The executive director of LGM, JSC told us the reason why domestic oil and gas companies should buy cryogenic pumps for liquefied natural gas in Russia.
-Why did the company LGM need to develop cryogenic pumps for LNG? Was it not possible to find suppliers from countries that did not impose sanctions on Russia, and simply resell it?
— Our company was founded in 1864. More than 150 years we are engaged in industrial production. Our pumps are equipped with icebreakers and submarines, chemical plants, nuclear power plants and many other facilities in our country, as well as in India, Hungary, Algeria, Vietnam and other countries. Since the 60s of the last century LGM has been engaged in cryogenics, and all domestic launching complexes of space and intercontinental rockets were fueled by oxygen precisely by our pumps. Today Russian oil and gas companies traditionally use cryogenic equipment, which is produced by American and Japanese companies. But after the introduction of sanctions, the question of an acceptable alternative became very acute.
We are ready to solve it: now in our design office there are both "mastodon" employees with huge experience, and young energetic engineers. We are able to create pumping equipment of any complexity. In addition, I am convinced that without a strong industry there can not be a strong country, and if we are able to produce something complex and high-tech, then this must be done.
— How is your equipment fundamentally different from the Ebara and Nikisso equipment? Or is the only advantage that it does not under sanctions?
— Ebara and Nikisso are the world's leading manufacturers of LNG cargo pumps, which have been engaged in this way for more than 50 years. Our equipment for technical characteristics is not inferior to them, and by some parameters even surpasses. For example, the cavitation stock of our pumps is larger, and this will allow the company to save money on building pits. And, of course, the main advantage is price. We make our pumps out of components only in Russia, which allows us to compete in price.
— Tell us about the technical characteristics. Are there any restrictions on the use of your cryogenic pumps? Are they compatible with other equipment that is used when loading LNG into storage facilities?
— Four years ago, within the framework of the Federal Target Program "Development of Civil Marine Equipment," we developed a standard series of LNG pumps. The capacity of the pump is from 100 to 2000 cubic meters per hour, the head is up to 200 meters, the allowed cavitation reserve is 1-1.5 meters. As a prototype we made and tested the nitrogen pump NSPG 900-120. Most of the equipment is created exactly according to the customer's requirements, with the necessary parameters, overall dimensions and connecting dimensions. So it will be quite easy for our customers to replace the imported pump with a pump from LGM.
— Do you use your equipment right now?
— All cosmodromes, oil refineries and chemical plants of the former USSR and countries of the socialist camp are equipped with cryogenic equipment of our production. LNG cargo pumps are a new direction, while in Russia only imported ones are used. True, recently, gas monopolies started to invite domestic companies to participate in tenders at the plants for liquefying natural gas that are under construction. So, for example, now we have passed the prequalification and take part in the tender for the delivery of LNG cargo pumps to the plant "Arctic LNG-2". Also, "LGM" will soon install the pump for pilot operation in a gas-carrier vessel within the framework of another project.
—Where is your equipment manufactured and tested? By the way, there are no testing centers in Russia where the LNG pump could be tested.
— The development and manufacture of pumps is carried out at our plant in Moscow. We carry out tests on nitrogen at other sites, including in the Sverdlovsk region. Conducting tests on natural environment (LNG) is really a big problem, because there are no such centers in Russia. We are working in this direction, we are planning to create a test bench for LNG pumps in natural environment with a capacity of up to 1 MW at our own expense after we receive a large order and conclude a contract.
— Are your equipment manufactured from imported or domestic parts? What is the ratio of imported and domestic?
— Almost all the details - from bearings to the flow-through part and working bodies - are made in Russia. One of the models installed a Kharkov-made electric motor, but it was manufactured according to our drawings, and now we choose the company that will make it in Russia. I know at least four companies that are able to do this with us. Since 70% of the production of our plant is supplied by the Navy, and 15-20% - by Rosatom, we simply do not have the skill of applying imported components.
—As a rule, import suppliers carry out a complex supply of a cryogenic pumping system on a turn-key basis. Are you ready to manufacture and supply the whole system?
— For delivery LNG cargo pump we mean the delivery of the pump itself, the bottom valve, the pump loading / lifting system in the shaft, the power and low-current cable products for the entire length of the shaft, the upper cover with the seal and the control system. So the transition from imported to domestic equipment will be most comfortable for the customer.
— Do you provide warranty service? Which kind of and for which time?
— In the structure of our enterprise there is a service department, highly qualified specialists of which within a day can find themselves in the bases of the Northern, Pacific, not to mention the Black Sea and Baltic fleets. The classic warranty for pumps manufactured under the control of "military acceptance" is seven years, in some cases ten. The pumps we supplied to the world's largest project 22220 icebreaker under construction have a service life of 40 years, a resource of 320,000 hours, and a continuous operation time of 26,000 hours, that is, more than three years! We used to make quality and reliable equipment.
— Are there any plans to enter the international market and will there be demand in the presence of competitors such as Japanese and American producers?
— In May 2018, we presented our cryogenic products at the international exhibition Iran Oil Show - 2018 in Tehran (Iran), where our products provoked a keen interest from local manufacturers. We have concluded several agreements and are now working on the issue of opening representative office in Iran.
— In what projects besides the production of large-tonnage LNG do you plan to participate with your equipment?
— Now for FSUE «Krylov State Research Center" we spend two development work associated with the creation of equipment for ships and LNG bunkering vessels to natural gas. This is a very promising direction. In the sphere of low-tonnage "land-based" LNG, we also have many plans, but I am not ready to disclose them ahead of time.