Refinery and petrochemical group Unipetrol has long been committed to environmental protection. In 2018 it spent a record-high sum of CZK 1.87 billion in capital and operating expenditure on environmental protection. The amount invested in this area has totalled CZK 6.7 billion over the past five years.
“In the course of 15 years, we have reduced the amount of emitted pollutants by more than 95%. We have also installed technologies to catch and dispose of these substances and shut down some older production facilities,” explains Pavel Sláma, Director of the EKO Unit at Unipetrol.
In 2018, the total environmental protection costs for the entire Unipetrol Group amounted to CZK 1.87 billion and included environmental capital and operating expenditure, costs of decontamination of old environmental damages, fees for air pollution and wastewater discharging, waste landfilling, the creation of a reserve for landfill reclamation and compensation for emissions damage to forests.
In 2018, capital investments in environmental protection amounted to CZK 718 million, a quadruple of the 2017 sum. The most important environmental protection projects included the construction of a new steam cracker boiler house in Záluží u Litvínova, the construction of a new energy centre in Neratovice, installation of technology to reduce NOx and SOx emissions in the T700 boiler house in Litvínov and installation of technology to reduce vanadium content in wastewater. “Both the refinery in Litvínov and in Kralupy is operated in line with BAT requirements, i.e. in accordance with the best available techniques,” Pavel Sláma adds.
Unipetrol is also involved in active collaboration with state administration. For instance, it participated in the preparations of the BREF document on the best available techniques in waste gas treatment in the chemical industry through a technical working group set up by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic last year.
Besides environmental protection, Unipetrol is also committed to the support of environmental activities. Together with the ALKA Wildlife association, it takes care of peregrine falcons nesting on its production sites in Litvínov, Kralupy and Neratovice. A total of 25 chicks have been born since 2011. Together with the Czech Fishing Union, Unipetrol plants fish in the rivers Bílina and Elbe twice per year. More than seven tonnes of fish worth a total of CZK 650,000 have been released since 2010. Beekeeping on the premises of Spolana Neratovice is also worth mentioning. Honeybees thrive on the former chocolate and saccharine production site and the number of bee colonies has grown from three to five. The second honey tapping took place at the end of June.