IRKUTSK/MOSCOW, July 31 (RIA Novosti) – Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft plans to boost the annual capacity of the East Siberia – Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline by 80 percent to 67 million tons from 2018, the head of a Transneft subsidiary said Wednesday.
“As part of the ESPO expansion, we’ll build seven oil pumping stations, of which three are being constructed in Yakutia [northeast Russia]. From 2015, construction of four stations will be launched in the Irkutsk Region [East Siberia],” Vostoknefteprovod head Viktor Bronnikov said.
Transneft president adviser Igor Dyomin told the Prime news agency that a plan the company intended to approve in September envisaged the construction of three oil pumping stations in 2015 to boost the ESPO’s capacity for oil deliveries to refineries in Komsomolsk and Khabarovsk, in the Russian Far East, and for oil deliveries to Russia’s Pacific Port of Kozmino.
The other four oil pump stations will be built before the end of 2017 to pump oil exclusively to China, he said.
“The construction of these oil pumping stations will help increase the ESPO’s capacity to 67 million tons. But these plans have not been approved yet,” Dyomin said.
On December 25, 2012, Transneft launched the second leg of the pipeline, the so-called ESPO-2, which links Skovorodino, the terminus of the ESPO-1 pipeline, to the Pacific port of Kozmino.
Construction of the ESPO-2 started on January 14, 2010, two weeks after the first leg began operation. The second leg is expected to pump 30 million tons of oil annually with eventual expansion of capacity to 50 million tons.
The first leg of the pipeline is designed to pump 30 million metric tons of Siberian oil to China, Japan and South Korea.