Mr. Sokratis Famellos, Alternate Minister of Environment & Energy and Mr. Efstathios Tsotsoros, Chairman of the BoD and CEO of Hellenic Petroleum, met at the Ministry on the initiative of the Minister, in order to discuss how to improve the Thessaloniki Refinery's environmental performance.
Both sides expressed their willingness for cooperation and discussed about specific measures for further improvement of the facility's environmental performance.
Mr. Tsotsoros, Chairman and Ceo of HELPE, noted further, that a series of studies, projects and interventions in this direction is already in progress since 2016.
Especially, with regard to Hellenic Petroleum:
1. The Company will complete, by the end of April, the "Flare Gas Recovery" project which costs €2.5 million and which will eliminate any release of hydrocarbons from the refinery's flare.
2. The Company has studied and submitted for approval, with an estimated cost of €6.5 million, a series of projects regarding the "Wastewater-Treatment Plant Upgrading" to meet the new EU Waste Water Limit values, based on the Best Available Techniques. These projects include the construction of a new closed balancing tank. With the completion of the projects, in the first half of 2020, the complete elimination of any odor from the wastewater treatment plant will be achieved.
3. The Company has assigned a study to a specialized company for further improvement of the existing odor abatement systems, relating to wastewater treatment plant and oily sludge treatment unit. The study is scheduled to be completed by the end of April 2019. The proposed measures will be implemented promptly and the required equipment will be installed as soon as possible. In summary measures may include:
- Additional hydrocarbon and Sulphur compounds absorption systems.
- Increase of suction systems capacity.
- Closed systems where necessary (floating cover, etc.).
- Use of new chemical additives in deodorizing units.
4. The Company will complete the treatment of old pits containing oily sludges in the first half of 2020, where one last pit remains to be treated.
The Alternate Minister of Environment & Energy, Mr. Sokratis Famellos, also asked the Hellenic Petroleum to enhance the emissions monitoring at the boundaries of the installation, especially with regard to the community of Kordelio, as well as to consider the possibility of relocating the oily sludge treatment unit to a new area inside the refinery, distant from the community.
HELPE has responded positively to these two requests and will integrate them in the Company's action plans.
Finally, HELLENIC PETROLEUM Group has stated that is expecting the final report with the detailed data prepared by Professor Konstantini Samara, Aristotle University, whenever is available.