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ORLEN launches zero-emission power plant in Płock

Polish oil and gas company, ORLEN has launched a power plant in Płock, powered by water from treated and purified wastewater from the Production Plant. Within a year, the new unit will be able to produce energy that can meet the needs of approximately 400 households.

Built on the premises of the ORLEN Water and Sewage Plant in Płock, the small run-of-the-river hydroelectric power plant has a rated power of 160 kilowatts (kW) and can produce approximately 800 megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity per year. The power plant utilises a pipeline laid along the Vistula escarpment, culminating in a hydro-set comprising a turbine and a generator.

The water used at the Production Plant in Płock is drawn from the Vistula River. After use, it is first cleaned and treated so that its parameters comply with environmental standards. Treated sewage is primarily utilised within the Plant for tasks such as the production of fire-fighting and utility water, effectively partially closing the water cycle, with only excess discharged into the river.

“Until now, the energy from treated sewage discharged from the Production Plant in Płock was simply wasted. Now, thanks to the launch of the hydroelectric plant, we can use this energy to produce green electricity. Better use of available resources is an important element of the concern’s energy transformation, enabling sustainable development, in line with the goals set in the Group Strategy,” said Józef Węgrecki, Vice-President of the Management Board for Operations of ORLEN.

The construction of the hydroelectric power plant incurred a cost of approximately 3 million Polish złoty. The energy generated will be integrated into the power grid, affording ORLEN additional sales revenues of around 0.5 million Polish złoty annually.

The Production Plant in Płock, consuming approximately 27 million cubic metres of water annually, constitutes about 0.2 per cent of water usage in the entire Polish economy. Following modernisation, the plant doubled its water use efficiency, reducing the discharged treated sewage from about 40 million cubic metres to 14 million cubic metres, all while increasing oil processing from approximately 8 million to over 16 million tons per year.

This new hydroelectric power plant aligns with the ORLEN Group’s Sustainable Development Strategy, outlined in its goals for 2024-2030. By 2026, the Group aims to establish a comprehensive action plan for biodiversity protection in its operational areas and implement a consistent policy for sustainable water and sewage management.

A significant investment in this sustainability initiative is the “Blue Bridge” project, intending to collect sewage from the Wodociągi Płockie treatment plant, purify it to process water quality, and subsequently employ it at the ORLEN Production Plant. This initiative is expected to reduce Vistula water intake for production processes in the Plant in Płock by approximately 25 per cent.

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