Last year, the ORLEN Unipetrol Group spent CZK 2 billion on environmental protection and support. The only oil processing company in the Czech Republic and one of the most significant petrochemical producers has been engaged in environmental protection for a long term, continuously modernising its operations, reducing the volume of emitted waste substances, and optimising its energy intensity. Last year, emissions into the air went significantly down due to the commissioning of new energy facilities and refurbishment of the existing ones. Together with its parent company, the Group intends to be emissions-neutral by 2050. ORLEN Unipetrol’s capital and operating expenditure related to the environment totalled nearly CZK 9 billion over the past five years.
“We want to be emissions-neutral by 2050 at the latest. Therefore, we have launched a range of projects to streamline our operations and improve our energy efficiency in line with the EU requirements. These projects are set to contribute to the fulfilment of this ambitious goal at the Group-wide level. One of the current investments is a new steam-and-gas heating plant to ensure the supply of steam and electricity for Chempark in Litvínov, which can also burn hydrogen. Thus, the total environmental expenditure in the ORLEN Unipetrol Group reached CZK 2 billion in 2020,” comments ORLEN Unipetrol CEO Tomasz Wiatrak. He adds that the costs were primarily related to the above investment projects to improve the Group’s environmental performance and the operation of environment-protecting facilities, fee payments, formation of provisions, and clean-up operations.
Last year, ORLEN Unipetrol invested CZK 490 million to build a new steam cracker boiler house and construction of a new facility for the processing of sulphide lyes in Litvínov. It also refurbished the sewerage and sloping systems in the Litvínov and Kralupy refineries, and the construction of a new treated wastewater pipeline to the Vltava at the Kralupy refinery. In addition, it built a new boiler house in Spolana Neratovice.
Compared to the previous decade, the newly installed state-of-the-art technologies with a high degree of raw-material conversion, lower waste production, and high energy efficiency contributed to the overall reduction in operating expenses that stabilised at CZK 855 million last year. Pollutant emissions into the environment have also stabilised over the past five years due to the extensive greening investments. As a result, a significant year-on-year decline could be seen in NOx and SO2 values (by 13% and 26%, respectively).
ORLEN Unipetrol is also active in environmental protection through its CSR projects: beekeeping, stocking the rivers Bílina and Elbe with fish, and support of peregrine falcon nesting. The honey made in Spolana meets all standards required by the technical tests of the Bee Research Institute and is also regularly awarded a top-quality golden medal in the Czech Honey competition. Ten tonnes of fish worth CZK 1 million have been released into the River Bílina during many years of cooperation with local fishers. Four tonnes were released into the Elbe for about CZK 300,000. Forty chicks of the critically endangered peregrine falcon have been born over 11 years of collaboration with the non-profit association ALKA Wildlife.
The ORLEN Unipetrol Group is the largest refinery and petrochemical company in the Czech Republic. It focuses on crude oil processing and the production, distribution and sale of vehicle fuels and petrochemical products – particularly plastics and fertilisers. In all these areas, it belongs among the critical players in the Czech and Central European markets. The ORLEN Unipetrol Group encompasses refineries and production plants in Litvínov and Kralupy nad Vltavou, Paramo, with its Mogul brand in Pardubice, Spolana Neratovice, and two research centres in Litvínov and Brno. ORLEN Unipetrol also includes a network of Benzina ORLEN filling stations in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. With 421 filling stations, Benzina ORLEN is the largest chain in the Czech Republic. Since its entry in 2019 to Slovakia, Benzina ORLEN has been one of the fastest-growing chains and currently has 20 stations in its network. ORLEN Unipetrol employs more than 4,800 people. In 2005, ORLEN Unipetrol became a member of the ORLEN Group, the largest crude oil processor in Central Europe. In addition to its business development, ORLEN Unipetrol is proud to be a socially responsible corporation. Therefore, it pays an equal amount of attention to initiatives, focusing on the cultivation and support of sustainable development, education, local communities, and the environment.