In line with its strategic vision until 2030, the ORLEN Group is taking steps to consolidate its position as Central Europe’s leading petrochemical producer.
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At the Litvínov plant in the Czech Republic it has launched a unit for the production of dicyclopentadiene (DCPD) – a compound used in the automotive, construction, electrical engineering, pharmaceutical and medical sectors, as well as other industries.
By adding DCPD to its portfolio, the ORLEN Group has joined the group of its four largest producers in Europe. ORLEN Unipetrol’s annual output of DCPD will reach up to 26,000 tonnes.
The cost of constructing the new unit was CZK 831m ($33m).
There is strong demand for DCPD globally and a shortage of DCPD capacities noted in Europe. Judging by the existing market trends, demand for the product is likely to grow by another 26%. By 2030, demand in American markets may grow by 40%, and in Asia – by up to 60%.
Dicyclopentadiene is a liquid hydrocarbon produced in the refining and steam cracking of naphtha and gas oils. It will be produced in Litvínov based on a technology developed by scientists from ORLEN Unipetrol and the University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague.
The process was developed as part of a project to find a method of separating hydrocarbons that are secondary products from petrochemical facilities and may find market applications.
ORLEN Unipetrol’s DCPD product will have a purity between 80% and 94%. It will be an intermediate for a variety of other products, including polymeric materials, resins and chemical materials used in the manufacture of wind turbine rotor blades, coloured asphalts, adhesives, inks, paints or special lenses, among other things.
In addition, DCPD will find a number of applications in automotive production (car frames), construction (washing and toilet facilities for kitchens and bathrooms), electrical engineering (fiber optic cables), as well as the pharmaceutical and medical industries. ■
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