ORLEN Invests in Bioplastics
ORLEN is steadfastly executing the largest petrochemical project in Europe in the last 20 years. The company has decided to scale up the expansion of the Olefins Complex at the Production Plant in Płock. This move is in response to the growing market demand for petrochemical products, which serve as the foundation for manufacturing everyday items, such as car parts and home appliances. The expansion of the Olefins Complex will result in approximately 650 new jobs. Importantly, the project will enable a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions per tonne of product and will position ORLEN as a leader in the European petrochemical industry.
‘Global trends suggest that the demand for high-margin petrochemical products will grow dynamically. By 2050, the value of the petrochemicals and base plastics market has the potential to double. Meanwhile, within the next decade, the refining of crude oil into traditional fuels will gradually decrease. We are carefully analysing these changes and intensifying our actions to secure the largest possible share in the petrochemical business and quickly increase revenue generated by this segment. Hence, we are broadening the scope of work on the expansion of the Olefins Complex. We will modernize the entire existing infrastructure, making our complex the most advanced and eco-friendly in Europe. This approach will undoubtedly reinforce our position as a regional leader in petrochemical production, bolstering the competitiveness of our Group and the Polish economy,’ says Daniel Obajtek, CEO and President of the PKN ORLEN Management Board.
ORLEN plans to invest PLN 25 billion in the expansion of the Olefins Complex, with Polish subcontractors also taking part in the project. This amount is almost on par with the profit earned by the ORLEN Group in 2022.
Petrochemical products manufactured in the Olefins Complex will serve as the basis for more advanced plastics, used in the production of everyday items such as cleaning and hygiene products, medical items, as well as synthetic fibres for clothing or protective masks. They will also be used in car parts, home appliances, and electronic devices.
The expansion of the Olefins Complex and the increase in petrochemical production capacity will have a positive impact not only on the Group's business but also on job creation and the financial situation of local authorities. The project is estimated to increase employment within the Group by about 650 full-time positions. Additionally, ORLEN's local tax payments to municipal budgets are expected to rise by an additional PLN 160 million annually. Furthermore, the increased availability of base petrochemicals will lay the groundwork for the development of the chemical industry in Poland and amplify positive effects on the economy.
The expanded scope of work will involve a thorough modernization of the existing infrastructure at the Production Plant in Płock. After modernization, it will be used for the manufacturing of olefins and for future development projects. The investment is a crucial element of the energy transition and will enable a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions per tonne of product. The construction of a modern Olefins Complex will extend the lifespan of the refining installations, for which petrochemical production will provide opportunities in the coming years.
The project will also capitalize on synergies from the merger between ORLEN and Grupa LOTOS The Gdansk plant will supply a significant volume of naphtha for olefin production. In turn, olefins will be one of the raw materials necessary for the production of LDPE polyethylene, which is used to manufacture films, bags, canisters, and food packaging. Last year, ORLEN took over part of the business associated with the production and sale of LDPE polyethylene, owned by Basell Orlen Polyolefins, in which it is a shareholder.
According to current plans, the implementation of the Olefins Complex will make a substantial contribution to enhancing the petrochemical potential of the ORLEN Group. The project will boost the production of base petrochemicals in Płock by more than 60 per cent and by over 30 per cent in the entire ORLEN Group, including the company's operations in the Czech Republic and Lithuania. Upon its completion in 2027, ORLEN will boast one of the most advanced and efficient petrochemical plants in Europe, enabling the company to build a competitive advantage and strengthen its position as a regional leader in the petrochemical segment.