When it is so cold outside that the temperature display does not go low enough, you are either in an apocalyptic Hollywood blockbuster – or in Novy Urengoy.
Novy Urengoy, Russia, 30-1-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — Over the past few days, the already frosty temperatures have fallen to minus 50 degrees. This affects not only the lives of Achimgaz workers but also the 100,000 residents of the city.
Life in the Siberian city is well and truly frozen at the moment: “Schools are closed, and there are hardly any cars on the roads. Only a few taxis are operating, and they have doubled their fares. You have to think carefully each time you want to set foot outside,” says Ingo Neubert, Deputy General Director of Achimgaz and a member of the Management Board. As he points out, it is unusually cold, even for a city that lies just 35 kilometers from the polar circle.
Achimgaz nevertheless continues to produce gas – albeit with increased safety arrangements. All work in the open air, e.g. drilling, has ceased. During its almost hour-long journey through the tundra, the bus transporting Achimgaz staff to the central treatment facility is now always accompanied by a second bus which can take over immediately in the event of technical problems.
Compensation for the dark polar night
To protect themselves against the extreme cold, employees wear special clothing and heavy shoes which would ensure survival down to a temperature of -100 degrees. “People have walked to the North and South Pole wearing shoes like these,” adds Neubert.
In contrast, it is pleasantly warm in the small flats in the city – up to 25 degrees. Residents of Novy Urengoy also like to keep their flats well lit – to compensate for the dark polar night outside.