Mazeikiu Nafta, the 89.8%-owned Lithuanian subsidiary of Polish oil major PKN Orlen, has built a new, LTL135 million FCC gasoline hydro-treatment unit, which will enable the company to reduce the sulfur content in its gasoline five-fold.

The new unit will allow gasoline to be desulfurized up to the level that will be required and applicable by the EU from 2009, which states that the sulfur content of the petrol should not be more than 10 parts per million (ppm).

The standards currently applicable in the EU are a target of not more than 50 ppm sulfur in fuel. However, stricter requirements are already being enforced by some countries, the company said.

The important thing is that modern technologies will allow reductions in pollution and grant the possibility of our products becoming even more competitive in Lithuanian and foreign markets, said Marek Mroczkowski, general director of Mazeikiu Nafta.

We are pursuing the aim of becoming one of the most modern and advanced refineries in the region. The new unit marks the beginning of modernization, as the amount of investment in Mazeikiu Nafta within the coming five years will amount to $1.6 billion, said Mr Mroczkowski continued.

Mazeikiu Nafta produces all grades of gasoline, jet, diesel fuel and other petroleum products. Gasoline components from the new FCC gasoline hydro-treatment unit will be used for the production of gasoline 95 and 98.