Petrochemical group Unipetrol spent a total of Kc6.7bn on environmental protection in the past five years, with last year's sum amounting to a record Kc1.87bn, Unipetrol spokesman Pavel Kaidl said in a press release today.
The group has been repeatedly criticised for polluting the environment by environmental organisations. Spolana, a group member based in Neratovice, central Bohemia, is listed as the greatest Czech polluter in the long term.
According to Kaidl, this is due to the company being the sole Czech producer of caprolactam, a basic ingredient for producing Nylon 6, which is used to make textiles or plastics.
Unipetrol's net profit rose by 4 percent to almost Kc9bn last year. Sales recorded a year-on-year increase of 7 percent to Kc130.8bn. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA LIFO) dropped by 7 percent to Kc13.8bn.
Out of last year's total environmental costs, investment costs amounted to Kc718m, which is four times the 2017 figure, said Kaidl. The company's most significant investments included the construction of a new boiler house of the steam cracker in the Litvinov chemical plant, installation of technologies for reducing nitrogen and sulphur oxides emissions at the T700 heating plant in Litvinov, reducing vanadium levels in wastewater in Litvinov, and the construction of a new energy centre in Neratovice.
In 15 years, the firm has reduced the amount of pollutants released into the atmosphere by more than 95 percent, installed pollutant-capturing and -eliminating technologies and shut down obsolete production equipment, said Pavel Slama, director of Unipetrol's EKO unit.
Unipetrol is the only Czech oil-processing company and a major plastics producer, running the largest network of petrol stations in the country (Benzina). The company has been owned by Polish group PKN Orlen since 2005.