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Poland: Petrochemicals

PKN Orlen Announces Largest Petrochemical Investment

| Editor: Ahlam Rais

The investment programme will increase its petrochemical production capacity by approximately 30 %.
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The investment programme will increase its petrochemical production capacity by approximately 30 %. (Source: Deposit Photos)

PKN Orlen has recently announced a mega 2 billion dollar petrochemical investment programme in Poland. The programme aims to transform the country from a net importer to a net exporter of petrochemicals.

Poland – The investment projects implemented under the programme to expand the Polish petrochemical assets will enable deeper integration of the refining and petrochemical segments and help to further diversify the Group’s revenue sources.

Once completed, the investment programme will solidify the company’s position in Europe and bring tangible benefits to the economy, including improving the balance of trade with the petrochemical products to be manufactured after the programme is completed, and help Poland to transform from a net importer to a net exporter of petrochemicals.

PKN Orlen’s new investment programme will involve the construction of a new and expansion of the existing production capacities of aromatic derivatives, olefins, and phenol. It will also greatly facilitate the development of the company’s R&D capabilities through investment in the Research and Development Centre.

The value of the petrochemicals and base plastics market will double by 2040. The firm wants to make the best use of its potential in this business area. This is why it has spent the past weeks selecting the optimum path for expanding its production assets. The investment programme will increase its petrochemical production capacity by approximately 30 %. Importantly, the new products will be sold in the local market, improving Poland’s balance of trade in petrochemicals.

Demand for petrochemicals is expected to rise, fuelled by the world’s population growth, economic growth, and shifts in demand for industrial raw materials. The upward trend is also seen in Poland, where plastics consumption is on the rise due to growing prosperity, although consumption per capita remains significantly lower compared with Western Europe.

Petrochemicals will be increasingly used to manufacture plastic products, including for automotive applications. For instance, after 2020 the percentage of plastics in vehicles will be 25 % (compared with 20 % in 2000). PKN Orlen’s petrochemical investments are therefore in line with European and global trends towards alternative fuel vehicles.

At the same time, the ongoing petrochemical projects designed to extend the firm’s value chain will be continued. The construction of the Metathesis Unit in Płock, to produce polymer-grade propylene, is proceeding on schedule; the plant’s current nominal capacity is 450,000 tonnes of propylene. The project, estimated at over 107 million dollars, will increase it to 550 thousand tonnes per year. The unit is planned to be completed and come on-line as early as in the second half of 2018.

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