It has been a year since Grupa LOTOS commenced the construction of the EFRA Project with a symbolic cornerstone laying ceremony. A giant pile-driving rig was already operating nearby, reinforcing the ground for the construction of a substation building, now almost ready. Financing was also finally arranged for this enormous investment project, valued at approximately PLN 2.3bn, and contracts were finalised with the most important contractor, KT - Kinetics Technology (KT).
Soon after the ceremony, the pile-driving rig was also operating on the site and began to inject into the ground two dozen or so-metre long piles, on which the enormous pipeline and cable trestle now stands (on the right-hand side of the top photograph). In autumn 2015, the access road to the refinery was expanded and the entry gate was rebuilt. Thus the first task under the EFRA Project was completed.
Over the winter, the substation building was being constructed and intensive work was under way to design the Project units, arrange supplies and draft further contracts. In March 2016, after building permits had been obtained, earthwork and pile driving commenced on the main construction site. The development of facilities for contractors also started. In April and May, work was launched on the construction of underground networks and access roads, as well as site preparation for the construction of tanks to hold semi-finished products from the DCU unit. The foundation work also started. In June, pile driving commenced on the site of the HVDU unit and coke storage building. In addition, construction was launched of multi-storey internal trestles for pipelines and cables: currently, the dominating feature of the site. The major part of the foundation work was completed in summer. The highest structures on the site are the support structures of coking reactors and tanks for water separated from coke (on the left-hand side of the photograph). The construction of an oxygen generation unit is also under way.
“At the end of September, the percentage of completion of all works was around 34%,” said Grzegorz Błędowski, EFRA Project Director. “Design work was over 80% complete, purchases and supplies of materials − about 40%, and execution about 10%.”
From among key units comprising the EFRA Project, the most advanced one is the Hydrogen Generation Unit, where foundation work has been completed and construction of steel trestle frames has started, indicating a pace of work 7% ahead of the schedule. It is followed by the coking unit (DCU) with the percentage of completion at about 5%, in line with the schedule. The construction of roads, underground networks and inter-unit pipeline trestles is proceeding apace, with the percentage of completion in excess of 60% (even 30% faster than scheduled).
“The key milestone in the coming months will be the delivery of all large apparatus, such as coking reactors and distillation columns, with a weight of up to 400 tonnes. In late December or early January, up to 10 such items will arrive by sea, which requires preparation in terms of logistics,” stressed Mr Błędowski.
The units should be installed on foundations by the end of February 2017. The overall EFRA Project is about 5pp ahead of the schedule, which has been made possible through the efforts of many people, not only from the Investment Division, as the entire staff of Grupa LOTOS and LOTOS Asfalt support and engage in the Project to bring the ultimate in refining technology to the LOTOS refinery.
Communications Office, Grupa LOTOS S.A., ul. Elbląska 135, 80-718 Gdańsk, Poland, tel. (+48) 58 308 87 31, (+48) 58 308 83 88, e-mail: email@example.com