MOSCOW (MRC) -- ORLEN Unitpetrol, the largest Czech petrochemical company, continues building the unit for a new product, dicyclopentadiene (DCPD), which is expected to be launched in the second half of 2022, as per the company's press release.
The construction also continues in winter when four large-capacity tanks and rectification columns are installed. During the production process, these units are used to distil the final product, DCPD, to the required purity. The heaviest column, which is 2.3 m in diameter, 33.9 m long and weighs 33 tonnes, arrived at the ORLEN Unipetrol site in Litvinov on Monday, 20 December 2021. The column was provided by Intecha. The convoy set out from Pardubice on 20 December, and after passing the 200 km-long route, it arrived in Litvinov at around 7am.
“There has been a high demand for this product on global markets. Europe is currently seeing a deficit in DCPD production capacities. We expect the demand to grow by another 20% by 2030. On the American markets, the demand may rise by 40%, and in Asia, even by 60%. That is why we have decided to invest in constructing our DCPD manufacturing technology. It is another example of how our R&D supports the business,” explains Tomas Herink, Member of the Board of Directors of the ORLEN Unipetrol Group. He adds: “This product launch will contribute to our margin increase and will help expand the product portfolio in the petrochemical segment.”
Liquid hydrocarbon dicyclopentadiene will be produced using a technology developed by ORLEN Unipetrol researchers in cooperation with the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague. The product can be broadly used in the automotive industry, construction industry, electrical engineering, medicine and pharmaceutical industry. It will be used to produce polymer materials, resins, and chemical specialities that can be used to produce adhesives, dyes, automotive and ship components, optical fibres, special lenses, medical components, packaging materials or sanitary products for kitchens and bathrooms, etc.
As MRC reported earlier, Orlen Unipetrol (part of PKN Orlen) will expand the capacity of its steam cracker in Litvinov (Czech Republic) by installing a new furnace, PKN Orlen said in October, 2021. The new cracking unit will be built by Technip Energies in Zaluzi, the largest chemical plant in the Czech Republic, and is due to be commissioned in 2022. Orlen is investing over 700 mln Czech crown (CZK) in the project.
Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,047,100 tonnes in the first ten months of 2021, up by 17% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,226,530 tonnes in January-October 2021, up by 26% year on year. Supply of propylene homopolymers (homopolymer PP) and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding stat-copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) decreased significantly.
The ORLEN Unipetrol Group is the largest refinery and petrochemical company in the Czech Republic. It focuses on crude oil processing and the production, distribution and sale of vehicle fuels and petrochemical products – particularly plastics and fertilisers. In all these areas, it belongs among the critical players in the Czech and Central European markets. The ORLEN Unipetrol Group encompasses refineries and production plants in Litvinov and Kralupy nad Vltavou, Paramo, with its Mogul brand in Pardubice and Kolin, Spolana Neratovice, and two research centres in Litvinov and Brno.