Russia Updates National Standards and Picks Up Pace at ISO

October 15, 2010

   To derive the maximum benefit of mutual relations with foreign partners through the application of high technologies, the state and business in Russia are hastening to regulate these relations using standardization as a core tool. Establishing new national standards and harmonizing them with international standards has become a subject of strong attention and a trend seen in company activities over the past five years.

   Moreover, ambitious developers of domestic standards are trying to achieve a breakthrough in quality in this domain, to promote Russia as a trend-setter in the field of standardization worldwide.

Why National Standards?

   In addition to revising outdated standards inherited as a Soviet legacy, today Russian developers face another important objective – to eliminate regulatory gaps in areas where there are no standards at all!

   In this context, one of the most striking examples is the standardization of the rules for the production and supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Incidentally, plans are underway to begin construction of an LNG plant on the Yamal Peninsula in 2015-2017, which should become Russia’s second largest plant after the Sakhalin plant built eighteen months ago.

   “The gas liquefaction plant built in Sakhalin is almost entirely based on foreign technology. Mainly on Shell’s technology,” Russian Union of Oil and Gas Producers (UOGP) President Gennady Shmal said during an interview with OGE during the NeftegazStandart-2010 International Conference held in Salekhard.
Taking Shmal at his word, the turning point in the transfer of Western technology has come, and domestic businesses has had enough time to adopt foreign expertise: now Russians can move forward on their own on the Yamal Peninsula which yields more than 90 percent of Russia’s gas.

   “I think we have enough brains to build an LNG plant on the Yamal Peninsula using Russian equipment. Just remember the first Yamal gas field, Medvezhe, where all the gas processing facilities involved French equipment. In Urengoi, the first two plants also used some French equipment”, Shmal said.

   He added, “All other GPF’s in Urengoi, which were 2 to 3 times more powerful than the Medvezhe field, were built with domestic equipment.” Schmal said he believed there is still time to develop standards to ensure that “one could build an LNG plant on the Yamal Peninsula, in general, using our domestically-manufactured equipment.”

   Alexander Zazhigalkin, the deputy head of Rosstandart, encourages strengthening Russian equipment manufacturers’ foothold . “If we apply an international standard, we open the road, maybe to a good producer, but still an exporter,” says he. Zazhigalkin adds that even in countries with a high degree of integration into the global economy, such as Germany, the share of national standards is 40%. In addition, Zazhigalkin stresses the importance of “the degree of modernity” of the national standards.

   “Technical regulation everywhere always relies on standards,” Anatoly Baryshnikov, the coordinator of the International Standardization department at Eni E & P, the RG8 Head to harmonize standards between TK12 CEN and the CIS told OGE is response