Gazprom shuts down China-focused Amur gas plant after fire

The broader implications were not immediately clear, but the plant plays an important part in Russian gas exports to China, which has been hit by electricity shortages that have led to power rationing across the country

  
A view shows the company logo of Gazprom company installed on the roof of its office building in Moscow, August 10, 2015.

A view shows the company logo of Gazprom company installed on the roof of its office building in Moscow, August 10, 2015.

REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW  - Gazprom's China-focused Amur gas processing plant in Russia's Far East has halted operations after a fire early on Friday, a spokesman for the plant told Reuters.

The broader implications were not immediately clear, but the plant plays an important part in Russian gas exports to China, which has been hit by electricity shortages that have led to power rationing across the country. 

A fire at another Gazprom gas plant in Russia's north in August resulted in reduced gas condensate output and cuts in natural gas supplies to Europe. 

In emailed comments, the plant confirmed that operations had been suspended and said that one of its lines caught fire after decompression but other lines are unaffected.

"The fire has been localised. The residual fire is being put out," it said.

Social media video showed a fire at industrial facilities with workers wearing orange overalls and helmets filming the incident on their phones.

The local general prosecutor's office said the blaze broke out after decompression of plant equipment. No one has been injured, it said, adding that it was investigating the incident.

The Gazprom plant, which was designed with capacity to process 42 billion cubic metres of gas a year, was launched in June to help to supply natural gas to China via the Power of Siberia pipeline. 

The plant is expected eventually to produce up to 60 million cubic metres of helium a year, 1 million tonnes of propane, about 500,000 tonnes of butane and 2.5 million tonnes of ethane.

Full capacity is expected to be reached in 2025, making it one of the world's largest gas processing plants.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Anton Kolodyazhnyy Editing by Tom Hogue and David Goodman) ((vladimir.soldatkin@reuters.com; +7 495 775 12 42;))


More From Energy