The Green Side of the Force

With the implementation of its 10+ Programme, the LOTOS Group refinery has increased its production capacities by 70%, without significantly raising its environmental impact. With further investments being made throughout 2012-2013 to reduce its environmental impact, the LOTOS Group is constantly working on its image as a green refinery, as well as an ecological company.

LOTOS' mission statement determines that all of its operations are to be conducted in a sustainable manner, with due regard for all legally defined environmental requirements and in accordance with the principles of corporate social responsibility.

Our environmental policy is focused on clean production. This means continually reducing our use of utilities and raw materials, making further emissions reduction and increasing the effectiveness of our waste management, as well as ensuring the safety of all our industrial processes. All of these measures help prevent plant failures and mitigate personal and environmental risk. Apart from their high quality, LOTOS’s petroleum products pose probably the lowest possible nuisance to the environment.

The LOTOS Group pays great attention to the condition of the natural environment and constantly strives to reduce its impact on nature. The Group’s refinery and all its subsidiaries observe the requirements specified in their environmental permits very carefully. The air pollution around the company’s facilities, including its wastewater, gas and noise emissions as well as its waste management, are all under constant monitoring. After thorough, three-step treatment in the LOTOS Group refinery’s wastewater treatment plant, most of the wastewater is then reused as industrial water.

Waste management is rigorously monitored and carried out in compliance with regulations ensuring maximum safety for the environment.

We use protective equipment, such as double sealing systems for tanks that have floating roofs, airtight processes at fuel loading installations, as well as vapour recovery systems. When implementing new technologies, the LOTOS Group relies on Best Available Techniques (BAT) characterised by low emissions and highly efficient processes.

Since 2012, the Gdańsk refinery has been fired with natural gas (which is also used for hydrogen production). This has helped significantly decrease the refinery's impact on its environment – in 2012, CO2 emissions dropped by around 100,000 tonnes, and a further decrease is noticeable this year too. In 2014 the CHP plant will be burning natural gas only, at which point sulphur dioxide emissions will fall by 99.5%, dust emissions by 99%, CO2by 15%, and nitrogen oxide by 50% (compared with 2011). It is expected that the refinery will reach emission levels typical of the best European refineries and set a refinery emissions benchmark, which is a determining factor in the allotment of free CO2 emission allowances for 2013-2020.

Also in 2013, further investments have already been made at the LOTOS refinery to reduce its environmental impact. These include the use of flare gas and the changing of four process furnaces into low-emission units. Furthermore, thanks to a new, larger vapour recovery unit, emissions from fuel loading are also set to decrease.

Now, the LOTOS Group is planning another large investment programme, in which ecology will be taking centre stage – the delayed coker unit (DCU) will enable the refinery to cease production of high-sulphur heavy fuel oil and instead produce only ‘clean’ fuels.

In terms of energy efficiency, the LOTOS refinery is among the best in Europe, and thanks to consistently taken measures, it is becoming even more environment-friendly.