19 de janeiro de 2015

Gasfor II improves the gas pipeline network of the Northeastern region

Petrobras is investing in the expansion of the Guamaré-Pecém gas pipeline to supply the Industrial and Port Complex of Pecém, one of the most important of the region

As part of the Business and Management Plan of Petrobras for 2012-2016, that foresees investments of approximately US$ 6.9 billion in the area of pipelines and terminals, Gasfor II (Gas Pipeline Guamaré-Pecém) will improve the pipeline network of the state of Rio Grande do Norte, reaching the offer of 1.5 million cu.mt. of natural gas per day. This production is related only to the first phase of the project, which connects the cities of Horizonte and Caucaia, in the state of Ceará with gas produced in the Industrial Complex of Guamaré, located in the city of the same name, 180 kilometers far from Natal. This section—83.2 kilometers long—will allow the deactivation of the section of Gasfor I that interferes with the works of duplication of the Road Ring of Fortaleza. According to the original plan, the second phase of Gasfor II will increase the flow rate of the pipeline up to 5 million cu.mt. per day.

This project is connected to Gasfor I, using a new right of passage that crosses the municipalities of Horizonte, Pacajus, Guaiúba, Palmácia, Maranguape and Caucaia, circumventing the Metropolitan Region of Fortaleza and the hills of Aratanha, Maranguape and Arara. The second phase of the gas pipeline includes the construction of the section Serra do Mel-Horizonte, but there is no forecast for its start.

The domain of Gasfor II will have a width of 50 m from Horizonte to the Canal of Integration and of 20 m from this point to the Station located in the km 370. The pipeline will be buried in its whole extension with a minimum coverage of 1 m. In mechanized cultivated areas and in areas with possibility of third-part interference in the pipeline—such as crossings of rivers, roads, railways and other pipelines—additional protections will be installed, such as concrete plates, warning stripes, warning signaling, increase in the depth of burial, concrete jackets, casings, actions established in the basic design.

Devices for introduction and extraction of “pigs” for inspection and cleaning will be installed in both ends of the pipeline (Stations of Horizonte and km 370). These devices will allow the passage of instrumented “pigs” for monitoring of the physical conditions of the pipeline. In addition, a point of introduction and extraction and another point of introduction of “pigs” will be installed in the Station Horizonte for monitoring Horizonte-Aracati and Horizonte-Fortaleza sections, respectively. Finally, extraction points will be installed in the delivery points of Caucaia and Fortaleza for monitoring the sections Station km 370-Caucaia and Horizonte-Fortaleza.

New materials

The Gasfor II will be assembled with pipes of carbon steel with nominal diameter of 20 inches and thickness varying from 0.312 to 0.438 inches. Pipes will be coated externally with triple-layer polyethylene to prevent corrosive processes, and the welded joints will be covered by shrinkable blankets. To ensure additional protection against external corrosion, a system of cathodic protection will also be installed.

Electric insulation couplings will also be installed in the pipeline—close to the introduction, extraction and introduction-extraction points—to prevent current leaks in the system of cathodic protection of aerial sections. Pipes will be internally coated with epoxy to reduce their roughness and to increase flow efficiency.

With the construction of Gasfor II business opportunities will be increased in both ends of the pipeline: the Industrial Complex of Guamaré and the Industrial and Port Complex of Pecém. The complex of Guamaré is one of the main producers of oil byproducts of the Northeastern Region. It was built by Petrobras in an area of 1500 sq.mt. for processing oil and natural gas that come from the offshore fields of Ubarana and Agulha and of the land fields of Rio Grande do Norte. Oil production is around 100,000 barrels per day. The complex of Guamaré includes several industrial facilities of Petrobras, such as Potiguar Clara Camarão Refining Plant, Fluid Processing Unit and Transpetro, in addition to many private companies and distribution points that were installed near the complex, attracted by businesses related to oil exploration.

The natural gas processing unit of Guamaré produces 310 t of LPG and 730 million cu.mt. of industrial gas per day. To deliver this production, Petrobras built a gas pipeline connecting the Complex of Guamaré to the Industrial and Port Complex of Pecém. This complex, created in 1995, is located in the municipalities of Caucaia and São Gonçalo do Amarante, in the western seashore of Ceará, 50 km far from Fortaleza, with a total area of 13337 hectares. With a total length of 383 km, the Gasfor has one section with 213 km connecting Guamaré to Aracati (CE) and other section with 171 km connecting Aracati to Pecém. Its flow capacity is 292 million cu.mt. of natural gas per day, supplying not only the industrial complex of Pecém but also the cities of Icapuí, Horizonte and Maracanaú and the thermoelectric plant Termoceará, located in Caucaia, with generating capacity of 220 MW.

In addition to the Gasfor, the gas pipeline network that crosses the state of Rio Grande do Norte includes the pipelines of Nordestão and Serra do Mel-Açu. The Nordestão pipeline runs for 424 km between Guamaré and Cabo (CE) having a transport capacity of 1.9 million cu.mt. of gas per day. It crosses also the states of Paraíba and Pernambuco. The Serra do Mel-Açu pipeline is 32 km long, connecting the Gasfor to the Thermoelectric Plant Jesus Soares Pereira, located in Alto do Rodrigues (RN).

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