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2022-12-21 Hundreds of tons of used cooking oil separated by customers through Slovnaft petrol stations

More than 400 tonnes of used cooking oil have already been brought by customers to Slovnaft petrol stations for recycling. The service of collecting oil from households has been offered by the largest network of petrol stations for more than 11 years. From collected oil, the partner company Meroco produces a biofuel component, which Slovnaft adds to diesel fuel. The biofuel component from used cooking oil significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Ten years ago, most households in Slovakia separated only paper and plastics. Used cooking oil usually ended up in the sewer or, in the worst case, in the garden behind the house. Slovnaft started collecting used cooking oil from households in 2011, and at that time the service was more of an awareness-raising project than an activity with a real environmental impact. Gradually, however, people's attitude towards the oil from their kitchens has changed and separating used cooking oil is now a natural part of most households. You can drop off used cooking oil at 212 service stations in 118 towns and cities.

"We started out in the green, so to speak, and now collecting used cooking oil is a matter of course, even a waste management obligation for municipalities. We are pleased that our activity - an innovative service for customers at the time of its inception - has become an inspiration for other commercial entities. We see that people care about nature. That is why oil collection is deeply integrated into our environmental activities and our service offer," says Anton Molnár, spokesperson for Slovnaft.

In the first three quarters of this year, customers of Slovnaft petrol stations brought and handed over for recycling more than 47 tonnes of used cooking oil, which is 9% more than in the same period a year ago. This is an additional 47 tonnes of oil that did not end up in the sewer or in nature.

"We see the Christmas period as a time when we cook, bake and fry more at home. We therefore expect that, as in previous years, the consumption of oil will again increase and consequently the amount that people take away for further processing. The more oil that ends up in the harvest, the better for nature. This way we can do a lot together," says A. Molnár.

It is a good idea to collect used cooking oil in a plastic bottle or in its original packaging so that the glass container does not break during transport and the oil does not deteriorate. Before pouring, it is important to let it cool and strain it through a sieve so that no food residues remain. The collected cooking oil should be taken to the filling station and handed over to the attendant. For every deciliter of oil, BONUS klub members will receive one BONUS point.

2022-11-30 Slovnaft Refinery completed this year's maintenance and modernisation cycle

  • the company has invested a total of €69 million in its assets this year
  • a total of 33 refinery and petrochemical production units were shut down
  • supply of customers was smooth and uninterrupted during the planned turnarounds

Bratislava, 30th of November 2022 – The Bratislava Slovnaft refinery comleted this year's cycle of planned maintenance and modernisation at the end of November. During the year, it gradually shut down 33 refinery and petrochemical production units in three phases. Slovnaft invested a total of EUR 69 million in the cleaning, maintenance and modernisation of its production facilities. As a result, they are safer and have a lower environmental burden. The planned shutdowns took the company two years to prepare, and more than 2,300 domestic and foreign external contractors were involved in cleaning, inspecting and repairing the refining and petrochemical facilities.

In the final, autumn phase, a turnaround was carried out on one diesel production unit, and another unit was only in a so-called process shutdown, which means that cleaning work on some equipment and minor repairs were carried out on it. Slovnaft's production started to run normally on 27 November 2022.

„Planned turnarounds have increased the safe and efficient operation of refining and petrochemical assets and reduced energy consumption. Even during turnarounds of half of the refinery assets, the supply to Slovnaft's service stations and wholesale customers was uninterrupted. At the same time, we had all works and activities planned in such a way as to minimize impact on the population living near the refinery," said Martin Bičan, Manager of Project Management and Planned Turnarounds at SLOVNAFT, a.s., Martin Bičan.

Watch the path of crude oil at the Slovnaft refinery. Ladislav Nagy, Head of Operation, is your guide through the heavily guarded critical infrastructure area: SLOVNAFT TV

This year's planned turnarounds started in March with the spring phase on nine production units and work was completed in early April. The summer phase, which lasted from May to July, was the most challenging. Twenty-one production units, including the Ethylene unit, were gradually shut down and restarted after the work had been carried out. The first phase of the modernisation project was carried out in this key part of the petrochemical plant, aimed at operational safety and life extension. A unique project in the summer turnaround was the replacement of the ageing atmospheric furnace on Atmospheric Distillation Unit 5 (AD5), which had been in operation since 1967, with a new one. At the same time, a column was replaced on AD5 to make the distillation process more efficient and reduce the risk of fire. The replacement of two pumps in the refinery's Circulation Centre has in turn brought a direct reduction in energy consumption. The annual electricity consumption within the Circulation Centre is expected to decrease by 6.7%. In the autumn part, which closed this year's cycle, the company focused on unit important for the production of diesel fuel, which is one of Slovnaft's key products for foreign markets as well.


About the production zone SLOVNAFT, a.s

The refining and petrochemical company in the south-eastern part of Bratislava covers an area of approximately 400 hectares. The production zone is divided into blocks with seven operational units, a railway, a logistics terminal, energy infrastructure and warehouses. Of the total area of the site, 270 hectares are grassed over and there are more than 10.000 trees growing there. Outside the main area is a mechanical-chemical-biological wastewater treatment plant, which is one of the largest ecological structures in the region. SLOVNAFT, a.s. is one of the three most modern refinery-petrochemical complexes in Europe. The EFPA (Environmental Fuel Project Apollo) complex is key for the refinery and the petrochemical part includes the state-of-the-art LDPE4 n polyolefin complex for polyethylene production and the PP3 production unit where polypropylene is produced.

About SLOVNAFT Group

The SLOVNAFT Group is an integrated refining and petrochemical group. The key company of the Group is SLOVNAFT, a.s., which is mainly engaged in the processing of crude oil in one of the most complex European refineries and in the wholesale and retail sale of fuels. Slovnaft operates the largest network of petrol stations in the Slovak Republic. The company is one of Slovakia's leaders in CSR and corporate philanthropy, and significantly supports sports, culture, education, youth and environmental revitalisation. Forbes magazine ranked Slovnaft among the most valuable Slovak brands. SLOVNAFT Group is a member of the international MOL Group.


Contact person:
Anton Molnár
Spokesperson and Head of Communications
Tel: +421 905 393 161

Rafinéria Slovnaft uzavrela tohtoročný cyklus údržby a modernizácie

Rafinéria Slovnaft uzavrela tohtoročný cyklus údržby a modernizácie

Rafinéria Slovnaft uzavrela tohtoročný cyklus údržby a modernizácie

2022-11-25 Štefan Svitko heads to the start of his 14th Dakar Rally

  • Dakar 2023 will be the longest since 2014 and brings a range of new features
  • Štefan Svitko and Slovnaft Rally Team are ready
  • the KTM motorcycle and accompanying vehicles leave to Saudi Arabia on Monday, November 28th, the team members will fly to the rally at the end of December 2022

BRATISLAVA, November 25th 2022 – Štefan Svitko, the most successful Slovak motorcycle rider with three European championship titles, multiple Slovak champion in enduro and cross country, will start the prestigious Dakar Rally 2023 for the fourteenth time in the colours of the Slovnaft Rally Team. Again with the official status of "Dakar Legend" and his usual number 142. Dakar 2023 comes with several new features.

The 45th Dakar Rally starts a little earlier than usually - on New Year's Eve, December 31st, 2022. Saudi Arabia is hosting the most prestigious race in the world for the fourth time and the organizers have prepared a physically and technically demanding track for the riders. It will run across the entire country, with up to 70% of the track being new. Covering more than 5,000 kilometres, the current Dakar is the longest since 2014. A major novelty should be the different itineraries of the routes. The stage will have two variations, with riders being randomly assigned to these routes. The organisers have solved the riders' reluctance to start the stage by allocating a bonus time compensation for the first rider. The stage is always started by the winner of the previous one. Dakar 2023 should also be run without neutralisation zones. These are time trial sections with regulated speed, during which riders could complete minor repairs or eat, but they split the stages and slowed down considerably.

Slovak rider with an official "Dakar legend" title, Štefan Svitko, is not afraid of the news: "We will see if the organisers' plans for changes will come true in reality. My guess is that there will be more wandering on the rough routes, but on the other hand, that's what the Dakar is all about. To reach into your reserves and concentrate fully on the terrain and the route. Every year I go into the Dakar Rally with respect and focus on riding every stage to the best of my ability."

It starts in the west of Saudi Arabia, on the Red Sea coast about 300 kilometres north of Jeddah, and continues crossing the country to the east to the world's largest sand desert, Ar-Rub' al-Khali (Empty Quarter). The finish will bring the riders to the east coast to the Arabian Gulf in Dammam, where the names of the overall winners will be revealed on January 15th 2023. Riders will face fourteen challenging stages from sand dunes through uninhabited areas, as well as sections through the northwestern mountains.

Štefan did not underestimate his preparation for Dakar this year either. He took every opportunity to get on the sand. The icing on the cake was his overall victory in the Africa Eco Race, which symbolically ended in Dakar, Senegal. "The Africa Eco Race was a great experience with a good atmosphere, but now I'm focusing solely on the Dakar. Physically, I'm fine. Before the Dakar, I would like to make it to the High Tatras, where I traditionally improve my fitness and do a few more training sessions on sand," says Štefan Svitko.

Slovnaft Rally Team is going to Dakar 2023 with its proven line-up from last year. Štefan Svitko and his Dakar mechanic Zlatko Novosád have been joined by physiotherapist Jakub Kmet'ko. „Jakub was already a great asset not only for me but also for the team last year, so I am very happy that he is coming with us again," says Štefan.  Svitko will ride his 14th Dakar Rally as usual on a KTM 450 Rally Replica motorcycle with tuned suspension. The announced route through the vast desert in the east of the country promises an attractive spectator spectacle. „If it works out and more stages are run on sand, I'll be happy. I prefer to ride on it rather than on rocky terrain, which increases the risk of a crash or technical complication. However, the stages in the hot desert climate and the overall longer Dakar mean that both fitness and technics will take a beating. I've been riding the same bike for several years now, both me and my mechanic Zlatko Novosád know it well. I believe that we will avoid all the technical problems that we literally encountered in almost every stage at the last Dakar," adds Svitko.

15 kilograms of freshly roasted Fresh Corner coffee will also provide a physical and mental boost for Štefan and the Slovnaft Rally Team during the two demanding weeks. In addition to coffee and traditional bivouac equipment, the bike will also be accompanied by reliable products from the MOL Dynamic and EVOX range, essential for the proper functioning of the bike in extreme conditions. For engine lubrication Svitko uses MOL Dynamic Moto 4T Racing 10W-50 oil, which has been specially developed for demanding conditions, and for chain protection he uses MOL Dynamic Moto Chain O-X 400 ML. Štefan Svitko has been able to count on the support of his partner, Slovnaft, for fourteen years. "Although we are a close team, Štefan always surprises us with his fighting spirit, tenacity and humanity. In the evening he exchanges maximum concentration on the track for a smile on his face and hospitality. His stories about meeting riders from all over the world for coffee in Svitko's bivouac are legendary," says Anton Molnár, Slovnaft's spokesman and Head of Communications.

Štefan's perseverance, enthusiasm for driving and constant improvement are also an inspiration for Slovnaft. "Just like Štefan works on himself, we are also developing and constantly improving our quality. After two years of development and testing, this year we introduced our improved EVO and EVO Plus fuels with a new additive. The so-called EVOTECH formula extends engine life, improves performance and reduces emissions. This is confirmed by the fact that Štefan Svitko, a world-class rider, regularly fills his bike with our premium EVO 100 Plus petrol. Before his journey to the Dakar, we wish him especially good health and the proverbial dose of luck on the Dakar itself, so that the Slovnaft Rally Team will once again produce a result that will please every fan of motorsport," adds Anton Molnár.

Since his debut in Dakar in 2010, Štefan Svitko has competed in all editions with the support of Slovnaft. At the very first Dakar in the motorcycle category he took thirteenth place and became the most successful rookie. The following year, he failed to finish the eighth stage due to a bike failure and had to withdraw. Two years later he had a nasty crash and withdrew from the competition with just three stages to go. He finished ninth in 2013, but finished fifth overall in 2012 and 2015. In 2016, he achieved his best result to date, when he triumphed in 2nd place. In 2017, he finished 25th (without the penalty, he would have finished 7th). Two unlucky seasons followed, when he injured his shoulder in the 2018 Dakar and retired from the 8th place after the 10th stage. In 2019, he withdrew due to a motorcycle failure on stage 8, again from a fantastic 8th place overall. He finished 11th overall in 2020, and finished 8th overall the following year. He finished 12th in 2022. At the Dakar Rally, Svitko is a highly respected rider and part of the world's elite. His name is also shining with the title of "Dakar legend", for riders who have taken part in the world's toughest marathon rally more than ten times.  In addition to speed and courage, he has also shown humanity many times in his career. When his opponents got injured and needed help, he didn't hesitate. This approach was recognised in September 2021 by two prestigious organisations: the Slovak Olympic and Sports Committee and the College of the Fair Play Club awarded him the highest Fair Play award "Ján Popluhár Award" for 2020 and the European Fair Play Movement awarded him the European Fair Play Merit Plaque and the 2021 Diploma for exceptional behaviour and approach. In March 2022, Svitko became a laureate of the Extraordinary Crystal Wing Award.

Supporters of the Slovak national team can follow the current events throughout the race, including interesting information from behind the scenes on his fan page: www.facebook.com/StefanSvitkoFanklub and on his official website www.stefansvitko.com. Slovnaft's social media will also provide updates during the Dakar Rally (facebook.com/myslovnaft and instagram.com/myslovnaft).

 

2022-10-07 Autumn turnarounds will complete this year's maintenance and modernisation cycle at Slovnaft refinery

  • in the autumn part of the planned turnarounds, maintenance of two production units of the refinery will be carried out, the total cost will reach 2 million euros
  • the largest volume of work concerns the Gasoil Hydrotreating plant
  • The Slovnaft Neighbour app will provide up-to-date information to residents in the vicinity of the refinery

Bratislava, 7 October 2022 - The autumn part of the planned maintenance work will start at the Slovnaft refinery in Bratislava on Saturday, 8 October 2022. A total of two production units will go into shutdown and will be back in operation on 27 November 2022. This is the last, smallest part of this year's cycle of planned shutdowns, divided into spring, summer and autumn.

The Gasoil Hydrotreating plant, where diesel is produced, will undergo a major turnaround in October. Slovnaft customers will not feel the shutdown of the production unit. The second unit, the Sulphuric Acid Regeneration, will be shut down in a technological shutdown with only cleaning work and minor repairs will be carried out before the coming winter.

Photo: Turnarounds in the Slovnaft refinery - illustrative shot

"The total maintenance costs will reach two million euros. The main contractor of the maintenance works is the single service company Slovnaft Montáže a Opravy. Approximately 180 external workers, mainly from engineering companies, will be involved in the turnarounds," explains Martin Bičan, manager of planned outages at Slovnaft. 

The Gasoil Hydrotreating plant is a key part of technologies in the production of diesel and during the turnaround will be subjected to inspections for safe operation in accordance with legislative requirements. At the Sulphuric Acid Regeneration plant, the encapsulated heat exchanger will be replaced. Together with the cleaning works, this will contribute to more efficient operation.

Photo: Turnarounds in the Slovnaft refinery - illustrative shot

The shutdown and start-up of the production units require activities whose concomitant phenomena may cause disturbance to the residents living in the vicinity of the refinery

"Our aim is to minimise the impact of our activities on the refinery's surroundings, but it is not possible to eliminate them completely. We regularly inform about the impact of the works on the comfort of the residents on our website as well as in The Neighbour Slovnaft app," adds M. Bičan.

The autumn phase will conclude this year's three blocks of planned turnarounds with the maintenance of 33 production units and total investments for inspections, checks, cleaning, repairs and investments at the level of EUR 69 million. Unique performances of the most challenging summer block with 21 production units turnaround included the replacement of two kilometres of pipelines, the replacement of the F1 roller furnace and C6 column at the Atmospheric Distillation Plant and the replacement of pumps at the circulation centres. The main objective was to reduce the environmental burden, reduce the energy impacts of crude oil product production and improve the safety of complex process equipment.

Photo: Turnarounds in the Slovnaft refinery - illustrative shot

The F1 cylindrical furnace at the Atmospheric Distillation Plant was replaced after 55 years of operation. A 750-tonne crawler crane was required to dispose of the old furnace and install the new one, which was pre-built on the premises of the production unit. The unique operation can be viewed in a time-lapse video.

2022-08-01 Slovnaft started full operation after planned turnarounds

  • Slovnaft successfully finished the planned turnarounds
  • the company has invested more than EUR 60 million in summer maintenance and modernisation
  • a high number, up to 21 production units were shut down
  • approximately 1800 external workers, mainly from engineering companies, participated in the works

Bratislava, August 1 2022 – After more than two months of planned tunarnounds, the refinery of Slovnaft in Bratislava is now in full operation and its production is available for the domestic and foreign markets. A total of 21 production units have been gradually shut down since the end of May 2022. Slovnaft has invested more than EUR 60 million in their cleaning, maintenance and modernisation, thus reducing the environmental burden, increasing the energy efficiency of petroleum product production and strengthening the safety of complex technological processes.

"Slovnaft has successfully started up the last production unit in maintenance and thus completed the summer phase of planned turnarounds. Regular inspection, cleaning and maintenance of production equipment is an important and crucial part of safe and efficient operation of the refinery and petrochemical facilities. Slovnaft's production units are now fully operational again and the company is able to satisfy the needs of the domestic and foreign market," says Martin Bičan, Head of Project and Turnaround Office at SLOVNAFT, a.s..  

During the summer shutdowns Slovnaft spent almost EUR 36 million on the inspection and maintenance of its production facilities and invested more than EUR 24 million in their modernisation. During the most extensive summer part of the turnarounds, 21 production units were gradually shut down and restarted after the work was completed. The last of them was the Ethylene unit – a key part of Slovnaft's petrochemical production, where the first phase of the modernisation project was carried out, aimed at operational safety and lifetime extension. The production unit has new measuring instruments and control valves, new piping, and the reliability of compressor operation has also been improved. In total, approximately 1,800 external workers were involved in the works during the summer shutdowns.

A unique project within the summer phase of the turnarounds was the replacement of the aging atmospheric furnace on the Atmospheric Distillation 5 (AD5) unit, which had been in operation since 1967, with a new one. At the same time, the AD5 column was replaced with a new one, which makes the distillation process more efficient and reduces the risk of fire. The replacement of two pumps in the Circulation Center of the refinery brings a direct reduction in energy consumption. Electricity consumption within the Circulation Center should be reduced by 6.7% annually.

"Although the planned summer shutdowns were extremely demanding in terms of the scope and nature of the work, we were able to complete the required scope of work within budget without a major adverse event. The work during the summer shutdowns was in line with the principles and standards of the Turnaround Excellence programme, which aims to reduce the time of planned shutdowns and thus also the negative impact of the refinery operations on the residents in the vicinity of the refinery," adds M. Bičan. Slovnaft informed about the impact of the works on the comfort of residents around the refinery on its website and via the Sused Slovnaft (Neighbor Slovnaft) mobile application.

This year's cycle of planned turnarounds will conclude in the autumn. Three production units will be shut down for approximately three weeks. In total, Slovnaft will invest a total of EUR 78 million in maintenance, repair and modernisation of more than half of its production units this year within the framework of three planned shutdowns – spring, summer and autumn.

2022-07-22 Institute that freed Slovakia from leaded petrol marks 70th anniversary

  • The Research Institute for Oil and Hydrocarbon Gases (VÚRUP) was established in 1952 in the laboratories of the first Apollo refinery in Bratislava, with branches in Cologne and Prague
  • in 1992 VÚRUP developed the Anabex additive for the Slovnaft refinery, which enabled the transition of the old vehicle fleet on Slovakia to unleaded petrol
  • three years later, thanks to Anabex, Slovakia became one of the first five European countries to introduce exclusively unleaded petrol in order to protect the environment
  • currently VÚRUP owns accredited laboratories, is involved in research and process safety and covers the Hydraulic groundwater protection, which protects Žitný ostrov

BRATISLAVA, July 22nd 2022 – The Research Institute for Oil and Hydrocarbon Gases in the past, called VÚRUP, a.s. today. The company, thanks to which Slovakia belonged among the first countries in the European Union to get rid of leaded petrol, celebrated its 70th anniversary in July this year. Since its foundation in 1952, the Institute has created excellent conditions for young chemists and their intellectual potential has contributed to the development of a key area of the economy. The development of the Institute reflects changes Slovakia has undergone since the Second World War.

"From the very beginning, VÚRUP profiled itself as an institute with great ambitions and high demands on the level of expertise of its employees. The emphasis on the quality of the people and the high level of results has been maintained even as it has expanded its competences in all the activities that it has gradually incorporated into its portfolio," says Zsolt Novotný, Director of the VÚRUP, a.s.

In the first decades of its existence, the Institute's research projects were oriented towards the processing of sulphur paraffinic crude oils, which were imported to Czechoslovakia from the former USSR. Among the first important works conducted was research on catalytic hydrotreating of oils for Slovnaft. The Bratislava refinery was one of the first in the world to use this advanced process. The VURUP’s system of corrosion protection of production equipment was also of great benefit to the refining practice.

Photo of the laboratory of VÚRUP from the period of the company's establishment.

After 1990, the VÚRUP focused primarily on the quality of motor fuels produced in the Bratislava refinery. Domestic research resulted in the development the Anabex additive in 1992. It enabled the transition of the older vehicle fleet in Slovakia to the use of unleaded petrol. In 1995, Slovakia was among the first five countries in Europe to use unleaded petrol exclusively. The transition to low-sulphur diesel fuels is also connected to the VÚRUP. After 2000, the VÚRUP also became more involved in European research projects.

Photo of the laboratory of VÚRUP from the 80's.

In addition to research and development activities and testing in independent laboratories, the VÚRUP, a.s. currently also covers process safety and environmental services. The so-called specialty production, which provides dearomatization of n-alkanes, production of small-tonnage products and their sale, has also been maintained. Environmental geological surveys were also added a few years ago. This includes hydraulic groundwater protection, which protects the river island of Žitný ostrov and its groundwater, and is managed by hydrogeologists alongside experienced technicians.

Photo of the laboratory of VÚRUP nowdays.

The VÚRUP is a modern diversified company. Over seven decades the Institute has changed, but it still concentrates the intellectual power and creativity of people coming from chemical and natural science background and enables them to implement projects with specific outputs. This is evidenced by the immediate start of SLOVNAFT HYGI Fluid disinfectant production after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. "VÚRUP has always had concrete and measurable results. We have been connected with practice from the beginning, we are solving real tasks, cooperating with similar foreign institutions and expanding our scope. We are employing       people who want to develop their expertise. I believe that a company with such a long tradition and excellent results has a successful future ahead of it," concludes Zsolt Novotný.

About VÚRUP, a.s.

VÚRUP, a.s., is a 100% subsidiary of SLOVNAFT, a.s. It focuses on research and development, has accredited testing laboratories, operates Hydraulic Groundwater Protection, is an accredited company in the field of process safety and environment and is engaged in small tonnage production, with more than three quarters of its production consisting of n-alkane products. The company employs up to 200 people.

2022-07-07 ZSOLT HERNÁDI CLEARED OF CORRUPTION CHARGES IN THE CROATIA CASE ONCE AGAIN

The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), a Washington, DC-based court of arbitration under the World Bank, has issued its final rulings in the dispute between MOL Plc and the Republic of Croatia in a 216-page Award. Thus, an arbitration case that began in 2013 has now been finally decided. The Award finds that MOL is the prevailing party in the arbitration. The arbitration tribunal awarded MOL over US$235 million including interest.

On the central issue in the arbitration regarding Croatia’s allegations that certain agreements that were approved by the Croatian Government in 2009 were obtained by corruption, the Award states clearly and unequivocally that, based on the extensive evidence analyzed by the arbitrators, Croatia’s bribery allegations are rejected. The ruling of the Washington-based court of arbitration means that, once again, an international body comprised of highly accomplished and experienced decisionmakers, has determined that neither MOL nor its Chairman and CEO Zsolt Hernádi engaged in any corrupt activities as Croatia has been alleging since 2011.

Over the course of an 8-year arbitration, the three-member arbitral tribunal reviewed all the key evidence, including evidence that Croatia presented in the recent trial in Zagreb which led to the conviction of MOL’s CEO and Chairman and former Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader. The evidence included the testimony of dozens of witnesses, tens of thousands of documents, and the opinions of internationally-recognized experts. Croatia argued in the arbitration, as it did in the criminal proceedings in Zagreb, that the evidence it presented established bribery and corruption. Like the arbitrators in the earlier UNCITRAL arbitration that ended in December 2016, the ICSID arbitrators unanimously disagreed. 

In rejecting Croatia’s bribery charges, the arbitrators examined in detail the testimonies of Croatia’s key witness, Robert Jezic. On every aspect of Jezic’s testimony, the arbitrators found him to be contradictory, evasive and untruthful. The arbitrators expressed strong doubts regarding the reliability and veracity of the witness during the dispute settlement process as well as the criminal process in Zagreb.  They endorsed the unanimous opinion of the UNCITRAL arbitrators that Jezic must be considered a thoroughly unreliable witness whose testimony cannot be accepted by any competent court or decisionmaker.  The arbitrators also found unreliable the testimony of a Swiss tax adviser, who served as Croatia’s other main witness in the criminal proceedings in Zagreb.

The Award marks the end of a lengthy international legal dispute. Other than in Croatia, all courts and prosecution offices have come to the same conclusion: that no corruption had taken place.

In December 2016, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) ruled in favour of MOL. According to the court of arbitration, Croatia was unable to provide proof for the corruption charges, while the crown witness was determined as lacking credibility entirely.

The Constitutional Court of Croatia found severe infringements of rights to due process of those participating in the trial during the Croatian judicial procedures.

As a consequence of the establishment of the fact that no corruption had taken place, the ICSID tribunal also ruled on the claims for damages put forward by MOL. The ruling of ICSID established that the Croatian government failed to take over the gas trading business (PP) of INA despite its contractual obligation to do so, inflicting USD 167.84 million in damages on INA, and thus indirectly to MOL. According to the court, Croatia caused further damages to MOL by forcing the sale of PP’s stored gas, for which MOL was awarded USD 16.1 million. The ruling established that Croatia is to pay interest to MOL and reimburse a significant portion of its arbitration costs. The total amount of damages awarded to MOL is around USD 236 million, including interest.  Interest will continue to accrue on this amount until the awarded amounts are paid by Croatia. As MOL was also the victorious party in the arbitration, the tribunal also ruled that Croatia pay most of the costs of the proceedings.

Several additional claims by MOL were denied by the arbitrators for technical reasons.   

Croatia is signatory to the international treaty that established ICSID. Under its international law obligations and Croatian law, Croatia is required to respect the arbitrators’ decisions as if they are a decision of Croatia’s highest courts.

2022-06-17 Slovnaft opens two new service stations on the PR1BINA expressway providing energy and comfort for drivers

  • a pair of Slovnaft service stations close to the village of Pohranice near Nitra completed
    the missing infrastructure for the travelling public in both directions
  • the new service stations offers a complete range of traditional and alternative fuels
  • Slovnaft invested EUR 4.3 million in the construction of twin service stations
  • more than 60 new jobs had been created in the region thanks to the 24/7 operation of
    the new stations

Bratislava, 17 June 2022 – The new modern service stations raised on the PR1BINA expressway close to the village of Pohranice near Nitra in both directions for cars, drivers and travellers. The sections of the expressway without the possibility of refuelling have thus been shortened by approximately half. There is a full range of traditional fuels, LPG, AdBlue® and a 150 kW charging station for electric vehicles on offer. Moreover, a unique feature will soon be available on site: refuelling of CNG comfortably directly from the refuelling stands. Slovnaft has invested 4.3 million euros in the construction of the pair of service stations, which offer both environmentally friendly solutions and accessible services for people with physical disabilities and limited mobility. The stations have created more than 60 new permanent jobs in the region. Slovnaft currently operates 272 service stations in Slovakia.

"Our newest service stations are unique in several areas. The five integrated refuelling stands are located in the largest roofed refuelling area. The stands are equipped with self-service payment terminals and customers can draw water for their windscreen washer from the Ecotanks while they are filling up. The restaurant part of our stations has undergone the most significant transformation. At Pohranice, our customers will find a modern gastro concept that responds to the demand for quality home cooking. We are thus reaching a new level of on-the-go catering," said Oszkár Világi, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of SLOVNAFT, a.s.

The largest refuelling area offers a generous space for convenient access directly to the shop without refuelling via separate passing lanes. Slovnaft emphasised ecological solutions at the two new service stations – Ecotanks are installed at each dispenser for cars, saving both time and nature – washer fluid can be pumped directly during refuelling in the required quantity and without creating plastic packaging waste. Green roofs, green fences, heat pump heating and smart exterior and interior lighting that reacts to the movement of cars and customers, energy-saving LED lights. These attributes approve the environmental friendliness of the new Slovnaft service stations.

The shop offers a comfortable and customer-friendly shopping design and surprises with a new concept of a modern restaurant and kitchen that brings traditional Slovak cuisine from quality ingredients. The atmosphere of the restaurant is underlined with rustic interior elements, wood details and 3D printed custom designer lamps. Whether you choose to sit in the restaurant or fancy a coffee to go, the traditional and reliably high quality Fresh Corner menu is not to be missed.

"Motorway service stations are the safe spots for travelling customers on their journeys. They need to rest, to recharge or refuel their cars, but also to relax and to energize themselves. I believe that our customers will be delighted by our new restaurants, which will surprise them not only with their design, but also with tasty meals made from quality ingredients. The rush on the motorway service stations can be enormous, so their operation must run reliably like clockwork," emphasized Timea Reicher, Director of the SLOVNAFT Retail Store, a.s.

When designing the service stations, Slovnaft cooperated with the civic association Bez bariéry, Košice, and thus both of them also meet the needs of customers with physical disabilities. Noteworthy features include an enlarged designated parking space, a handrail for better balance when handling personal belongings at a checkout counter, a round table in the restaurant area that is easier to access with wheelchair, and a special toilet for the disabled with adjustable folding mirrors and a handling bed for adults. The doors in the rooms for people with disabilities can be opened with a Euro-key and the tills are equipped with communication and sound amplification equipment for people using hearing aids.

There is also a dedicated children's toilet and a bidet shower with washbasin in the ladies’ toilets. Most of the materials are antibacterial. Customers will find water, soap dispenser, hand drying facilities or paper towels in one compact unit above each washbasin.

Behind the new service stations there is a spacious rest area with plenty of parking places and benches, a children's playground and a dog run.

 

About SLOVNAFT Group

SLOVNAFT Group is an integrated refining and petrochemical group. The key company of the Group is SLOVNAFT, a.s., which is mainly engaged in the processing of crude oil in one of the most complex European refineries and in the wholesale and retail sale of fuels. Slovnaft operates the largest network of petrol stations in the Slovak Republic. The company is one of Slovakia's leaders in CSR and corporate philanthropy, and significantly supports sports, culture, education, youth and environmental revitalisation. Forbes magazine ranked Slovnaft among the most valuable Slovak brands. SLOVNAFT Group is a member of the international MOL Group.

Contact for media:

Anton Molnár

Spokesperson and Head of Communications

tel: +421 905 393 161

2022-06-02 Slovnaft to modernise and expand polypropylene production in Bratislava refinery investing up to EUR 63 million

  • Slovnaft to invest EUR 63 million in modernisation and expansion of polypropylene production
  • comprehensive reconstruction will be carried out by the renowned German company Linde Engineering
  • polypropylene production capacity will be increased to 300 KTPY in favour of the most demanded products
  • modernisation of the existing production unit Polypropylene 3 (PP3) will reduce the volume of emissions

“One of the goals of our updated 2030+ strategy is to reduce the production of fossil fuels and strengthen the production of basic plastics. This investment confirms the path we have set out, increasing polypropylene production at the Bratislava refinery to 300 kilotons per year. Linde Engineering is our reliable partner. Less than 20 years ago the company built the PP3 polypropylene production unit in Slovnaft and now it will renovate and modernise it,” said Gabriel Szabó, Executive Vice President of Downstream at MOL Group.Bratislava, June 1, 2022 – Slovnaft invests EUR 63 million in the expansion and modernisation of polypropylene production. The investment, which is the third largest in the last 15 years, will increase production capacity, reduce emissions, improve safety and bring greater attractiveness to customers. Linde Engineering, a renowned German company, is the contractor for the comprehensive reconstruction of the existing PP3 production unit. The contract for the modernisation and expansion of the PP3 unit was signed today in Bratislava by representatives of both companies.

“The revamp will enable Slovnaft to meet rising demands from the polyolefin processing industry. The project is challenging given its complexity: Interdependency with other process facilities allows only a narrow time frame for a shutdown. With our proven expertise and best-in-class services, we will be able to complete all installation works, including construction, commissioning and testing,” said Juergen Nowicki, CEO Linde Engineering. 

The annual production capacity of polypropylene, sold on the market under the brand names of Tipplen and Tatren, will increase by 33 kilotons (kt) to 300 kt. The capacity increase will focus on strengthening the share of the most in-demand grades of polypropylene, which Slovnaft now produces in around 20 specifications. Storage and logistics infrastructure will also be increased. A further 16 storage silos will be added to the current 45. The adaptation of the technology will reduce emissions and the modern logistics infrastructure will improve safety at work.

The project will commence in the summer of 2022 with the preparation of project documentation and the processing of permits. The actual construction and reconstruction are planned to start in summer 2023 and are scheduled for completion in October 2024. The pre-preparatory phase started in 2015 with market analyses and feasibility studies. “The investment decision was made in September 2021 following by negotiations on the contract with Linde Engineering while the project preparation was also affected by  the pandemic and the war in Ukraine,” said Michal Hušek, project manager for SLOVNAFT, a.s., about the preparations for the reconstruction of PP3.

Polypropylene is produced in Slovnaft in the form of milk glass coloured granulate. It is used in the food, textile and furniture industries, in the production of laboratory equipment, non-woven textiles, food and cosmetics containers, toiletries, and even toys.

 

In the photo after signing the contract from the left: Marek Senkovič, CEO of Slovnaft, Gabriel Szabó, VP for Downstream at MOL Group, Dennis Schulz, Managing Director of Linde Engineering, and Lars Oboth, Commertial Director of Linde Engineering.

About SLOVNAFT Group

SLOVNAFT Group is an integrated refining and petrochemical group. The key company of the Group is SLOVNAFT, a.s., which is mainly engaged in the processing of crude oil in one of the most complex European refineries and in the wholesale and retail sale of fuels. Slovnaft operates the largest network of petrol stations in the Slovak Republic. The company is one of Slovakia's leaders in CSR and corporate philanthropy, and significantly supports sports, culture, education, youth and environmental revitalisation. Forbes magazine ranked Slovnaft among the most valuable Slovak brands. SLOVNAFT Group is a member of the international MOL Group.

About Linde

Linde is a leading global industrial gases and engineering company with 2021 sales of US$31 billion (€26 billion). The company serves a variety of end markets including chemicals & energy, food & beverage, electronics, healthcare, manufacturing, metals and mining. Linde's industrial gases are used in countless applications, from life-saving oxygen for hospitals to high-purity & specialty gases for electronics manufacturing, hydrogen for clean fuels and much more. Linde also delivers state-of-the-art gas processing solutions to support customer expansion, efficiency improvements and emissions reductions.

2022-05-19 Planned turnarounds begin in Slovnaft refinery, will reduce environmental burden and energy intensity of production

  • turnarounds of 21 production units, a record number, will take place in two time blocks and will last until 20 July 2022
  • extensive technical condition inspection, maintenance of technological equipment and modernization were prepared by Slovnaft project teams for past two years, approximately 1,600 external workers will be involved in the realisation phase
  • Slovnaft invests EUR 36 million in summer maintenance
  • Sused Slovnaft (Slovnaft Neighbour) app will always provide up-to-date information to the residents living in the vicinity of the refinery

Bratislava, May 19, 2022 - Slovnaft starts the summer part of the planned maintenance of its production facilities on Friday, May 20. During two months of intensive maintenance work, Slovnaft will shut down, clean, modernize and restart 21 production units in both the refining and petrochemical sections. The main objective is to reduce the environmental burden, reduce the impact of the energy intensity of production and increase the safety of complex technical equipment. The start-up of the last group of production units is scheduled for the second half of July. Continuity of supply to the network of filling stations and wholesale partners is ensured during the turnarounds.

"The maintenance and modernisation includes the refinery's distillation and hydrocracking production units, as well as key petrochemical production units, including the LDPE4 plastics production unit, which is one of the most advanced in Europe. During the summer turnaround, we will also implement investment projects, such as replacement of the distillation furnace with a new, more efficient and reliable one, replacement of pumps at the circulation centres with lower electricity consumption or replacement of the distillation column with a new extension enabling a more efficient distillation process," says Lukáš Noskovič, Manager of Project Management and Planned Turnarounds in SLOVNAFT, a.s. The total cost of the summer part of the planned maintenance exceeds EUR 36 million. At the same time, investment actions will be carried out at five production units to improve their environmental parameters and increase the safety of their operation. In total, investment projects worth EUR 25 million will be completed in May-July.

The shutdown and start-up of production units require activities whose accompanying phenomena may cause disturbance to residents living in the vicinity of the refinery. All material must be burned on field burners before production facilities are opened to prevent spillage into the surrounding area and endangering the health and life of people, the environment and property. The opening of the facilities themselves may be accompanied by the spread of odours, the intensity of which also depends on weather conditions. "Slovnaft is introducing new turnaround management principles through the Turnaround Excellence programme, which aim to reduce the time of planned turnarounds, and therefore to reduce the negative impact of activities on the refinery's surroundings," adds L. Noskovič. The company informs about the impact of the works on the comfort of residents on its website and in the mobile application Neighbour Slovnaft. In a separate section on the website, Slovnaft will regularly inform about the progress of the works of the summer part of the planned turnarounds.

The main supplier is the single service company Slovnaft Montáže a Opravy. Approximately 1,600 external workers will be involved in the turnarounds - mainly from engineering companies, but also electrical specialists and experts in measurement and regulation. Traditionally, Slovnaft will place great emphasis on occupational safety and health, including extensive fire safety measures. Internal safety coordinators will support the safe work of external workers directly at the production units. Slovnaft has also now prepared a well-established incentive programme for contractor workers, aimed at an accident-free course, which allows them to earn fuel cards.

This year's cycle of planned turnarounds is divided into three parts - spring, summer and autumn, with the summer part being the most extensive in terms of the volume of planned work. In total, Slovnaft is investing EUR 52 million in the maintenance of nearly 40 of its production units and facilities this year.

Watch a video about the summer part of the planned turnarounds:

 

About the SLOVNAFT, a.s. production zone

The refining and petrochemical part of the company in the south-eastern part of Bratislava covers an area of approximately 400 hectares. The production zone is divided into blocks with seven operational units, railway, logistics terminal, energy infrastructure and warehouses. Of the total area of the site, 270 hectares are grassed over and there are more than 10 000 trees growing there. Outside the main campus is a mechanical-chemical-biological wastewater treatment plant, which is one of the largest ecological structures in the region. SLOVNAFT, a.s. is one of the three most modern refinery-petrochemical complexes in Europe. The EFPA (Environmental Fuel Project Apollo) complex is key for the refinery and the petrochemical part includes the state-of-the-art LDPE4 n polyolefin complex for polyethylene production and the PP3 production unit where polypropylene is produced.

About SLOVNAFT Group

The SLOVNAFT Group is an integrated refining and petrochemical group. The key company of the Group is SLOVNAFT, a.s., which is mainly engaged in the processing of crude oil in one of the most complex European refineries and in the wholesale and retail sale of fuels. Slovnaft operates the largest network of petrol stations in the Slovak Republic. The company is one of Slovakia's leaders in CSR and corporate philanthropy, and significantly supports sports, culture, education, youth and environmental revitalisation. Forbes magazine ranked Slovnaft among the most valuable Slovak brands. SLOVNAFT Group is a member of the international MOL Group.

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