SLOVNAFT refinery, based in Bratislava, has opened a production unit for deep desulphurisation of diesel. The new unit will produce diesel with ultra-low sulphur content and thus meet European Union diesel standards that take effect in 2005 and 2009.
According to EU regulations, the content of sulphur in diesel sold after 2005 must be lower than 50 miligrammes per kilogramme of fuel; starting in 2009, sulphur content must be lowered to 10 miligrammes per kilogramme.
The unit will have a production capacity of 5,500 tonnes of de-sulphurated diesel, Slovnaft said. Total construction costs are expected to reach Sk3.2 billion (€80,000).
“The new unit will strengthen the position and competitive advantage of Slovnaft on the European market,” Vratko Kaššovic, the director of Slovnaft, told The Slovak Spectator.
Higher quality diesel and the technology of the new unit are also expected to benefit the environment. Emissions from combustion processes will decrease by 29 tonnes annually; cooling waters discharged by Slovnaft into the Malý Dunaj River will decrease 11.9 million cubic metres; and emissions of sulphur oxides in the EU’s “zero-sulphur” diesel area will decrease by 780 tonnes.
Construction of the unit started in July 2003. The Czech company ABB Lumnus Global is the main contractor. The Danish firm Haldor Topsoe is licensor of the desulphurisation process.
In recent years, Slovnaft has modernised its plant. The new Hydrodesulphurisation plant is part of an environmental project to produce environmentally friendly gasoline. Slovnaft has been producing ultra-low sulphur content gasoline since 2001.
Slovnaft is part of the oil and petrochemical MOL Group, based in Hungary.
Compiled by Marta Ďurianová
29. Nov 2004 at 0:00