scope of Work

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

UnitBirwelco carried out design of the heater, skid and structures, as well as detailed engineering, material and services procurement, project management, planning and co-ordination, and full assembly and construction management.

All structural elements, heater pressure parts, and piping materials were made from low temperature carbon steel, whilst instrumentation and electrical items had to be winterised with trace heating and insulation, or placed within heated enclosures.

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

The Yamal project required the company to take a radical approach to design and delivery methodology, not least because of the comprehensive project specifications and Russian national standards applied by the client. Consequently, it is a real showcase for the full range of expertise offered by UnitBirwelco.

85MW HVAC Back-up Heater for the Yamal LNG plant, Sabetta, Russia

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