PKN ORLEN’s crowdsourcing project enters the final stage

PKN ORLEN has selected six solutions best designed to improve the refinery’s energy efficiency. The select group of finalists includes contestants from Poland, Great Britain, France, Germany, United States, and India.

Despite the complexity of the challenge, PKN ORLEN’s initiative attracted significant interest from innovators around the world. The submissions feature a large variety of solutions, which enable the use of waste heat from distillation columns for the production of electricity, chilled water and steam, among other things. The selected solutions comprise a wide range of technologies, already available or still in the R&D phase. From among over 20 submissions, PKN ORLEN’s experts selected six, whose authors will compete in the March finals for three prizes of EUR 10,000 each, as well as the possibility of pilot project implementation and further cooperation with PKN ORLEN. The winners will be announced in late March or early April 2016.

The crowdsourcing model chosen by PKN ORLEN is now very popular around the world. The advanced competition tools and communication channels developed together with NineSigma have allowed us to reach innovators around the world. Through a website, NineSights, Webinarium and social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, the contestants had a unique opportunity to look up and review in real time all information regarding the project, as well as share knowledge directly with PKN ORLEN’s and NineSigma’s experts.

PKN ORLEN has been actively involved in innovation-driven projects with the aim of further enhancing the ORLEN Group’s value. For years, PKN ORLEN has initiated R&D projects in association with Polish universities and research institutes.
We are currently pursuing a number of innovative projects in many areas of the Company’s business. Our cooperative links with universities and research institutes, as well as crowdsourcing projects, help us reach a greater number of experts and accelerate the search for solutions we are after, for instance to improve the energy efficiency of production processes. High-quality content of the submissions and their conformity with our objectives prove that we have taken the right path - said Andrzej Kozłowski, Executive Director for Strategy and Project Management, PKN ORLEN.

The aim of the contest is to find the optimum technology solution enabling efficient recovery and utilisation of low-temperature heat from distillation columns. Its implementation will not only generate savings, but also bring environmental benefits in the form of reduced unit energy consumption and lower emissions into the atmosphere. To manage the project, the Company has partnered with NineSigma, which has organised similar initiatives for BASF, GE and Siemens − companies in the vanguard of innovative industrial technologies.