Care for the natural environment and sustainable growth are important in building the ORLEN Group's competitive advantage. In 2013, PKN ORLEN continued its pro-environmental initiatives, as it strengthened its market position and maintained an uncompromising stance on environmental protection. The production, trade, and service activities follow a harmonious approach, and therefore the ORLEN Group's technological assets are regularly adjusted to comply with the best available techniques, and meet the applicable environmental standards.
In 2013, the ORLEN Group pursued a number of efforts in this dimension, including investment projects and effective management of CO2 emission allowances in Phase 3 of the EU ETS. Our activities also focused on ensuring the stability of operation of process installations, in accordance with relevant permits, preparation of another issue of the Environmental Report, and regular monitoring of environmental impacts at production facilities and during exploration for shale gas in our licence areas across Poland. Rational water and wastewater management, as well as monitoring of soils and waters, with a view to maintaining compliance with relevant environmental protection standards and guidelines, were a significant part of these efforts. Other important initiatives under the approach included continuation of works on increased tightness of service stations, or reclamation of land from retired stations. Limitation of harmful emissions from our production plants was a significant achievement of the pro-environmental initiatives.
Also, pro-environmental efforts at the ORLEN Group subsidiaries comprised an important part of all such tasks pursued in 2013. The effects of these efforts included nearly 60 completed pro-environmental investment and upgrade projects. The majority of the ORLEN Group companies, operating in Poland, as well as in Lithuania, Germany, and the Czech Republic, took part in these initiatives, which manifests the importance of sustainable development, rational use of feedstocks, and care for the natural environment in the Group's activities.
The key pro-environmental projects and initiatives carried out in 2013 included:
Pro-environmental investment projects
The most important pro-environmental investment completed in 2013 was the construction of flue gas denitrification and dust removal units on individual boilers of the CCGT unit in Płock, as well as construction of a flue gas desulfurisation unit common for all boilers. In effect, the emissions of SO2, NOx and dust will be reduced, while the heat and power source will reach compliance with the requirements of the Directive on Industrial Emissions (IED) effective from 2016. Emission reducing installations have already been installed on two steam boilers No. 7 and No. 8 in Płock, lowering the NOx and dust emissions at the Płock CCGT plant by 20% Emissions will be further reduced, gradually as the investment project reaches completion scheduled for 2016.
The objectives of significant investment projects carried out at the ORLEN Group included: reduction of CO2 and NOx emissions, improvement of energy efficiency indicators of the ammonia unit at ANWIL Włocławek, launch of a Dust extraction and ventilation unit for production nodes at the Salt Packaging Unit of IKS Solino, as well as implementation of ground water protection system at HS Kolin, and installation of a hydraulic underground water protection system at PARAMO's HS Pardubice.
CO2 emissions management
In 2013, Phase 3 of the EU's Emissions Trading System began, pursuant to the new regulatory framework set forth in the Commission Regulation No. 601/2012 of June 21st 2012 on the monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions. For the first time, the system covers all of the ORLEN Group's production installations, including, for the first time, the chemical units, which necessitates intensification of efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. The CO2 Interdisciplinary Supervisory Team is responsible for the efficient management of CO2emissions.
Production installations in the Czech Republic and in Lithuania received free CO2 emission allowances pursuant to Article 10a of the Directive 2003/87/EC, in an amount accounting for the application of a cross-sectoral correction factor, as determined in the Decision 2013/448/EU published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Responsible Care Framework Management System
PKN ORLEN performed its obligations under the Responsible Care Framework Management System. To improve the System, the ORLEN Group companies participating in the Responsible Care Programme shared their experiences. The information on initiatives pursued by the companies and on their participation in activities suggested by the Responsible Care Programme, are a source of ideas for all participants and an inspiration for further improvement of the Programme. The efforts undertaken by the companies brought about tangible effects in the form of lower harmful emissions and increased energy efficiency, as well as improved safety and health protection for employees.
Apart from improving the Responsible Care Framework Management System, tasks were fulfilled in the area of Health, Safety and Environment (HSE).In 2013, 33 out of declared 49 projects were completed at the ORLEN Group. The remaining 16 projects are still under way.
Besides reporting and mandatory tasks, PKN ORLEN continued an initiative to increase employees' involvement in learning and expanding their knowledge about the ideas behind and guidelines of the Responsible Care Programme. PKN ORLEN launched a series of competitions, related to important environmental protection dates, such as: World Health Day (April 7th), Chemist's Day (June 4th), [???]Wildlife and Natural Habitats Day[???] (September 19th), and World Water Monitoring Day (October 18th).Traditionally, the Company joined the organisation of the pro-environmental ‘Catch the Hare’ photo competition promoting the beauty of the surrounding nature.
Formal and legal situation
All production installations at the ORLEN Group hold required integrated permits and permissions, which are regularly updated to adjust them to the changing legal environment and business requirements. In 2013, the integrated permit for the Płock Production Plant was amended to include the Loading Division (Railway Terminal) from ORLEN KolTrans. In total, there were 30 amendments to environmental permissions and integrated permits held by the Company, and 17 new permits were obtained.
An application for an integrated permit was submitted in connection with the construction of the CCGT plant in Włocławek, which is currently under way.
Five greenhouse emission permits were granted for the Refinery, CCGT unit, Olefins II unit, Ethylene Oxide and Glycol unit in Płock, and for the terephthalic acid (PTA) unit in Włocławek.
Two new permits were granted in the area of water and wastewater management. The first permit was granted for the Płock Production Plant for the withdrawal of surface water from the Wisła river and groundwater from eight wells in Stara Biała, while the second permit was granted for the PTA unit in Włocławek for the discharge of wastewater associated with the production of terephthalic acid (PTA) into the individual sewage systems of ANWIL Włocławek.
Also, 73 new water and wastewater management permits were granted for service stations.
New air quality monitoring station
In order to provide information about the state of natural environment in the vicinity of the Płock Production Plant on an ongoing basis, a new air monitoring station was put into operation. The station has been included in the State Environmental Monitoring programme in the Province of Warsaw, and is equipped with state-of-the-art instruments for continuous measurement of most important air pollutants: SO2, NOx, O3, CO, BTX, as well as meteorological sensors measuring parameters such as wind speed and direction, temperature, and air humidity. The measurements are automatically uploaded to a database maintained by the Provincial Inspectorate of Environmental Protection (WIOŚ) and available for viewing on the Provincial Inspectorate of Environmental Protection in Warsaw's website, as well as on the Company's intranet. In effect, the measurements and air quality information for the Płock region are freely available to our stakeholders.
In 2013, the Company continued its large scale reclamation works in the soil and water environment at its service stations, terminals, and other facilities. The intensified efforts in this segment were caused by the obligation to upgrade, by the end of 2013, service station premises to the standard required in the Minister of Economy's Regulation of November 21st 2005.
With respect to limitation and liquidation of hydrocarbon spills, removal of petroleum products was continued on the basis of existing production facilities. The amount of excavated petroleum products was ca. 20% lower than in the previous year. The downtrend is attributable to the decreasing volume of petroleum contaminants in soil and water environment, which follows from several years of works carried out by the Company in this area.
Additionally, for the first time in 2013, in the areas where liquid portions of petroleum contaminants were removed (release boundaries), specially picked strains of bacteria and neutralisation substances were applied, in order to speed up the biodegradation of hydrocarbons still remaining in the soil.
The total air emissions of substances from the ORLEN Group installations did not exceed the limits set in the integrated permits for the Płock and Włocławek plants, and was 0.63%, i.e. nearly 40 thousand tonnes, lower than in the previous reporting period. Total emissions, including from the PTA Plant in Włocławek, are presented in the table below.
Total emissions of selected substances by the Płock Production Plant and the Włocławek PTA plant in 2012 and 2013
|Substance||Amount of emissions [Mg]||Increase/decrease|
|NOx (in nitrogen dioxide equivalent)||7,873.61||6,665.40||-1,208.21||-15.35|
|Total dust 1)||680.28||581.44||-98.84||-14.53|
|Total emissions, excluding carbon dioxide||32,359.62||25,084.92||-7,274.70||-22.48|
|Total emissions PKN ORLEN||6,288,952.78||6,249,044.80||-39,907.98||-0.63|
1) Total dust, i.e. combustion dust, silica dust and metals in dust.
The ORLEN Group's involvement in a number of initiatives that employ technology to minimise environmental impacts, as well its activity in shaping pro-environmental awareness, was recognised by experts - PKN ORLEN received the Ecology Leader award in the Polish Chemical Awards 2013 competition, and was awarded the Patron of Pro-Environmental Education 2013 title by the Ekologia and Rynek monthly.
The results of the efforts undertaken by the ORLEN Group companies, with a view to reducing the environmental impact of their production activities and services, were rated highly by independent environmental organisations. ORLEN EKO received a Certificate of the Responsible Care Framework Management System in accordance with CEFIC guidelines, and was granted the Company Close to the Environment title by the European Environmental Responsibility Forum. ORLEN Gaz received an Integrated Management System Certificate based on ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and PN-N-18001 standards, and implemented an Integrated Management System Policy. Rafineria Nafty Jedlicze received an ISO 14001 Certificate for the environmental management system implemented at the company. ORLEN Oil created a special ECO LABEL certified product range.