21 Dec 2012
First Shale Oil produced in Enefit280 Shale Oil Plant
Enefit has successfully commissioned in Auvere, Estonia, the first-generation Enefit280 oil plant and produced first barrel of shale oil. Before the load on equipment is raised, the system will be thoroughly inspected and only then will the operation of the plant increase step-by-step to the designed parameters.
“Today we can proudly say that the new technology, as such, works,” said Harri Mikk, member of the Management Board of Enefit.
The technology used in the Enefit280 oil plant is more efficient and environmentally friendly and the plant has a greater unit capacity than the current Oil Plant Enefit140. The commissioning team included engineers from Enefit as well as the equipment suppliers.
“Commissioning of a plant of such a scale is a complicated process. These five months from the mechanical completion of the plant to the production of the first oil is a short time in terms of putting a plant into operation.
“Our own people from the plant, starting with Igor Kond, head of the Management Board of Enefit Oil and Gas, Aleksandr Kaidalov, member of the Management Board of Enefit Oil and Gas, Priit Ploompuu, Project Manager of Enefit280, and Jaanus Rattur, Head of the Launch Process, have done good work,” he assured.
During this hot commissioning period, the mechanically completed plant was systematically brought into production mode. The process began by drying and curing the plant’s lining with flue gases, and the heat recovery system was cleaned with steam. Oil shale was then introduced to the process in order to create ash, which acts as a solid heat carrier for the process. The goal of the last phase of the hot commissioning was to ramp up the plant’s capacity to its designed capacity.
Enefit began construction of the first Enefit280 shale oil plant to utilise the new generation technology in the spring of 2010, and the works lasted for two years. To this day, 260 million euros has been invested into the construction of the new oil plant.
One Enefit280 oil plant adds approximately two million barrels of shale oil and 75 million cubic metres of retort gas a year to the production capacities of Enefit. The plant has an integrated 35 megawatt steam-driven turbine, which uses residual heat to generate electricity to run the plant. The plant will employ 80 people, including experienced specialists from Enefit Oil and Gas and newly recruited workers.
By 2016, Enefit is planning to develop a complex for producing liquid fuels from oil shale. Liquid fuels produced this way will have a higher quality than the currently produced oil and can be used as a motor fuel that meets current standards. For this purpose, the company plans to establish two more Enefit280 oil plants and a refinery. Altogether, the extended production of liquid fuels would employ almost 500 people and would cover Estonia’s consumption of liquid fuels.
Today, Enefit Oil and Gas uses two Enefit140 units to process approximately 1.6 million tonnes of oil shale each year, from which it produces various fractions of shale oil. About 60 per cent of the output is exported and used as liquid fuel components. Local consumers use shale oil predominantly in boiler plants and small power plants to produce heat and power, as well as in agriculture and road construction.
In addition to Estonia, Enefit is developing oil shale projects in Jordan and in Utah, US.
Both external projects are in a predevelopment phase and will involve additional investors in the construction phase.
In Utah, Enefit plans to develop an oil shale industry with a daily capacity of 50,000 barrels. The industry is developed in two stages; a daily output of 25,000 barrels is planned to be achieved by 2020 and full capacity should be achieved by 2024.
In Jordan, Enefit together with its partners will establish a 460 MW power station, which will be completed in 2017. In addition, Enefit’s Jordan project involves an oil plant with a daily output of approximately 38,000 barrels. Enefit’s partners in Jordan are Near East Investment (NEI) and YTL Power International Berhad (YTPL).