Czech Republic: Plant Engineering Orlen Unipetrol to Add 11th Furnace to its Litvínov Steam Cracker

Editor: Ahlam Rais

Orlen Unipetrol has plans to expand its existing Litvínov steam cracker, located at the company’s production plant in Záluží, Czech Republic, by adding an 11th furnace to the project. With an investment of more than 32 million dollars, the construction of the new furnace will be based on Technip Energies’ proprietary SMK coil technology and will be commissioned in 2022.

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The steam cracker is located in Orlen Unipetrol’s production plant in Záluží near Litvínov, the largest chemical facility in the Czech Republic.
The steam cracker is located in Orlen Unipetrol’s production plant in Záluží near Litvínov, the largest chemical facility in the Czech Republic.
(Source: Orlen Unipetrol)

Prague/Czech Republic – The steam cracker’s eleventh furnace in Litvínov includes the construction based on the proprietary SMK coil technology in a triple-lane arrangement in the radiation chamber heated with a combination of large-scale vortex burners (LSV) and side wall burners (TSWB). They represent the best possible technologies in terms of low NOx production. This project follows the successful delivery and start-up of four cracking furnaces for the same complex in 2016.

Stan Knez, Chief Technology Officer of Technip Energies commented: “We are very pleased that Orlen Unipetrol has selected the SMK technology of Technip Energies for this new furnace. This technology is recognized for giving clients reliable and flexible solutions to improve operational efficiency and reduce emissions.”

The steam cracker is located in Orlen Unipetrol’s production plant in Záluží near Litvínov, the largest chemical facility in the Czech Republic. It was commissioned in 1979. It comprises ten cracking furnaces, and its production capacity was 435 kt of gaseous hydrocarbons a year. In 2000, its annual capacity was increased to 485 kt of ethylene.

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Following the 2007 modernization, the unit’s yearly capacity rose to 545 kt of ethylene. The 2016 refurbishment project involved the construction of four new pyrolysis furnaces. The current construction of the eleventh furnace will allow expanding the steam cracker’s production capacity by up to 585 kt of ethylene a year in the future.

“The petrochemical segment already represents a third of our production and more than half of our incomes. Its importance will continue to grow in the coming decades, as global demand for petrochemical products grows, too,” says Tomasz Wiatrak, CEO of the Orlen Unipetrol Group, adding: “We want to increase the total petrochemical production from 0.9 million to 1.4 million tons a year by 2030. We need to remove the existing capacity limitations of the steam cracker’s pyrolysis section, the heart of our petrochemical segment, to have sufficient space for the planned production increase.”

The Orlen Unipetrol Group makes a massive investment in the petrochemical part of its operations. Last year, it commissioned a new polyethylene unit, PE3, to produce cutting-edge high-density polyethylene. It plans to launch another unit at the end of 2022. It will manufacture a new product, dicyclopentadiene (DCPD), making Orlen Unipetrol one of the four largest manufacturers in Europe.

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