Poland: 99-Million-Dollar Project Poland’s First and Europe’s Largest Green Propylene Glycol Production Unit Comes on Stream
Orlen Południe has started up the green propylene glycol production unit at its biorefinery complex in Trzebinia, Poland. The unit has a capacity of 30,000 tons a year and the complex will also include Poland’s first hydrogen hub.
Płock/Poland – Orlen Południe, an Orlen Group company, has brought on stream Poland’s first and Europe’s largest green propylene glycol production unit at its biorefinery in Trzebinia. The unit has a capacity of 30,000 tons a year, enough to cover as much as 75 % of the domestic demand for the product. This 99-million-dollar capital project will add over 12 million dollars to the Group’s annual EBITDA. An integral part of the complex is Poland’s first hydrogen hub. The projects implemented in southern Poland are another step towards achieving the Group’s strategic goals for low- and zero-carbon energy.
Green glycol is a high-margin bio-based product that is clean and environmentally safe. It is used for a wide range of applications, including in medicine, cosmetics, and the food industry. It can also be used in aviation as an anti-icing and de-icing agent for aircrafts. Orlen Południe will produce 30,000 tons of green glycol a year, an impressive 10,000 tons more than Europe’s only unit of this type located in Belgium.
Poland will be the leader of glycol production in Europe.
“We have launched a state-of-the-art unit to make green glycol in Trzebinia as demand for this bio-based product is constantly growing in Europe and around the world. Poland will be the leader of glycol production in Europe. At the same time, we are bringing on stream Poland’s first hydrogen hub, which forms part of the glycol complex. The completed projects will stimulate fast growth of the Orlen Group in strategic areas while significantly strengthening competitive advantage of the Polish economy. For Orlen Południe, the projects are another milestone in the process of transforming the company into a state-of-the-art biorefinery and consolidating its position as a major business organization and employer in the region,” said Daniel Obajtek, President of the PKN Orlen Management Board.
Glycerine obtained at the Trzebinia plant as a by-product of biodiesel production will be used to make the eco-friendly glycol, which will be sold to customers in Poland and abroad. The project will also benefit other Polish biodiesel producers, from whom the company will source glycerine.
The new project will strengthen Orlen Południe’s position both as a player on the Polish biocomponents market and an employer in the region. Construction on the green glycol project was launched in the autumn of 2019 and it was completed on schedule by a consortium formed by two Polish companies: Technik Polska and Biproraf.
An integral part of the glycol complex is Poland’s first hydrogen hub with an annual output of 16 Nm3, of which 75 % will be used for glycol production and the remaining 25 % will be further purified into hydrogen fuel. The hub will have an annual production capacity of 350 tons of pure automotive-grade hydrogen.
The fuel made in Trzebinia is to ultimately power public transport vehicles in Kraków and the Upper Silesian agglomeration. To that end, the Group has signed letters of intent with Miejskie Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacyjne of Kraków, Krakowski Holding Komunalny, and the Metropolitan Association of Upper Silesia and Dąbrowa Basin. In the future, Orlen Południe will also operate a mobile hydrogen refuelling station.