Oil and gas sector account for about 40% of all income of the Russian economy.
Oil and gas sector account for about 40% of all income of the Russian economy.

Russia has a huge potential to reduce the consumption of the electricity by the pumping equipment in the country within the coming couple of years, according to the recent reports of the group of marketing experts from the Ministry of Energy of the country. This article examines the contribution made by some of the activities provided by the energy-saving legislation adopted in recent years.

In 2009 Russian Parliament adopted the federal law "On energy saving and energy efficiency in the Russian Federation", with the main goal to promote energy conservation and efficiency use both in industry and in the housing sectors.

The document stipulates that each region should set its own degree of energy efficiency of virtually all public buildings and facilities owned by the state. It should be noted that the differentiation of the energy-efficiency depending on the regions of Russia is extremely important, because the country has the difference of economical development of different areas, as well as fundamental differences in the climatic conditions of the country, so common energy efficiency standards in this case are simply inappropriate.

The first standards were set in 2010, and according to the text of the document, they should be reviewed every five years, thus the authorities created the basis for a gradual transition of industry and housing sector to an energy-efficient technologies. In additional the new law requires public authorities to use economic incentives for private-owned enterprises and factories on the purchasing of energy-efficient pumping equipment.

In general the law and all the following legislation created on its basis paid a lot of attention to the pumping market as energy consumption of pumps in Russia has a very significant share of the total energy consumption.

Also the law obliges the regional authorities to promote energy-efficient technologies in many areas: in particular to assist the businesses in the implementation of investment activity in the area of energy conservation and energy efficiency; to promote the use of energy service agreements (contracts); to assists in the development and use of objects, technologies with high energy efficiency; assistance in the construction of apartment buildings of high energy efficiency class and etc.

Energy spends

However, despite the adoption of this law, which marked the beginning of the struggle of the state for energy efficiency in the country, no significant progress in this area so far has been achieved. Thus, according to statistics from the Ministry of Energy currently in Russia pumping equipment accounted for 19% of total energy consumption in the country, which is considerably higher than in Europe. Four years ago this figure was amounted to 22% and decreased not because of the actions of authorities, but mostly because of the activities of the large oil and gas production companies which is continue implementing energy saving programs.

The total volume of energy consumption of the pumping equipment in Russia is roughly amounted to 200 bn kW/h. With the average price of 1 kW/h of about EUR 0.05 the price of spends is equivalent to EUR 10 bn every year. In many spheres of the Russian economy pumps accounted for more than 50% of total energy consumption. These industries in particular are oil mining, petrochemical, chemical, pulp and paper industry, water and wastewater and some others.

At the same time in opinion of the experts of the Ministry of Energy of Russia, electricity wastage per one production unit on the working of the pumps at the moment is by about 40% higher than in the countries of Western Europe. Thus, experts suggest that over the next few years this figure will fall trough the large investments, and in the large part it could be achieved with the use of foreign experience and foreign specialists. If this figure is reached, Russia will be able to save up to EUR4-5 bn on the working of pumping equipment. However, in opinion of the experts of the Ministry of Energy until 2020 the government will have to invest EUR 60-70 bn in the pumps related energy efficiency activities.

Uneven ground

However, pumps producers say that Russian companies are gradually beginning to pay more attention to energy efficiency of the using equipment.

"Efficiency is of course very important for customers especially in industries with intensive use of pumping equipment (oil industry, water supplying and energy sources production). In recent years, in Russia to the issue of energy efficiency has been paid much attention, so efficiency and power consumption often became a determining factor for customers when choosing equipment" - commented Alexander Kostyuk R&D Director of HMS Pumps, the largest manufacturer of pumping equipment in the Former Soviet Union (FSU).

"But also the choosing of pumps depends on the customer's professional-level and financial condition. For many people in Russia still the determining criterion is the low cost of the equipment. This is typical for water suppliers of medium and small towns and rural settlements and some other businesses" – adds Phillip Chernikov – the head of the local pumps producing company Pumps Engineering.

Worst of all is the situation with energy efficiency in industries where the share of electricity consumed by pumps is high while the level of return is low, in particular wastewater. A little better is the situation with pharmaceutical, food and drinks industries and HVAC where the level of energy efficiency is steadily growing by 2-3% per year since the 2005/06.

However, in the water supplying, the state has recently also initiated a major upgrade, which will last for 7-8 years and should significantly spur energy efficiency index.

Oil and gas sector

Oil and gas sector account for about 40% of all income of the Russian economy so it is not surprising that according to estimations of the Ministry of Energy about 70% of all investments allocated for the energy efficiency technology has been allocated by the companies of this sector. For comparison, in the structure of total investments water supply facilities accounts for only 4%, while pharmaceutical industry for 8%. Large Russian companies operating in the oil and gas sector currently have good level of energy efficiency – the level of deterioration of pumping equipment here is not higher 5-7% while, in other pump related industries it is standing at 25-35% on average and 60-70% in water supply area.

"Gazprom during the recent years has been actively implementing several programs aimed to the improvement of the energy efficiency, which for us is the most obvious and promising ways to reduce production costs. Over the past three years in various branches of our company we had a significant modernization of pumping equipment, which allowed us to reduce the cost of purchase of electricity by 18%.

In additional Gazprom not only used already available technologies, but also developed a number of know-how which let us to be more energy efficient in particular areas than even leading foreign companies of oil and gas industry" – commented representative of Gas Project Engineering the structure department of Gazprom Lev Shamanaev, refusing to disclose what exactly know-how has been created.

In additional Lukoil Company - the other major supplier of gas and oil in Russia – has recently announced a significant improvement of energy efficiency of businesses, which has been achieved with the purchasing and installation of advanced pumping equipment. In particular, according to the company’s press-release, Lukoil introduced the modernized system of oil pumping with the increased productivity of 400m ³ / hour which is by 25 % higher than the pumps than has been using before.

At the same time instead the pumps with the traditional electrical submersible motors on the large deposits the company during 2013 has been actively introducing pumps with electric motors with the valve actuator, which have higher efficiency and thus can significantly reduce energy consumption figures of the equipment. In parallel, the company's enterprises implement programs for the upgrading of the pumping systems park for reservoir pressure.

Misuse of equipment

At the same time according to the Russian pump producers very often in Russia the main reason of low energy efficiency of pumping equipment is the wrong use of pumps. According to the experts of the company Pumps Engineering for a long time Russia suffered the lack of specialists in the area of modern pumping equipment. As the result often the installation of even most advanced pumping equipment was incorrect, resulting that the pump shows the inappropriate working parameters.

“At the same time the very important condition of operation of pumping equipment is a concerted operation of pump in the network – in other words you should select pump so that the operating point is within the operating range. This condition, at first glance, a simple but in Russia it is difficult to implement it in practice, especially in cases when the network parameters vary significantly over time, with serious daily and seasonal changes in water supply regimes . In this case, it is almost impossible to ensure the operation of the pump in all modes, so it is necessary to use different ways to control energy spends – for example frequency control or cascade control as well as it is necessary to eliminate energy-consuming ways of control using throttling or bypass” – says Alexander Kostyuk.

However, Russian enterprises often do not have specialists that can manage the right use of pumping equipment. Also according to Phillip Chernikov, the very important reason for inefficient pump operation is overestimation of pumps capacity, in other words the choice of pump with larger than required pressure and flow and subsequent regulation of operation mode via the valve (throttling). Operation of pumps at off-design operation modes in Russia also often leads to excessive energy consumption, as well as less reliability of equipment.

“Our customers often do not understand that proper selection and control of pumps in systems where the network parameters change over time provides a much greater effect in reducing the energy consumption than the selection of pump with the large level of working efficiency. So the replacement of valve regulation on the frequency regulation can bring up to 60% of energy savings while the replacement of the operating pump to the new pump can give only about 2-3% of savings for the most common types of pumps. This is because the technical level of the main types of pumps from leading manufacturers is approximately standing at the same level and in many types of pumps it is already reached the maximum attainable efficiency values for these types of pumps” – comments Alexander Kostyuk.

According to him today, many organizations in Russia are planning to carry out works to reduce energy consumption of their pumping equipment. In opinion of the experts they should pay attention to all the points mentioned above.

Competition

In additional experts pointed out that in the near future competition in the Russian market of pumps will grow, both in economy and in an expensive market segments. This will force companies to invest more in advertising and promotion of their equipment with the main emphasis on its right use, resulting in increase consumer awareness about the benefits of energy-efficient equipment.

“Russian companies have been working in a serious competition. Firstly, foreign companies consider the Russian market as very promising, so at the Russian market today it is presented all the world's major manufacturers, and secondly, Russia has a zero import duty on pumping equipment” – according to Alexander Kostyuk.

“Despite this HMS Group is a leading manufacturer of pumping equipment in Russia and CIS countries, occupying a leading position in many segments of the market. But competition in the market is growing, both in the economical segment with the growing presence of Chinese manufacturers and in premium segment with the increase of presence of Western companies”.

Experts add that in the future, no doubt, will continue work on the modernization of the pumps itself in order to increase their efficiency, extend the standard ranges of production, the use of more modern materials, etc.

“At the same time, the issue of increasing the energy efficiency of pumping systems in the future will lie in providing of comprehensive solutions, including in addition to the pump, the providing of control systems, as well as the comprehensive modernization of systems" - said Alexander Kostyuk.