Representatives of the largest Czech refining and petrochemical group, ORLEN Unipetrol, and Technical University in Košice (TUKE), have signed a memorandum of understanding and cooperation in Košice. This memorandum paves the way for future cooperation in researching and developing hydrogen as a suitable energy carrier. Furthermore, hydrogen’s broader use in industry opens up opportunities for the greening of industry and public mobility. With this step, the ORLEN Unipetrol Group is also extending its collaboration with academia in education, research, and development in Slovakia.
“Our group is very active in the field of hydrogen mobility. We consider ourselves a significant player on the Slovak market in the wholesale and retail segment, so I am pleased that we have managed to find the ideal partner for our further development plans in the form of the Technical University in Košice. The Technical University of Košice emphasizes the scientific and technical knowledge base, innovation and workforce in order to shape a healthy and sustainable future,” says Tomasz Wiatrak, CEO of the ORLEN Unipetrol Group.
Under the development strategy, recently unveiled by the ORLEN Unipetrol Group, it wants to build at least 24 hydrogen stations and one hydrogen distribution terminal in Slovakia by 2030. In the Czech Republic, ORLEN Unipetrol has long and closely cooperated with universities and institutions of higher education in education, primary research, and in particular in applied research. For instance, it has collaborated with the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague for 20 years. Their University Centre located straight on the production premises in Litvínov is a unique joint project. It offers study opportunities to about 50 students of petrochemistry and oil-refining fields. The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Czech Technical University joined the centre last year. The ORLEN Unipetrol Group wants to extend the collaboration with academia in education, research, and development in Slovakia.
“We welcome ORLEN Unipetrol Group’s interest in being involved in academic research and development of the future use of hydrogen. We expect scientific cooperation and exchange of information, focused mainly on reducing emissions, high-capacity storage, transport and distributions, or technical drilling,” said Dr. h. c. prof. h. c. prof. Ing. Stanislav Kmeť, DrSc., Rector of the Technical University in Košice.
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 and Kolín, Spolana Neratovice, and two research centres in Litvínov and Brno. 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.