Slovnaft wraps unit installation at Bratislava petchem site

Slovnaft AS has completed installation of a low-density polyethylene production plant, LDPE 4, at its existing 220,000-tonne/year (tpy) ethylene production site in Bratislava, Slovakia (OGJ Online, June 24, 2014).

The unit replaces three of the company’s obsolete polyethylene (PE) production units and comes as part of the company’s more than €300 million investment in its long-term strategy to revitalize its petrochemicals business, which involved reconstruction of a steam cracker, construction of a logistics infrastructure, and implementation of new production technology, said Slovnaft, a subsidiary of MOL Group, Budapest.

Equipped to produce high-quality polyethylene with minimal emissions and lower energy consumption, the new plant will increase Slovnaft’s LDPE production by 40,000 tpy to 220,000 tpy, the bulk of which will be exported to destinations in Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Austria, as well as markets in Germany, France, and Italy, the company said.

In addition to boosting overall quality and output of LDPE, once fully commissioned, the new unit will further enhance integrated production flexibility and ensure higher naphtha off-take from Slovnaft’s 6.1 million-tpy Bratislava refinery, which supplies feedstock to the petrochemical production site, according to MOL’s latest report to investors.

With installation now completed, Slovnaft said LDPE4 will enter a series of precommissioning activities through the end of November that include technology, start-up, and guarantee testing.

Built by Maire Tecnimont SPA, Milan, and a consortium of its subsidiaries, LDPE4 is scheduled to begin commercial production in early 2016.

Slovnaft Petrochemicals SRO, which was dissolved and integrated into Slovnaft AS on Jan. 1, 2013, began construction on the LDPE4 project in 2012.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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