New petrochemical product in ORLEN Unipetrol portfolio
In response to market demand, ORLEN Unipetrol is investing to expand its petrochemical product offering. Once a production facility is constructed at the Litvínov plant in the Czech Republic, in the second half of 2022 a new product will be launched on the market. It will be dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) – a compound used in the automotive, construction, electrical engineering, pharmaceutical and medical sectors, as well as other industries. Its target annual output will be up to 26,000 tonnes, which would account for approximately 25% of the total DCPD capacities in Europe.
“In line with our strategy until 2030, we want to increase the share of speciality petrochemicals in our portfolio. Within ten years or so, this segment is to generate half of the ORLEN Group’s profits from crude oil processing. By investing to expand our Czech assets, we will not only enhance our business profits, but will also boost energy security in the region,” said Daniel Obajtek, President of the PKN ORLEN Management Board.
Dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) is a liquid hydrocarbon produced in the refining and steam cracking of naphtha and gas oils. It will be produced based on a technology developed by scientists from ORLEN Unipetrol and the University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague. The process was developed as part of a project to find a method of separating hydrocarbons that are secondary products from petrochemical facilities and may find market applications.
“Keeping a close eye on the market environment, we have noted strong demand for DCPD globally and a shortage of DCPD capacities in Europe. We expect demand to grow by another 20%. By 2030, demand in American markets may grow by 40%, and in Asia – by up to 60%. This is why we have decided to invest in our own DCPD production technology,” explains Tomasz Wiatrak, President of the ORLEN Unipetrol Management Board.
After the start-up of the facility, ORLEN Unipetrol will produce 80%-94% dicyclopentadiene. The target output is up to 26,000 tonnes of dicyclopentadiene annually. The construction cost of the facility will be approximately PLN 145m (CZK 831m). Potential applications of the product include the manufacture of polymeric materials, resins, adhesives, dyes, packaging and optical fibres.