OMV Petrom continues upgrading works at Petrobrazi Refinery. Over the past six months, benzene facilities and storage tanks have been upgraded, thus reducing emissions of volatile organic compounds. The total value of the project, which includes investments and expenses for upgrade and decommissioning, exceeds EUR 4 million.
Within this initiative, three existing tanks have been upgraded and six old tanks, of small sizes, used to store benzene, have been decommissioned. Also, pumps used to deliver benzene were equipped with double seals.
These works were part of the project for storage capacity optimization, which has led to alignment of the benzene storage infrastructure with the best technical solutions available at international level, thus complying with commitments to the Ministry of Environment and Prahova Environmental Protection Agency in terms of reduction of fugitive emissions.
Within Petrobrazi Refinery, benzene is a secondary product, delivered in closed system, having a share of about 0.5% of the refinery’s total capacity.
“The activity of storage and upload of gasoline and other products is the main generator of benzene emissions and similar refinery compounds. This is why, as early as in 2008, we focused on upgrading the tank park (over 50 upgraded tanks) and equipping the loading platforms of tanker trucks and wagons with modern vapor recovery units. Tank upgrading works result in a reduction in emissions of volatile organic compounds from about 99% to 90% – a reduction noticeable in 2018. After upgrading the infrastructure associated with the larger facilities, we can also focus on equipment with a low share in terms of emissions in the current activity of the refinery,” Adrian Mincu, Director of Petrobrazi Administration, said.
Benzene is a volatile and flammable substance, with a specific smell, similar to gasoline, being one of the chemicals in its composition.
Benzene is used as an intermediary product by a number of industries: for the production of plastic and polystyrene precursors (styrene, nylon), for the production of paints and adhesives, as well as solvent and dissolver.
Benzene is included in the list of compounds monitored at European Union level to meet air quality standards. The level set at European level is 5 μg/m3 (annual average). According to a study of the benzene working group at European Union level, the main source of atmospheric benzene is car traffic (80-85%).
About Petrobrazi Refinery
Petrobrazi Refinery, with a refining capacity of 4.5 million tons of crude oil per year, is one of the most important units of this type in the country. Petrobrazi Refinery’s production can cover the annual demand for fuels for 3 million vehicles.
During 2005-2017, Petrobrazi Refinery benefited from investments of over EUR 1.5 billion in projects for the upgrade and construction of new facilities and in environmental projects. Petrobrazi Refinery currently operates at the highest performance and environmental standards.
About OMV Petrom
OMV Petrom is the largest energy company in South-Eastern Europe, with an annual oil and gas production of about 61 million boe in 2017. The Group has a refining capacity of 4.5 million tons annually and operates an 860 MW high efficiency power plant. On the petroleum products distribution market, the Group is present in Romania and its neighbouring countries through 789 filling stations at the end of September 2018, under two brands, OMV and Petrom.
OMV Aktiengesellschaft, one of the largest listed industrial companies in Austria, holds a 51.01% stake in OMV Petrom. The Romanian state, through the Ministry of Energy, owns a 20.64% stake in OMV Petrom, Fondul Proprietatea has 9.9985% and 18.35% is traded freely on the Bucharest Stock Exchange and on London Stock Exchange.
OMV Petrom is the largest taxpayer to the state budget, with over EUR 25.5 billion paid in taxes, contributions and dividends during 2005-2017.
Starting with 2007 OMV Petrom integrated in its business strategy the principles of corporate accountability. In this period, the company has allocated approximately EUR 50 million to develop communities in Romania, focusing on environmental protection, education, health and local development.