HOT|COOL NO.2/2016 - "District cooling in the Middle East"


The logistic of the project is more serious than we normally see. As the contractor and his facilities are normally located in the middle of Russia, all equipment is purchased, packed and transported from his premises, and preferably by river, to the locations. The transport route may pass the Pacific Ocean or the Arctic Ocean. When the riverboats meet the ocean, it is necessary to reload the cargo as these boats are only suited for river sailing. So reloading twice is not unusual during the transport. Facing these conditions, the transportation time may be up to three months. During winter, transport is possible on the winter roads, meaning heavy vehicles on the frozen rivers. This is, however, very costly.

In order to overcome the challenge with the permafrost and the freezing water pipes, the project concept is aerial pipes laid on columns and with loops. The fresh water pipe is constructed and insulated together with one of the main heating pipes. For all the network pipes, pre-insulated pipes are applied. The original concept of the heating systems is the open type, meaning that the district heating water also supplies hot tap water. Unfortunately, due to financial reasons, this principle is not changed with the rehabilitation of the systems, and the reconstructed systems are still open systems. In the connecting points (ITPs, substations), heat exchangers are separating the transmission systems from the existing local heating systems. In the substations, modern equipment with plate heat exchangers, Grundfos pumps, Danfoss control systems and Kamstup metering systems are applied, and all working under these extreme arctic conditions. A SCADA system even enables the local manager to monitor the operation on a 24/7 basis. The biggest challenge by realizing the project has not been the principle design and selection of components. Modern equipment for district heating system are well functioning under these extreme conditions. The most serious challenge has been the available contractor to undertake the project and realizing them according to the agreed time schedule.

Combining the fact that most construction work on site can only be undertaken during the short summer period with the fact that transportation last up to three month and the fact that river transport is only possible during summer time means serious planning year ahead. Short construction periods from decision to completion, which are seen in our western societies, and which is normally expected from the client and the financial institutions, are unrealistic. The issue of contractual penalties is often discussed among the participants because the contractors have accepted the time schedules from the tender documents. During these years many projects have been undertaken and new are still issued for contracting. We expect this to be the situation for the next three to five years.

Local contractors are few and without enough experience for realizing such larger district heating projects. Contracting companies that have the experience with such projects are found in the middle of Russia. The same with the supply of materials and components. They too have to be supplied from distant locations.

For further information please contact:

Sweco A/S Att.: Peter Sonne Granskoven 8 DK-2600 Glostrup

T +45 4348 6431 M +45 2723 6431 F +45 4348 6660


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