Environmental Protection

Russian Refinery Selects GE Wastewater Treatment System for Pilot Test

Discharged water at a Russian refinery will be able to meet strict regulations for limits of chemical oxygen demand in river by using GE’s ZeeWeed wastewater treatment technology to reduce freshwater consumption.

GE and Russian oil company Bashneft have launched pilot testing of GE’s ZeeWeed membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology for biological treatment of sewage water from the Bashneft-Ufaneftekhim oil processing complex and other enterprises of the Northern Industrial Block of Ufa. Strict discharge regulations and the need to reuse the treated water, led Bashneft to choose GE's MBR, electrodialysis reversal (EDR) and reverse osmosis (RO) technologies for the pilot testing.

The testing is being conducted in cooperation with the Institute of Petroleum Refining and Petrochemistry of the Republic of Bashkortostan as a part of preparations for a modernization project for biological treatment plants (BTP) of the Bashneft-Ufaneftekhim branch.

During the tests, which will continue until June 30, 2013, GE will demonstrate the technological feasibility of sewage purification in compliance with the strict requirements of environmental legislation of the Russian Federation.

“Bashneft focuses on protecting the environment from harmful industrial impacts. We believe that the company’s best-in-class oil processing complexity level has to have the best sewage water treatment system,” said Viktor Gantsev, senior vice president, OJSC Oil Processing Joint-Stock Company Bashneft for petroleum processing and petrochemistry. “And we hope that GE’s advanced technology will help to solve this problem and make the water of the Belaya River cleaner, which will be beneficial for all the people of Bashkortostan.”

In the framework of the project, GE will use ZeeWeed MBR technology, EDR, RO, and absorption on activated carbon. The use of a set of cutting-edge purification methods enables implementation of a closed-cycle principle and the minimization of water intake requirements. A distinctive feature of purification based on the GE technological process is the absence of preliminary clarification tanks and secondary clarifiers. At the exit from the aeration tanks, the activated sludge is separated from treated water using ZeeWeed 500 ultrafiltration membranes. Dehydration of oil sludge, precipitation, and excess sludge is performed on compact centrifuges. All of the above makes it possible to reduce the area of purification facilities and exclude any chance of contaminant release into the environment.

“The innovative GE solutions minimize water intake requirements and minimize the risk of oil and oil products entering the ground and subsurface waters. We are confident that upgrading the water treatment facilities is a genuine step on the way to sustainable development for all of Russia’s oil industry. Today we are glad to demonstrate the possibilities of our equipment at the Bashneft production facility,” said Chris Jeffery, region executive, Europe & Russia/CIS, engineered systems, GE Power & Water.

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