Orlen Lithuania's stuck reactor set to move again on Monday night

  • 2023-08-14
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - A giant reactor being delivered from the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda to the refinery owned by oil refining company Orlen Lietuva (Orlen Lithuania) in Mazeikiai stuck on a gravel road in the district of Kretinga on Sunday night and it should be back on the road on Monday night, an Orlen Lietuva spokeswoman says.

According to Kristina Gendvile, despite a one-day delay due to the incident, the reactor is expected to arrive in Mazeikiai on August 18 as planned.

"Active work is underway to adjust the delivery timetable to eliminate Aleksandrija (in Skuodas District where a rest area was planned, butut the reactor will no longer stop there - BNS) and to ensure that the cargo arrives directly in Zidikai in Mazeikiai District - BNS) early Wednesday morning, and we will stick to the same schedule from there," Gendvile told BNS on Monday. "The project team says tonight they should move along the route they were supposed to follow yesterday (Sunday - BNS)."

In her words, the 1,500-ton reactor got stuck on a gravel road a few hundred meters from a rest area in the village of Erlenai on Sunday night. The Erlenai valley was considered the most difficult part of the route because of the high hill and the road on the site of the former peatbog.

Special metal sheets, brought from the sea freight company Bega, had been laid along the edges of the road, Gedvile said.

"The risk of this happening had been assessed. (...) That's why we also have a plan B, so that if the cargo gets stuck somewhere, then slabs are brought from the Bega terminal, forklift trucks are prepared, and the road is secured with metal plates," Gendvile added.

The delivery of the massive 1,500-ton reactor to the oil refinery 145 km away started early morning on August 6. The 100 meter-long, 6.5 meter-wide and 10-meter high Italian-made reactor, which will be installed in a deep crude conversion unit, is due to arrive in Mazeikiai after midday on August 18.

Mammoet Baltic is in charge of the delivery that is mainly being done at night, early morning and late night.

The reactor will be used for the upgrade of the Mazeikiai facility, which is currently estimated to cost up to 970 million euros. It's the largest investment project in Lithuania in Orlen's history since 2006, and it's expected to be completed by the end of 2024.