Localisation and Development of Industrial Clusters
Import Substitution and Equipment Localisation for Rosneft’s Needs
In 2015, Rosneft launched an Import Substitution and Equipment Localisation Programme.
Aligned with strategic goals and objectives set forth in the Rosneft–2022 Strategy and the Company’s Long-Term Development Programme, the Programme seeks to:
- facilitate the development of Rosneft as a high-tech oil and gas company;
- secure the Company’s technologically sustainable position in the hydrocarbons market by increasing the share of Russian-made products and implementing projects to localise the manufacturing of foreign oil and gas equipment in Russia in cooperation with leading global producers;
- facilitate the development of infrastructure supporting upstream and downstream projects as part of localisation efforts.
As part of the programme, Rosneft keeps investing in proprietary solutions and products with a view to sustaining its technological self-sufficiency.
As it works to develop critical prospecting, exploration and development technologies, Rosneft approved a pilot testing programme for RN-Yuganskneftegaz to test the multi-parameter logging while drilling equipment developed as part of the Rosneft–Rosatom R&D cooperation by Dukhov Automatics Research Institute (VNIIA). A five-well pilot testing of this equipment is scheduled for 2021.
The pilot testing of an ice conditions monitoring system that was developed within the Company has been completed, with the system currently being put into operation. The Company has also developed three components of an iceberg towing system (towing rope, buoys, and towing nets) and filed utility model applications.
With an agreement on technological partnership in the production and maintenance of import-substituting solutions signed between Rospan International and Rosatom, the parties are now working on a domestic multiphase flow meter to measure flow rate in gas condensate wells. In 2020, the related R&D efforts were completed with the key deliverables presented.
Other equipment that was pilot-tested includes a corporate coiled tubing simulator by RN-VECTOR used to plan prevention actions, estimate residual life and exercise day-to-day operational control. The testing showed that RN-VECTOR’s simulator performs as claimed.
Russian-made catalysts are key to sustaining the technological self-sufficiency of the Company’s refining segment ending its reliance on foreign technologies. In 2020, Rosneft launched commercial operation of a proprietary hydrotreating catalyst. A commercial batch of these unique catalysts was loaded into a diesel fuel hydrotreater at the Ryazan Refinery. This is the first diesel fraction hydrotreating catalyst for the Russian refining industry capable of fully replacing its foreign peers to produce the Euro-5 ultra-low-sulphur (below 10 ppm) diesel.
The Komsomolsk Refinery (part of Rosneft’s refining segment) launched the final stage of building a hydrocracking complex with an integrated diesel fuel hydrotreating unit. When launched with a design capacity of 3.65 mmtpa, this hydrocracking and hydrotreating complex will increase the Komsomolsk Refinery’s refining depth to 92%.
In 2020, Rosneft commissioned Russia’s first pilot testing facility for hydrotreating catalysts built in 2019 at the Novokuibyshevsk Catalysers Plant. Its operation will have a significant economic effect as the Company will spend less buying third-party catalysts and for logistics reasons. For example, the Company’s refineries need approximately 2 kt of hydrotreating catalysts each year putting the annual costs at ca. RUB 2.5 bln. The new technological capabilities will considerably reduce Russia's reliance on imported catalysts for refining purposes. The new pilot testing facility features nine main production lines and five auxiliary units comprising production equipment for oil refining catalysts and a variety of controls, measurement and production process management tools. It has a daily capacity of nearly 200 kg of different catalysts (6 t per month).
In 2020, the scientists of RN-TsIR (Rosneft’s R&D institute) developed an innovative technology to convert Rosneft-produced acetone into higher-margin isopropanol, which is mainly imported to Russia today. The technology provides for the hydrogenation of acetone using the Company’s own heterogeneous metal-containing catalyst produced from raw materials available in the country. The isopropanol will be used as an anti-icing agent in the production of the high-quality, odourless (as opposed to propylene-based isopropanol), frost-free car windscreen wiper fluid for the Company’s retail network. Isopropanol is also used as a basis for highly effective antiseptics designed to combat the spread of infections, which pre-determines a surge in demand for isopropanol in Russia and worldwide. An industrial-grade acetone-to-isopropanol unit and in-house unit for isopropanol-based windscreen wiper fluid are to be constructed at Rosneft’s Novokuibyshevsk Petrochemical Company that has the relevant petrochemical profile.
The development of proprietary research-intensive specialist software is another strategic focus area for the Company. It has created RN-GEOSIM 1.0 software suite for geological modelling and, starting from 2021, plans to deploy it across the Group Subsidiaries. The developed complex can replace 50% of imported geological modelling software.
The Company has also completed the development of a new version of RN-KIM hydrodynamic simulator boasting new capabilities.
Other software – a hydraulic fracturing simulator – has been used to design more than 21 thousand full-scale hydraulic fracturing operations. This simulator is commercialised for external users, with its licences available for purchase to the Group Subsidiaries and third parties. Rosneft has now completed its R&D efforts designed to identify further development areas for RN-GRID as required to add new capabilities in line with the newest hydraulic fracturing challenges, and has launched R&D work to develop RN-GRID 3.0.
As regards RN-Sigma, a corporate suite for geomechanical modelling of borehole stability while drilling, it was upgraded to version 2.0. The new version features extra functions for real-time geomechanical drilling support and building dynamic wellbore stability models.
The suite was pilot-tested by the Group Subsidiaries.
Fostering the Industrial Cluster
In 2020–2025, the industrial cluster based on the Company’s capacities, will be focusing on:
- establishing R&D and manufacturing infrastructure to support re-engineering, innovations, and import substitution;
- running pilot projects and tests in line with the Company’s Target Innovative Projects;
- supplying capacities to support localisation projects in cooperation with foreign technology partners as well as joint ventures with Russian R&D centres and enterprises.
Industrial cluster companies together with the Company’s R&D centre take an active part in implementing the Target Innovative Projects. In 2020, RN-Remont NPO acting as the management company for the industrial cluster, set up an Engineering, Design, Technology and Development Policy Office responsible for the Target Innovative Projects and import substitution. The Target Innovative Projects are already producing great results with an URPSV-10000 preliminary water discharge and oil treatment unit (intellectual property of Rosneft) manufactured and delivered to RN-Nyaganneftegaz and a strategy for the development and pre-production of mobile modular technological solutions for water-oil emulsion preparation being drafted. Cooperation with the R&D centre is not limited to manufacturing new equipment only. For example, the cluster’s pilot facilities deal with the automation and robotisation of daily operations involved in repairing the tubing and electric submersible pumps and in well servicing and workover.
The industrial cluster development strategy provides for expanding the geography and diversifying the range of services provided. To deliver the strategy, the last year saw the development of the Company’s offering with a focus on the maintenance, repair and rental of tubing, electric submersible pumps for RN-Vankor and Chekmagushevsky production area of Bashneft-Dobycha. The Company has also certified and received licence to manufacture and repair tank containers required to ensure year-round supply of fuels and lubricants to the Vostok Oil project. Repair and maintenance of oilfield equipment is now available to East Siberian Oil Company, Slavneft-Krasnoyarskneftegaz, Tyumenneftegaz and Samotlorneftegaz.
The industrial cluster is committed to not only unleashing the domestic potential, but also attracting and cooperating with technology partners. To this end and to share experience and best practices, the Company has signed a cooperation agreement with the industrial cluster of the Republic of Tatarstan.
Industrial and Shipbuilding Cluster in the Russian Far East
Upon instruction from the Russian President, Rosneft is ramping up a shipbuilding cluster in the Far East to foster the domestic shipbuilding industry and energise the development of the country’s continental shelf. Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex in Bolshoy Kamen will be the core shipyard and Russia’s first-ever facility for the construction of large-capacity vessels.
Importantly, the shipyard will be manufacturing icebreakers and reinforced ice-class vessels, along with LNG-powered vessels. The shipyard boasts a unique set of competencies unparalleled among both domestic and leading global peers.
To cater to the needs of import substitution and equipment localisation, an industrial cluster for shipboard equipment and components is emerging around the Zvezda Shipyard.
Despite the challenging COVID-19 situation, restricted workforce mobility and the need to comply with the related health and safety regulations, the Company managed to arrange for a large scope of construction works at the shipyard:
- 625 th. cub m dredged to deepen the waterways;
- in excess of 56,432 cub m of soil replaced;
- over 3.5 kt of sheet piles and 1,803 piles installed;
- over 144 th. cub m of concrete poured;
- over 31 th. sq m of enclosing structures and roofing installed;
- more than 4 kt of steelworks assembled;
- over 6.1 th. sq m of fire protection added;
- 10,593 linear m of cable lines laid for the power supply and light current systems;
- four distribution transformer substations assembled;
- over 12.1 th. linear m of heat and gas supply networks laid;
- more than 8.7 th. linear m of water supply networks and sewerage system laid.
Pre-commissioning operations are nearing completion at one of Zvezda’s key facilities – a dry dock with an adjacent area and outfitting quays. The dry dock is a unique hydraulic structure measuring 485x114x14 metres which can accommodate construction of the majority of existing and future types of vessels with virtually no restrictions on tonnage and launching weight of the hulls, including the world’s most powerful nuclear ice-breaker "Leader".
The shipyard’s order portfolio already counts 56 vessels, all of them being engineering- and technology-intensive vessels, mostly of high ice-class (supply vessels, research vessels, icebreakers, Arctic shuttle tankers,"green" Aframax type tankers, gas carriers). This is the first time all the vessels in the shipyard’s production programme are built in Russia.
In November 2020, Zvezda reached an important milestone launching the production of gas carriers (foreign-built until then). The shipyard started cutting steel for the flagship vessel of the Arctic LNG 2 project. This was the result of a great deal of production and organisational efforts taken such as employee training, receiving Russia’s first licence to manufacture and assemble cargo systems for LNG transportation, making pre-production arrangements and securing technology partnership so that the project is implemented within an unprecedentedly short time frame even to international standards.
Another important milestone was the launch of a unique icebreaking supply vessel named Katerina Velikaya in December 2020, which will also operate in the Russian Arctic.
In 2020, the shipyard also delivered to Rosnefteflot its first vessel, a Russian Aframax type tanker Vladimir Monomakh that has successfully passed its sea trials.
This means that in just five years after incorporation, Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex has mastered the entire shipbuilding cycle – from cutting steel to trials and delivery of vessels to the customer.
VRK Sapphire Plant
An industrial cluster for shipboard equipment and components is emerging around Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex. The cluster accommodates a workshop to manufacture steerable thrusters for ice-class vessels, including gas carriers.
VRK Sapphire Plant, a joint venture of Rosneft and General Electric, manages the project to develop and localise the production of steerable thrusters, a key component of marine electric propulsion system.
The plant has been in operation since 2019. The first two 7.5 MW steerable thrusters were installed on a higher ice-class multifunctional support vessel put afloat in December 2020.
In 2020, the plant continued to upgrade its capacity with the goal of manufacturing higher-power steerable thrusters. Concurrently, VRK Sapphire Plant secured a purchase order for 15 MW steerable thrusters intended to be installed on gas carriers.