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PKN ORLEN invests in advanced biofuels in Płock

PKN ORLEN invests in advanced biofuels in Płock
PKN ORLEN is investing in an HVO unit at its Płock Refinery (photo courtesy PKN ORLEN).

Poland-headed oil and energy major Polski Koncern Naftowy ORLEN S.A (PKN ORLEN) has announced that it will invest approximately PKN 600 million (≈ EUR 129.5 million) to implement a "modern technology for making hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO)" at its Płock Refinery.

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According to a statement, this environmentally friendly and innovative solution, consistent with the ORLEN2030 strategy, will solidify the ORLEN Group’s position in the biofuel market.

It will also be ORLEN’s response to the EU’s ‘Fit for 55’ package, which includes a set of new challenges for the oil refining industry to reduce transport fuel emissions.

We can see a growing role of renewables in transport. The fuel market is largely being shaped by the RED II provisions, which seek to achieve more widespread use of biofuels, and by the ‘Fit for 55’ package adopted by the European Commission in July. Therefore, we are consistently investing in new and environmentally friendly solutions to meet the ambitious EU goals, said Daniel Obajtek, CEO and President of the PKN ORLEN Management Board.

PKN ORLEN will construct the HVO unit at the Production Plant in Płock, where it will deploy the innovative technology to hydrotreat rapeseed oil, used cooking oil (UCO), or a blend on an industrial scale.

The project is to be carried out in mid-2024.

As set out in our strategy, over the coming decade we want to be a leading regional producer of biofuels, including advanced second-generation products. The innovative HVO project to be carried out at our plant in Płock will bring us significantly closer to that goal while enhancing the competitive strength of the Polish economy, Daniel Obajtek said.

Produce renewable blendstock

The end product will be used as a blendstock for diesel and aviation fuel. The HVO unit’s annual capacity could reach approximately 300 000 tonnes, an amount that would satisfy the plant’s needs.

The project is in line with the operational program for biofuels set out in PKN ORLEN’s strategy. It will facilitate the achievement of the national indicative target (biofuel quota) and compliance with the EU requirements to increase the share of biofuels in the transport fuel mix.

This in turn will help bring down emissions from transport fuels sold on the market, in accordance with the EU’s ‘Fit for 55’ package.

The stream of biofuel components from the HVO unit will also contribute to meeting the requirements set by ‘Fit for 55’ for the aviation industry.

The aviation biofuel produced from UCO will meet the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) criteria and significantly reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

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