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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.

2022-03-24 NEW PLANT UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN TISZAÚJVÁROS: A 65 BILLION CHEMICAL INVESTMENT BY MOL GROUP

  • New propylene plant with HUF 65 billion investment will create competitive jobs in the long term
  • With an annual production of 100,000 tonnes of propylene, the plant will cover a quarter of the MOL Group's total chemical needs
  • The investment is part of MOL Group's updated strategy and represents a major step forward in its transformation into a chemical company

TISZAÚJVÁROS, 23 March 2022 - Official foundation stone laying ceremony of the new propylene plant of MOL Petrochemicals took place in Tiszaújváros. The plant is built as a greenfield investment for 65 billion HUF and will produce 100.000 tons of propylene, covering a significant rate of MOL’s chemical material need, increasing the self-sufficiency of the company.

This plant will provide propylene for the polyol complex already under construction, turning Tiszaújváros into the chemical capital of the region. Building of the propylene plant provides thousands of job opportunities and creates competitive workplace in the long run.

The construction of the new propylene plant integrates well into MOL Group's updated SHAPE TOMORROW 2030+ strategy, since with the help of this development the company can constantly increase the ratio of non-fuel products in its portfolio. MOL Group provides approximately USD 4.5 billion for investments that will turn Tiszaújváros into the main chemical capital of the region. The new plant has an important role in the course of developments, since it will provide stable supply of materials in three product lines of MOL  Petrochemicals. The 100.000 tons of propylene provides a quater of the company's total need.

Photo: Zsolt Hernádi, Chairman-CEO of MOL Group

 „In the last 5-10 years MOL has turned Tiszaújváros into a unique chemical center so by now the city is undoubtedly considered among the most modern petrochemical metropolises. We have a butadiene plant already built here, as well as a synthetic rubber plant that was built in cooperation with Japanese experts, and the town also hosts the largest industrial investment of the last 30 years, the polyol complex built for EUR 1.3 billion"– said Zsolt Hernádi, Chairman-CEO of MOL Group. He highlighted that with the construction of the propylene plant, MOL has reached an important milestone on the road of chemical transformation and energy transition. „This plant strengthens our self-supply capacity which is of great value for the whole country. From time-to-time history proves: we have to do everything to avoid depending on others" – he added.

Building the plant provides job opportunities for several thousands of people, the ratio of Hungarian contractors reaches approximately 50%. According to plans, the plant will start its operation in 2024 and it creates around 30-40 new competitive workplaces in the long run.

The investment represents the next milestone of a several year-long process: MOL Group is running several developments in Tiszaújváros. The butadiene extraction unit and the synthetic rubber plant are already operating, and building the polyol complex is in its final stage as well, which is one of the greatest domestic industrial investments. Additionally, the process of modernization and extending the life of the Olefin-1 plant is also progressing well, which is currently the biggest efficiency improvement program on existing equipment in Hungary.

The Hungarian Government is supporting the investment with HUF 5 billion. At the ceremony, Péter Szijjártó Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zsolt Hernádi Chairman-CEO of MOL Group and Zsófia Koncz, Member of the Hungarian Parliament laid down the foundation stone of the plant.

 

2022-03-11 UNIQUE BIODIESEL COMPONENT PLANT BUILT BY ROSSI BIOFUEL AND MOL GROUP IN KOMÁROM

  • Capacity 50 000 tonnes of biodiesel per year
  • State-of-the-art technology, unique in Europe
  • 85% greenhouse gas savings compared to conventional fuel
  • The investment is in line with MOL Group's 2030+ "SHAPE TOMORROW" strategy

KOMÁROM, 11 March 2022 - The new plant of Rossi Biofuel in Komárom was inaugurated, which will significantly increase the biofuel production volume in Hungary. With this investment, MOL Group and Envien Group launched a technology in Europe that can boost greenhouse gas savings by more than 85 percent.

The advanced biodiesel plant of Rossi Biofuel Zrt. Was inaugurated, which will significantly increase the company's annual production and the biofuel production volume in Hungary with a capacity of 50,000 tons per year. The plant is the first in Europe to use the RepCat technology of the Austrian BDI-BioEnergy International GmbH, which is highly flexible in terms of raw materials: it also allows the processing of greasy wastes of different types and origins, such as used cooking oils, trap grease, animal fats or residues from vegetable oil production. Biodiesel produced in this way is one of the most climate-friendly fuels.

„We have brought a unique technology to Europe that allows us to produce biofuel from almost any type of fats. This is a huge success for all of us, as circular economy is one of the cornerstones of MOL Group's updated strategy. We have made a commitment to recycle waste in an efficient way, and to meet the world's growing energy needs with increasingly sustainable solutions. Energy transition is a long and complex process, but this investment clearly shows that conventional fuels can be turned into more environmentally friendly with the right technology and by using waste" – said Oszkár Világi, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of MOL Group.

  

Photo: Plant opening ceremony

With the construction of the plant, the MOL Group and Envien Group, the 25-75% owners of the company, are aiming to respond to both consumer and regulatory demands: the aim is for Rossi Biofuel to comply with EU rules on renewable transportation fuels. Rossi Biofuel's product is used as a bio-component in the production of diesel at Danube Refinery and Slovnaft refinery.

„This new modern plant is the Envien Group's first major investment in the production of advanced biofuels, where waste is processed into useful products. In our opinion, a plant that uses waste and mainly domestic raw materials, contributes to the greenhouse gas savings of transport and at the same time boosts and stimulates the local economy and employment, a way forward and a priority for the group. Due to the Hungarian subsidies, we decided to locate the plant in our production base in Komárom, Hungary, and we are confident that this is not our last project of this kind" – said Ing. Robert Spišák, PhD., Chairman of the Board of Rossi Biofuel.

The foundation works of the €45 million brownfield plant started in June 2020. More than 15 companies were involved in the construction work, with an average of 80 workers, but at certain times it could reach 150-170 workers. The state supported the investment with interest subsidies and a corporate tax credit, which doubled the number of Rossi Biofuel employees to over 100. The new plant was inaugurated by Dr. László Palkovics, Minister of the Ministry for Innovation and Technology, Dr. Judit Bertalan Czunyiné, Member of Parliament, Ing. Robert Spišák, PhD., Chairman of the Board of Rossi Biofuel Zrt. and Dr. Oszkár Világi, Deputy CEO of the MOL Group.

Photo: New plant in Komárom       

                                                                                                                  

Photo: Dr. Oszkár Világi, Deputy CEO of MOL Group

 

Photo: Ing. Robert Spišák, PhD., Chairman of the Board of Rossi Biofuel Zrt.

 

About Rossi Biofuel

Rossi Biofuel Zrt. is part of the Envien Group, which plays a key role in the production of biodiesel in the region. Rossi Biofuel Zrt.'s biodiesel plant is located within MOL Nyrt.'s industrial base in Komárom. The plant was established as a greenfield investment in 2006 and started production in December 2007. The main activity of Rossi Biofuel Zrt. is the production of biodiesel from vegetable oils and used cooking oil, mainly harvested within the region.

Envien Group is one of the largest and most important groups of companies in the CEE region active in the production of biofuels used in blends with conventional diesel and gasoline. The Group consists of ten member companies in five European countries - Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Switzerland and Croatia.

2022-03-01 SLOVNAFT INVESTS EUR 52 MILLION IN PLANNED MAINTENANCE OF PRODUCTION FACILITIES THIS YEAR

  • Slovnaft has planned maintenance of half of its production facilities for this year, with a total value of EUR 52 million.
  • The spring part of the planned mandatory shutdowns of production facilities will take place in March, the others will be in summer and autumn.
  • The company has changed the system for preparing and carrying out overhauls to make them as short as possible and to minimise their impact on the surrounding area.
  • Residents can find all the information about what is happening at the refinery in the mobile app Sused Slovnaft.

BRATISLAVA, March 1st 2022 - Slovnaft will start planned maintenance of part of its production facilities next weekend. This is the first part of the planned mandatory shutdowns this year, which are to affect almost half of the production facilities. The company is investing a total of EUR 52 million in mandatory maintenance, repairs and technology upgrades to improve the safety of their operation and the environmental impact of production. The overhauls of production facilities will take place in three time blocks - spring, summer and autumn. Domestic and foreign external contractors will be involved in the cleaning, inspection and repair of refinery and petrochemical facilities. Customer supplies will not be affected during the shutdowns.

"We started working on this planned maintenance two years ago. The process of managing planned outages is very complex. It involves more than 15 different Slovnaft departments and more than 300 internal staff," says Lukáš Noskovič, Project and Planned Outage Management Manager.

The spring part of the compulsory maintenance will start this weekend and will involve 1100 external specialists in addition to Slovnaft employees. During this phase, Slovnaft will shut down nine production units and the following six will be idle. The shutdown of most of them is scheduled for March 5th 2022, with all work to be completed and the manufacturing units restarted in early April.

The spring process shutdowns are preferably aimed at cleaning the equipment, which in turn reduces the energy intensity of the oil refining processes. This means lower consumption of both natural and refinery gas with a direct impact on reducing the environmental burden.

The safe shutdown and restart of production facilities are accompanied by activities that may be perceived as sensitive by nearby residents. These include the burning of materials on field burners, which causes radiation or increased noise. The opening of facilities for inspection and cleaning may be accompanied by the spread of odours. Its intensity also depends on weather conditions. The company has planned all work and activities to minimise their impact and effects on the population in the vicinity of the refinery. This is also facilitated by the Turnaround Excellence (TEX) programme, which the company has developed in collaboration with external consultants.

"TEX allows us to take all the necessary steps in advance to avoid risks in the implementation phase. Thanks to the programme, downtime has been reduced to the minimum necessary," adds Lukáš Noskovič.

Slovnaft publishes all information about planned works on its website and is also available in the mobile app Sused Slovnaft.

Slovnaft, as an important part of critical infrastructure, has long had strict anti-pandemic measures in place and during shutdowns they will also apply to all external contractors working in the production area. The summer part of the shutdowns is subsequently scheduled from the end of May to the end of July. Sixteen production units will undergo general overhauls, another three Slovnaft units will be put on technical hold and three production units will be upgraded. In the final autumn part, one production unit is scheduled to be overhauled and one follow-up unit will be in downtime.

Watch the video about the planned shutdowns:

2021-02-24 MOL Group to launch updated, integrated long-term strategy

  • MOL builds on the changes of the external environment and updates its 2030 strategy, integrates it with sustainability goals.
  • MOL keeps key initiative as they proved to be progressive and successful, but now accelerate business transformation 
  • MOL will transform its traditional businesses for the low-carbon future by making them even more efficient and focused. Downstream will become a highly efficient, sustainable, chemical focused leading downstream player, Consumer Services will become a best in class digitally driven consumer goods retailer, and Upstream will also be a more efficient and sustainable, value-generating strategy pillar. 
  • Updated strategy, “SHAPE TOMORROW” MOL Group 2030+ focuses on CO2 reduction, efficiency and the circular economy 
  • MOL speeding up its transformation to become a net-zero CO2 emitter by 2050  
  • By 2030, every second USD will be spent on sustainable projects, while 100% of spending will be green by 2050 
  • MOL will spend USD 1bn in the next five years on new, low-carbon and sustainable businesses to become a key player in Central and Eastern Europe circular economy: waste integration and utilization, carbon capture, utilization and storage, advanced biofuel production and hydrogen-related opportunities  

Budapest, 24 February 2021 - The Board of Directors reviewed and approved “MOL Group 2030+”, an update of the company’s long-term strategy – which was originally announced in October 2016 – fully integrated with a new sustainability strategy and complemented with a longer-term vision and ambitions beyond 2030. 

”The MOL 2030 long-term strategy has so far proved to be progressive, credible and directionally correct. Accordingly, MOL has taken important strategic steps in the right direction over the past five years.  However, we have observed an unprecedented pace of changes around us recently, including rapid progress in the green energy transition. Our updated strategy seeks to accelerate our transition process to enhance MOL’s resilience and our ability to shape a sustainable future. We will sharpen our focus, increase our efficiency further, while seeking new opportunities with a new determination. One thing has not changed since 2016: we remain deeply committed to the transformation of our traditional fossil-fuel-based operations into a low-carbon, sustainable business model.” (Zsolt Hernádi, Chairman-CEO)

Strategic transformation directions in existing businesses confirmed. With an unchanged vision of the structural, long-term decline in fossil motor fuel demand in Europe and in CEE, MOL will continue and accelerate its fuel-to-chemicals transformation in Downstream growing to become a leading sustainable chemicals company in CEE. MOL has unchanged ambitions in Consumer Services to become a market-leading, best in class digitally driven consumer goods retailer and complex mobility service provider in the region.

One of MOL’s core strengths lies in its resilient, uniquely balanced, integrated business model. In order to preserve this resilience and to be able to shape our future, we will have to continually adjust our business portfolio to meet the challenges of a future carbon-constrained economy.” (Zsolt Hernádi, Chairman-CEO)

Downstream: transforming into a highly efficient, sustainable, chemicals-focused leading industry player. MOL Downstream will retain its top-tier cash generation position in European refining and targets USD 1.2bn+ EBITDA by 2025, supported by an additional USD 150mn of efficiency improvement. The fuel-to-chemicals transformation will continue at full speed to reduce motor fuel yield in the refining system and to convert 1.8mn tons to petrochemical feedstock by 2030. This will be achieved through two investment cycles using highly efficient technologies and targeted start-up dates in 2027 and 2030, respectively. At the same time, MOL will increasingly integrate circular technologies into its core businesses, using bio- and waste-based streams in production, scaling up recycling and utilizing CCS opportunities with a clear focus on materially reducing the segment’s CO2 footprint. The total Downstream transformation capex may reach USD 4.5bn in the next ten years.

Consumer Services: becoming a best in class digitally driven consumer goods retailer and an integrated, complex mobility service provider by 2030 with significantly higher revenues and free cash flow. Consumer Services will materially increase its contribution to the group by reaching over USD 700mn annual EBITDA by 2025 and a cumulative simplified free cash flow of over USD 2bn in 2021-25. The segment will invest in the further development of food and convenience offerings and will continue the standardization and digitalization processes within the network. Our focus will then increasingly shift towards sales channel diversification, expanding the alternative fuels portfolio and complex mobility platforms and services.

Upstream (E&P): focus on cash generation, managed decline in CEE, approach international E&P opportunistically and invest in CCUS. Existing resources will continue to be managed to maximize cash generation and value creation with around USD 1.8bn simplified free cash flow in 2021-25 at USD 50/bbl oil prices (and assuming no inorganic reserve replacement). This requires the cost-conscious and efficient management of the CEE production decline and an active, but opportunistic approach to international E&P without setting any volumetric targets. MOL aims to utilize its expertise in the Pannonian basin geology to become a key player in carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) in CEE by 2030, which will also support it becoming carbon-neutral (Scope 1 and 2).

Sustainability and profitability are not mutually exclusive concepts; they have to go together. You cannot be sustainable without generating revenues, nor can you be profitable without focusing on how those revenues are generated; they go hand in hand. This has been evident for some time and will increasingly be clear to everyone in the future. We all want to live in a better, safer and cleaner world; and for a better and more sustainable world we need to shift to a low-carbon, circular economic model.” (Zsolt Hernádi, Chairman-CEO)

Investing in new businesses to shape a low-carbon circular economy. MOL wants to significantly increase its EU Taxonomy-aligned climate-friendly investments to exceed 50% of total capex by 2030 and to approach 100% by 2050, or earlier. MOL also wants to play a key role in shaping the low-carbon circular economy with investments in new businesses such as waste integration and utilization, recycling, carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), advanced biofuels and potentially hydrogen-related opportunities. In the next five years, MOL will spend USD 1bn on new, low-carbon and sustainable projects to become a key player in CEE in the circular economy.

Significant carbon reduction targets by 2030, fully aligned 2050 ambitions with the EU Green Deal. In line with the Paris Agreement and the need for globally coordinated efforts to limit global warming and climate change, it is also the role of MOL to contribute to the decline in carbon emissions from its value chain and operated assets. Accordingly, MOL will reduce group-level emissions by 30% by 2030, make both E&P and Consumer Services carbon-neutral (in terms of Scope 1 and 2 emissions) by 2030, while Downstream emissions (Scope 1 and 2) will be reduced by 20% by 2030 (from a 2019 base) for existing operations. MOL also shares the EU’s ambition to be climate-neutral by 2050 in terms of all (Scope 1, 2 and 3) carbon emissions and wishes to actively participate in the industrial revolution required to make Europe carbon-neutral, both on its own and in partnering with others.

”The key element for the success of a large company, like MOL, is to maintain its ability to attract, develop and retain talent. Our talented people are by far our most valuable assets, and they are also the core assets of any successful economy. Managing a complex transformation as the one MOL has embarked upon requires not only a diverse and inclusive workforce. It also needs strong collaboration with our local communities, partners, regulators, ensuring the involvement of practically every layer of the society so that we can accomplish the mission of the green energy transition.” (Zsolt Hernádi, Chairman-CEO)

A comprehensive sustainability framework sets targets along all four pillars: People and Communities; Health and Safety; Integrity and Transparency; Climate and Environment. MOL sees Diversity and Inclusion as one of its key values and strategy enablers with targets to increase female participation at all levels, reaching 30% in managerial positions and focusing on broader employee wellbeing and health. Our sustainable employee engagement score will stay above 75; community engagement will intensify so that we become a trusted partner; Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) will fall below 1.0 by 2025. We will instigate a new responsible procurement strategy across the group by the end of 2022; awareness of ethics and human rights will be further promoted among employees and management; and negative environmental impact (beyond CO2) will be further reduced.

“Any transformation is an inherently complex, lengthy and often painful exercise. I am convinced, however, that our refreshed long-term strategy will keep us on the right track to develop into a key player of the low-carbon circular economy, offering exciting opportunities to our employees, continuously enhancing customer experience, working constructively with our partners whilst ensuring a stable, predictable income to our investors along the entire transformation journey.” (Zsolt Hernádi, Chairman-CEO)

Financial Framework 2021-25: fully funded transition and stable, predictable shareholders remuneration, strong balance sheet. Even with conservative mid-term base macro assumptions MOL will generate sufficient operating cash flows in 2021-25 – with EBITDA rising from USD 2.3bn in 2021 to USD 2.6bn in 2025 – to cover “sustain” capex, at least USD 3.5bn strategic capex, including USD 1bn new, low-carbon, circular economy investments, and stable base dividends. Keeping a strong financial profile through a robust balance sheet and ample financial headroom remains a priority. This flexibility may be used to fund new business opportunities, including cash-generative M&A in any business lines.

About MOL Group 

MOL Group is an integrated, international oil and gas company headquartered in Budapest, Hungary. It is active in over 30 countries with a dynamic international workforce of 25,000 people and a track record of more than 100 years in the industry. MOL’s exploration and production activities are supported by more than 75 years’ experience in the hydrocarbon field. At the moment, there are production activities in 9 countries and exploration assets in 14 countries. MOL Group operates three refineries and two petrochemical plants under integrated supply chain management in Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia, and owns a network of almost 2,000 service stations across 10 countries in Central & South Eastern Europe.

Press contact: @internationalpress@mol.hu 

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