Bottom of the Barrel for larger quantities of the top quality fuel and the beginning of domestic production of petroleum coke
The Bottom of the Barrel facility with delayed coking technology, a project worth more than 300 million euro, was officially put into operation at the Pančevo Oil Refinery.
Following the construction of this new production complex, NIS, in cooperation with its leading shareholders – the Russian company Gazprom Neft and the Republic of Serbia – continues with the constant modernization of the Pančevo Refinery and efforts to improve the quality of its work processes, products and services.
The solemn event at the Pančevo Oil Refinery was attended by Aleksandar Vučić, President of the Republic of Serbia, H.E. Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Serbia, Zorana Mihajlović, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mining and Energy of the Republic of Serbia, Alexander Dyukov, CEO of Gazprom Neft, Kirill Tyurdenev, Director General of NIS, representatives of the Government of Serbia, local self-government and other officials.
The Bottom of the Barrel project brings numerous environmental, business and other benefits to NIS, the Republic of Serbia and its citizens. The new complex enables optimal utilization of the capacity of the Pančevo Oil Refinery and an increase in the depth of refining to 99.2 per cent (from 86 per cent in 2017), which is at the level of the world’s best refineries according to this indicator. This will mean increased production of high-quality fuels – diesel, petrol and liquefied petroleum gas – as well as the start of production of petroleum coke, a product that our country has been importing so far. Also, environmental protection will be significantly improved because the production of fuel oil with high sulfur content will cease. On the other hand, with this project, NIS will solidify its position as a leader in the domestic market, and improve its competitiveness in the regional market of petroleum products. The new plant employs 63 new workers, while domestic contractors made 80 per cent of the workforce engaged during the construction of the complex.
The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, pointed out that Serbia had of the three most modern refineries in the region, and beyond the former Yugoslavia.
“Nothing in the former Yugoslavia can compare to what we have here, in Pančevo. Everything was carried out in line with the latest trends, with the use of digitalization,” said Vučić.
He also pointed out that the main focus was on protecting the environment, so there will be significantly less dust and harmful particles and as much as 98 per cent less sulfur dioxide and sulfur compounds than had been the case so far.
President Vučić also stated that that was a great day for Serbia, but also for further improvement of the relations between Serbia and Russia and a build-up of even greater trust and closeness of the two countries.
“This is not only a validation of our brotherly relations, which no-one has ever doubted but also of joint efficiency, good work and accomplished results,” Vučić said at the opening ceremony in Pančevo.
The Bottom of the Barrel plant at the Pančevo Refinery will improve oil refining by up to 99 per cent, reduce pollution and boost both Serbia’s and NIS’ market position, said the CEO of Gazprom Neft, Alexander Dyukov.
“This project is of great importance both for the Pančevo Refinery and for the entire NIS Company. The commissioning of the Bottom of the Barrel facility will increase the depth of processing by up to 99 per cent, which will make it one of the top-quality facilities of its kind in the whole world,” said Dyukov, adding that the project was implemented in line with environmental standards set by the Energy Community.
Director-General of NIS, Kirill Tyurdenev, pointed out that the opening of the Bottom of the Barrel plant represented a big step forward for NIS and a new era in the company’s capital investment. He added that the modernization of NIS is part of the company’s management strategy that would lead to improving business and creation of new jobs. Tyurdenev also explained that the Bottom of the Barrel plant was built using the latest technology and in accordance with all relevant environmental standards.
“The Bottom of the Barrel project fulfils our vision to always be innovative leaders and our mission is to be a reliable partner of the state, community and citizens,” said Tyurdenev.
Russia’s ambassador to Serbia, H.E. Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko, stated that he did not know of any energy company in the region and Europe that, in the current circumstances brought on by the pandemic and the unfavourable market situation, completed capital projects as NIS did.
“Serbia and Russia have countless branches on which their partnership is based, but the energy sector is the leading branch of that partnership,” the ambassador pointed out, adding that any form of cooperation between the two countries would not be possible without good relations in the political sphere.
With the implementation of the Bottom of the Barrel project, the Pančevo Oil Refinery has become one of the most modern plants in this part of Europe. This project is a key investment made in the second stage of modernization of the Pančevo Refinery. The first phase was implemented from 2009 to 2012 and more than 500 million euro were invested in it. The construction of a complex for mild hydrocracking and hydrotreatment (MHC / DHT), which enabled the domestic production of Euro 5 standard fuels, was the central project implemented during that stage of development. The modernization of the Pančevo Oil Refinery will continue to be one of the priorities for the further development of NIS.