ORLEN invests in logistics and production assets in Gdańsk

The ORLEN Group is going to invest more than PLN 500 million in the Gdańsk refinery to improve the safety and security of product supply. A transshipment marine terminal will be built on the refinery wharf, which will enable the handling of more than one million tonnes of products, including base oils, marine fuels or fuel bio additives, starting from 2025. The project’s contractor will be a consortium of companies led by the NDI Group of Sopot. Also, a related project is concurrently being carried out in Gdańsk to construct a cutting-edge hydrocracked base oil unit (HBO), valued at more than PLN 1.4 billion.

Completion of the HBO project, initiated in 2021, will improve the economics of crude processing. Launching a brand new product category, namely state-of-the-art Group 2 base oils, on the Polish and foreign markets will significantly bolster the Group’s competitiveness. The unit is going to produce over 400 thousand tonnes of those oils and several dozen thousand tonnes of fuel intermediates.

- As declared earlier, we are determined to step up development of the Gdańsk-based assets, leveraging their value to achieve the strategic goals of the ORLEN Group. We have allocated a total of PLN 2 billion to investments that will improve the profitability of crude processing and the security of product supply. By investing in our own infrastructure, we are reducing our dependence on external partners, whilst generating significant savings in the logistics area. Importantly, we are leveraging the potential of the local companies we have engaged to work on this project - said Daniel Obajtek, President of the Management Board of PKN ORLEN.

In the next few years, the target annual handling capacity of the Martwa Wisła marine terminal could reach up to 2 million tonnes of products. Once completed, the project will improve the profitability and security of supply of biocomponents for fuels (biogasoline and biodiesel) and transport of products (base oils and marine fuels) from the refinery. The terminal will also ease the workload of the refinery’s railway siding, currently used to transport products between the refinery and external transshipment points.

The project envisages the construction of a transshipment wharf for seagoing vessels up to 130 meters long, up to 17.6 meters wide, and with a draught of up to 5.8 meters. The work will include the construction of a wharf with two handling stations for LNG carriers (each with four loading arms), as well as the necessary infrastructure, i.e., buildings, pipelines, steel pipe bridges, underground and auxiliary infrastructure connecting the terminal with the refinery in Gdańsk. The project will be carried out by a consortium comprising companies from the NDI Group of Sopot (consortium leader), Biproraf sp. z o.o., BPBM PROJMORS Sp. z o.o., and Dipl. Ing. SCHERZER GmbH. The general contractor will operate on a turnkey basis.

- We are facing another engineering challenge – a high tech project of significant complexity. As it is being carried out at a critical area, that is the premises of the Gdańsk refinery, we need to plan our work very carefully and perform it with due regard to the highest safety standards. Our consortium comprises experienced companies that will complement each other in the execution of the project. As the leader, we will ensure smooth cooperation between all the participants in order to bring the project to completion - said Małgorzata Winiarek-Gajewska, the NDI Group’s CEO and President of the Management Board.

The terminal will enable loading and unloading of components and biocomponents for biofuels (biodiesel and biogasolines) such as: FAME, i.e., bioesters – fatty acid methyl esters derived from vegetable oils and used as a component of diesel oil; UCOME, i.e., next-generation biofuels, made from waste products such as used cooking oil; methyl tert-butylether (MTBE) – an organic component of gasolines, increasing their octane number, as well as xylenes used in petrochemical processes and low-sulfur marine fuels (MGO and RMD).

The terminal will also play a key role in shipping base oils from another, larger project, whose timeline is closely correlated to the construction of the terminal – a hydrocracked base oil (HBO) unit which is being built in Gdańsk, and whose construction started in late 2021. Both projects are scheduled for completion by mid-2025. The heart of the HBO project is a catalytic dewaxing/hydrofinishing (DW/HDF) unit, which will consist of several sections: reactor, hydrogen compression and hydrogen circulation, light product separation and liquid product distillation. The HBO unit at the Gdańsk refinery will enable the production of high-quality oils.

Both the HBO unit and the transshipment marine terminal projects have been prepared by experts from the LOTOS Group. Exemplary cooperation between the teams of the two merging companies allowed PKN ORLEN to smoothly take over and continue their implementation. The budget of the marine terminal exceeds PLN 500 million. Completion of the project – after an increase in prices of supplies and construction services following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – will be possible thanks to the financing secured by PKN ORLEN – a strong player with high investment capacity.

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