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Pro-ecological investments of ORLEN Group

23-09-2019  

ORLEN Południe, an ORLEN Group company, is transforming into a biorefinery. The cornerstone was laid in Trzebinia plant for the construction of the first unit in Poland for the production of ecological, environmentally friendly propylene glycol. The Company has also signed a contract for the purchase of license and the base design of the unit for production of second generation bioethanol in Jedlicze. The aim of the investment is to strengthen the company’s position on the market of biocomponents and to meet the EU challenges obliging Poland to use renewable fuels and biocomponents in transportation.

Information on both projects was provided during the ceremony which took place in Trzebinia.

‘Investments are the engine of the country’s economic growth. Also the ambitious projects of ORLEN Południe, implemented in Trzebinia and Jedlicze, contribute to that. Additionally, they are an opportunity for the region and a support for Polish farmers. When focusing on ecological production, the Company also shows that it follows the current trends and understands that economic development must go hand in hand with environmental protection,’ Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki pointed out in his letter addressed to participants of the meeting. 

‘In accordance with the strategy, we are consistently developing and strengthening the Group’s companies, including ORLEN Południe. We invest in modern technologies and focus on high-margin products because this will determine maintaining the leading position in the region in the coming years. We do not forget about our social responsibility either and we use ecological solutions that significantly reduce the impact of our activities on the environment,’ said Daniel Obajtek, President of the Management Board of PKN ORLEN.

Propylene glycol which will be produced in Trzebinia refinery is an ecological and environmentally friendly product. It is often used in the production of, among others, cleaning products, deodorant sticks, toothpastes, brake fluids or aircraft defrosters. The cost of investment, which will be implemented by a consortium comprising two Polish companies, is estimated at approx. PLN 400 million.

Construction of an ecological propylene glycol production unit along with auxiliary installations and additional infrastructure is to be completed in 2021. The investment in Trzebinia is to be implemented in the turnkey system by Polish companies: Technik Polska and Biproraf. The unit is going to be the first one of this type in Poland, and the second one in Europe.

‘Production capacities of the new unit are to amount to 30,000 tons a year, which means that propylene glycol production will meet as much as 75% of the domestic demand for this product. The investment is strategic for our company because it will make us the first producer of ecological glycol in Poland,’ stressed Jarosław Wróbel, President of the Management Board of ORLEN Południe.

The implemented investment is also going to consolidate the company’s position as an important enterprise and employer in the region. ORLEN Południe already employs over 650 people, of which more than a half are employed at Trzebinia refinery. Owing to the new project, several dozen new jobs are to be created.

The production of propylene glycol will enable the use of glycerine made in Trzebinia, which is obtained in the production of biodiesel, primarily from rapeseed oil. However, ORLEN Południe is not going to be the only entity to benefit from the investment. After the implementation, other domestic biodiesel producers supplying glycerine and ecological glycol recipients will also be able to start co-operation with the company.

Construction of the unit results from the stable, very good financial standing of the company. Last year, the company achieved a net result of PLN 89 million.

The Company is preparing for the construction of the unit for production of second generation bioethanol in Jedlicze. The contract signed with Clariant Produkte provides for the purchase of the license and the base project. The investment is going to strengthen the company’s position on the market of biocomponents, and facilitate the implementation of the National Indicative Target, which assumes achievement of an 8.5% share of renewable fuels and biocomponents in liquid fuels in 2020.

Capacity of the unit planned in Jedlicze refinery amounts to 25,000 tons of bioethanol a year. It would be produced from non-food raw materials, mainly straw, supplied by Polish farmers. This would allow for exploitation of the potential of local agriculture in the south-eastern region of Poland.

Implementation of the investment would also enable the increased exploitation of the sites of ORLEN Południe in Jedlicze. The Company is considering that a biogas plant and a biogas and lignin fired CHP plant should also be part of the complex, apart from the second generation bioethanol plant.

The investment would involve an increase in employment. The refinery would offer new jobs for qualified microbiologists, geneticists and laboratory technicians. With the construction of this modern, highly efficient complex, Poland has a chance to strengthen its position in Europe in the area of new generation biofuels.

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