ORLEN to build 2G bioethanol plant at Jedlicze refinery
Photo courtesy of PKN ORLEN

ORLEN to build 2G bioethanol plant at Jedlicze refinery

PKN ORLEN will invest in a second-generation bioethanol plant at the Jedlicze refinery, which will be the first of its kind in Poland and only the second in Europe. The first is Clariant’s located in Romania.

The plant’s capacity will be 25 thousand tonnes of bioethanol per year. The project is in line with the strategic goals of the ORLEN Group aimed at achieving emission neutrality by 2050. It will also strengthen Poland’s position on the European market of new generation biofuels.

“In line with the ORLEN2030 strategy, we are strengthening the position of the regional leader in the area of ​​new generation biofuels. The construction of a second generation bioethanol production installation is another investment in environmentally friendly technologies that reduce CO2 emissions. The implementation of this project will also significantly contribute to the fulfillment by PKN ORLEN of the National Index Target, the level of which is gradually increasing. It also means creating new jobs and using the potential of agriculture in south-eastern Poland, which will translate into tangible benefits for the Polish economy and the region,” says Daniel Obajtek, president of the PKN ORLEN Management Board.

Bioethanol will be produced in Jedlicze from non-food raw materials, obtained mainly from Polish farmers, mainly from cereal straw. This will allow better use of the potential of local agriculture. The bioethanol complex will include a main installation and a modern combined heat and power plant based on a lignin-fired biomass boiler. The lignin used in the CHP plant will be a waste product of the bioethanol installation. Annually, it will create about 90 thousand tonnes of lignin, which will be burned in a 48 megawatt (MW) fluidized bed boiler. The heat energy generated in this way will be entirely allocated to the needs of the complex of installations for the production of second-generation bioethanol.

The implementation of the project will enable greater use of the sites of ORLEN Południe in Jedlicze for investments. In addition, it will be associated with an increase in employment. About 50 new jobs will be created at the refinery, includingfor specialists in the field of advanced biotechnology.

ORLEN Południe plans to implement further research and development projects on the basis of this investment, including those related to the further processing of by-products, e.g. lignin and decoction, in biological processes. The company also intends to expand its raw material base with waste products and energy crops, such as miscanthus.

The construction of the second-generation bioethanol production plant is another step towards transforming ORLEN Południe plants into modern bio-refineries, where production is based on renewable sources. In November last year, the largest installation for the production of ecological glycol in Europe was commissioned at the Trzebinia refinery. The company is also investing in a biogas program, under which a network of biomethane plants will be built throughout the country.