The high quality of products and efficient distribution network make the petrochemical segment of ORLEN Group one of the strongest entities of this type in Central and Eastern Europe. In 2011 it comprised units of the Petrochemical Plant in Płock, PTA Plant in Włocławek, Basell Orlen Polyolefins and business units from Unipetrol Group. The Company is the sole manufacturer of olefins, polyolefins, terephthalic acid (PTA) and most petrochemicals in Poland and the Czech Republic.
In 2011 the market situation improved, which influenced prices of petrochemical products, mainly olefins. In the first half of the year the Company recorded their systematic increase. This was the result of imbalanced market – demand significantly exceeded supply. This effect intensified due to a large number of overhauls of units planned for that period by European producers. The third quarter brought stabilisation on the market and price reductions. Whereas the fourth quarter was characterised by decline in both demand and prices of petrochemicals, with rising raw materials prices.
The most important event in 2011 in the petrochemical segment was start-up of production at the Paraxylene and Terephthalic Acid units, which influenced increase in the sales of PKN ORLEN products in Poland in 2011, as compared to the previous year. Start-up of the Paraxylene unit caused simultaneous increase in the supply of benzene – and more than twofold increase in sales – as well as decline in the supply of other aromatics (toluene, xylenes) used as charge for the Paraxylene unit.
Polish and Czech plants of ORLEN Group produced over 967 thousand tonnes of ethylene, 1% more than in 2010. Propylene production in the reported period topped 623 thousand tonnes, i.e. it was approximately 3% higher than in the previous year.
ORLEN Group petrochemical products sales volumes in 2010 – 2011 (‘000 tonnes)
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In 2011, ORLEN Group produced 2% less polyolefins than in 2010.
The production of polypropylene in 2011 totalled 556 thousand tonnes and was by approximately 2% lower than that generated in 2010. In the reported period, polyethylene production in Poland and the Czech Republic was at the level of 633 thousand tonnes and was by 1% less than in 2010.
The most important task carried out in 2011 was commissioning, and then start-up of the Paraxylene unit and the PTA plant in Włocławek, producing paraxylene and terephthalic acid (PTA). In March and April products were obtained from these plants, and start-up was carried out on 1 May 2011.
Other petrochemical companies of ORLEN Group carried out programmes for modernisation of existing infrastructure, obligatory and development projects. The Company completed, among others: the construction of Butadiene unit (with production capacity of 120 thousand tonnes annually) in Unipetrol in the Czech Republic and construction of the oxygen generating unit as well as connection of utilities to the PTA plant in the ANWIL plants in Włocławek.
ORLEN Group's brands