Grupa Lotos SA Value Stock - Dividend - Research Selection
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Description of the company
On March 7th 1971, a decision was made to commence construction of a refinery in Gdańsk. Over four years, on a 220 ha site a modern refining plant was built, designed to process 3 million tonnes of crude oil annually. The refinery was to supply fuels and lubricants for the Polish economy. The first batch of crude oil was loaded into the refinery storage tanks in 1975, and then the Fuel Unit was started up.
Why in Gdańsk?
The programme for increasing the use of chemicals in the national economy (1968-1972) provided for significant development of the refining and petrochemical industry. The construction of a new refinery offered an alternative to the costly imports of petroleum products from the West. The project was to be located in the north of Poland, and was to be accompanied by the construction of a marine oil terminal, where crude transported by sea was to be unloaded. A number of locations were considered. Eventually, Płonia Mała, situated east of Gdańsk in the fork of the Martwa Wisła river and the Rozwójka canal, was selected as the proposed plant site.
The government approved, the Prime Minister signed
Based on documents prepared by the Oil Industry Design Office of Kraków (later renamed Bipronaft), on May 7th 1971 the government adopted a resolution on long-term purchases of crude oil and construction of a refinery in Gdańsk. The competent ministers were authorised to enter into a ten-year crude oil supply contract with British Petroleum, providing for annual deliveries of 3 million tonnes of oil for the future Gdańsk Refinery. The funding came from long-term foreign loans (licences, documentation, plant and equipment) and own resources (construction and assembly work). The decision was approved and signed by the-then Prime Minister Piotr Jaroszewicz.
Where frogs once croaked
In April 1972, the workers from Mostostal, a construction enterprise of Płock, appeared on the fields of Płonia Mała. This depressed wetland, where frogs croaked and storks waded through shallow water, was to become the site of a great chemical plant, the second largest investment project of the time in Poland, after the Katowice Steelworks. The cost of the project was put at PLZ 12.3bn. Completion of the construction phase was scheduled for July 1975, and the start-up of the Fuel Unit was to be performed in November of the same year. The design work started in 1972. The front-end engineering design was commissioned from Snamprogetti, an Italian design and engineering company, which was also responsible for procurement of plant and equipment. The technical drawings were prepared by the Oil Industry Design Office of Kraków as well as by Prochem, Naftoprojekt, Energoprojekt, Proat and other design offices. The general contractors on the project were successively Mostostal Płock, Petrobudowa Płock and Gdańskie Przedsiębiorstwo Budownictwa Przemysłowego.
1.5 metre depression
The site selected for the future plant had to be drained. Nearly 80 km of drainage pipes were laid, 1,000 wells were drilled, and approximately 270,000 cubic metres of peat and silt were removed. Over 2m cubic metres of sand and gravel was brought. All this was done to lower the ground water level and raise the land level by some 1.5m on average. About 8,000 reinforcing piles were driven into the ground, some of them 24 metres deep.
At the same time, an enterprise under the name Rafineria Nafty Gdańsk w Budowie (Gdańsk Oil Refinery under Construction) was formed. Its first headquarters were in old residential buildings leased from Gdańskie Zakłady Fosforowe (a phosphorus fertilisers plant).