VILNIUS - The Polish oil group PKN Orlen, owner of Lithuanian oil refinery Mazeikiu Nafta, is sticking to its plans to build an oil pipeline and an oil product pipeline from the refinery as part of the company's modernization program. Mazeikiu Nafta CEO Marek Mroczkowski discussed these plans with Mazeikiai district's mayor Vilhelmas Dziugelis during their meeting last week, as reported by the Mazeikiai District Municipality.
Mroczkowski has said that no concrete decisions as to the pipeline projects have been taken so far, as a thorough analysis of the environmental impact and of legal and economic aspects has to be performed, and negotiations with the government have to be held before construction can begin.
"I hope that we will manage to reach agreement with all interested parties and will obtain all required approvals and permits, and will be able to start construction. The construction would take up to nine months," said Mroczkowski. "This week I will be visiting [oil product terminal] Klaipedos Nafta [Klaipeda Oil] to find out what the current situation is," he added.
Mroczkowski did not rule out the possibility that Mazeikiu Nafta might need a natural gas supply, which is more economical in certain technological aspects than other fuels. "Frankly speaking, I have not paid much interest to this issue yet. All I know is that the enterprise has no access to a natural gas pipeline," he said.
"If we decided to use natural gas, we would require very large amounts of it. For example, when we decided to construct a new hydrogen unit in Plock [Poland] in 1996, a new natural gas pipeline had to be built. This unit alone accounts for eight percent of the total natural gas consumption in Poland," he said.
Mroczkowski said that the company also gives a high priority to the quality of working conditions for its employees and the reliability of equipment. He also acknowledged that currently the refinery's facilities are in a very poor condition. "The plant has to be modernized in order to prevent a disaster like last year's [fire]."
PKN Orlen has said it plans to plow 4.57 billion zlotys (1.22 billion euros) into its Lithuanian oil refinery between 2007 and 2012. One-fifth of this money should go toward repairs, with the rest to be used for building new facilities.