General aim: “Reduce our environmental footprint”


  • Total amount of waste was decreased by 6.9%
  • 34% decrease in water withdrawals since 2008 (without INA)


  • HUF 53 Mn paid in penalties


Air emissions

Related objective: “Measure/calculate & decrease VOC emissions through using LDAR methodology throughout the MOL Group”

In order to achieve our strategic target of decreasing our VOC emissions, we rolled out a ‘leak detection and repair’ (LDAR) program and started pilot projects at Hungarian installations. The projects will contribute not only to air quality improvement in local neighbourhoods, but will also decrease hydrocarbon losses.
In 2011 we focused on reducing VOC emissions. Most emissions come from the combustion of fossil fuels and from refining technologies. In MOL Group, the Refining division accounts for up to 72% (58% without INA Group) of total pollutants emitted to air. The most significant pollutants which refineries create are SO2, NOX and VOCs. We focus on reducing emissions by installing low NOX burners and implementing programs to detect and eliminate VOC leakage. The LDAR program has been running in Slovnaft and IES Refineries for several years and we are now gradually introducing this program to Hungarian installations where LDAR pilot projects have already started. Among other VOC-related initiatives are pump seal replacements and covering waste water basins to prevent further VOC leaks. The increase in total VOC emissions between 2010 and 2011 was mainly due to the inclusion of data from Russian sites Matyuskinskaya Vertical (255 t) and Baitex LLC (842 t).
Even though the power generation assets at the Duna and Slovnaft Refinery are only partly owned by MOL, we do not ignore these sources of emissions. All the permits necessary for the construction of highly efficient CCGT (combined cycle gas turbine) plant at Duna refinery have successfully been obtained and the project is ready for implementation. The power plant at the Slovnaft refinery (which burns heavy residues from the refinery) has been equipped with a flue gas desulphurisation unit which will significantly decrease its SO2 emissions. At the same time, several boilers are being upgraded in Slovnaft to meet legal regulations. The use of natural gas to generate energy at the Rijeka refinery power plant has made an additional contribution to reducing SO2 emissions.
Click here to read a relevant article from the MOL Scientific Magazine.
Similarly to the Refining division, at Petrochemicals we are also paying increased attention to reducing VOC emissions. All of the planned data collection required by the LDAR program (including on the spot measurements of emissions) was completed at SPC. In TVK a project for installing fixed roofs on floating roof tanks is in progress. At SPC we prepared a feasibility study on filtering the naphtha feed for the Steam Cracker unit which would enable the reduction of CO2, NOX, SOX and PM during the operation of furnaces.
Even though Upstream does not emit the same quantities of emissions as Downstream (Refining or Petchem), our goal is to continuously decrease emissions here too, and our target is to flare and vent gas for only technological and emergency reasons. At the Upstream R&D unit a project is in progress whose goal is to develop a measuring tool which can measure the VOC emissions of glycol regenerators. In 2011 there was a pilot measuring experiment at the Ferencszállás gathering station. The next step is to adapt the tool to meet criteria specified in regulations designed to reduce the risk of explosions. An additional project that the R&D organization is working on is H2S removal from natural gas technologies.
As the most significant pollutants at Logistics and Retail divisions are VOCs, it is self-explanatory that we followed the focus of other divisions and dedicated our efforts to reducing this substance. At Logistics in Slovakia, LDAR methodology has been used for many years due to legal requirements. Now, MOL Hungary and MOL Romania are expected to introduce LDAR in 2012 through pilot projects. In our Komárom depot we have successfully finished the reconstruction of the vapour recovery unit (VRU).
The approach to VOCs at the Retail division is that we utilise technical solutions that provide a higher level of environmental protection than required by local legal regulation. Each filling station under reconstruction is fitted with phase II VRU (Vapour Recovery Units). Besides this, to reduce emissions associated with the use of our products, we are gradually phasing in an additive (‘AdBlue’) to our fuels at filling stations.
Click here to read a relevant article from the MOL Scientific Magazine.

Water management

Related objective: “Reduce total water withdrawals by 5% by 2015 (baseline: 2010)”

Water withdrawals

In accordance with MOL Group strategic targets we aim to reduce our total water withdrawals by 5% within the next 5 years. In order to achieve this target all business units are making concerted efforts; major projects have been launched and are now operational.
Compared with 2010, total water withdrawals increased by almost 4.3% (4 million m3) but it should be noted that this increase basically originates from a new investment (a Hydrogen Generation Unit) at the INA Rijeka Refinery which resulted in increased demands for water. In 2011, four additional Upstream companies were involved in reporting, increasing Group withdrawals by 0.3% (0.3 Mn m3).
At Refining, the total water withdrawals of our Danube Refinery remained the same as for the previous two years. With decreased crude oil processing, specific water use amounted to 1.64 m3/ton crude. In 2012 we plan to launch a fresh water saving project which reuses treated wastewater (at 500 m3/h) which will enable us to achieve a reduction in water use to 1 m3 freshwater/ton crude, or less, from 2014. At our Hungarian and Slovakian refineries we sustained the good quality of discharged effluent, as has been managed since 2008. The Bratislava Refinery received a new permit for its waste water treatment plant while the Ethyl benzene, Cumen and Phenol production units were closed down. Due to this, water withdrawals decreased by 33% compared to the previous year. At the INA Sisak Refinery, due to a lower level of production in 2011, reductions in water withdrawals of 28% were recorded (more than projected in our last report).
At Upstream, in the framework of the ENRAC project (Hungary), steam boilers were replaced by hot-water or thermo-oil boilers, thereby reducing fresh water consumption. Due to this replacement an estimated 5% reduction in water withdrawals was achieved for Upstream in Hungary. In Pakistan, a 31% reduction in freshwater consumption was recorded (compared to 2010) by identifying & repairing leakages in water storage tanks & distribution systems. At INA Upstream operation of the gas treatment plant CPS Molve was optimised, leading to a 5% decrease in steam and related boiler supply water.
At the Retail division, Energopetrol (Bosnia), the main strategic target is modernisation of filling stations. The reconstruction works involve installing double-walled tanks, new separators, leakage detection systems, dispensers and remediating excavated contaminated soil. Up to now, 18 filling stations have been renovated and an additional 9 filling stations are under reconstruction. Due to these improvements, environmental performance (including water conservation) was significantly enhanced at the filling stations. After piloting the use of some waterless toilets in the TIFON network, similar ones have been installed at one of MOL’s filling stations (Fóti út, Budapest) as a test run.
Click here to read a relevant article from the MOL Scientific Magazine.

Water discharge 

Compared with 2010, total water discharge was reduced by 6.3% (approx. 6.7 Mn m3). Overhaul and renovation of wastewater systems and a more conscious use of water has resulted in a significant reduction in water discharge across the MOL Group.
We significantly reduced the quantity of emitted pollutants in water discharges, too. The decrease is especially notable for TPH and COD components compared to last year’s performance; TPH decreased by 23.7% (17.7 tons), while COD was reduced by 11.9% (281.8 tonnes).
This year a project started which is designed to improve the environmental performance of the Danube Refinery wastewater treatment plant and to fulfill likely new demands from future investments. Effort was also spent on reconstructing sewer systems to reveal leakages and stop any contamination of soil and groundwater.

Waste management, spills and site remediation

Waste management

Related objective: “Reduce specific generated wastes from routine operations by 5% and increase the ratio of waste reuse/recycling by 2015 (baseline: 2010)”

In 2011, the total amount of waste arising from MOL Group operations was approximately 158.7 thousand tonnes, which represents a 6.9% decrease compared to 2010. Due to the efforts, the ratio of reused or recycled waste has increased by more than 36.5% since 2008.

In 2011, due to the reduction in production from Upstream Hungarian sites there was a significant decrease (approx. 10,000 tonnes, compared to the former year) in the amount of non-hazardous waste.
Examples of waste management activities:
  • In Slovnaft Refinery, due to a change in the treatment technology for processing water (use of a Reverse Osmosis unit), a decrease of more than 1,500 tonnes was recorded. Almost 98 % of spent catalysts were recovered; only the waste remaining from production was landfilled (after solidification). Moreover, from the separate waste collection system, 27 tons of paper and cardboard packaging, 1.18 tons of waste glass and 2.88 tons of plastics were recycled.
  • In Upstream in MOL Pakistan we reduced by 3.1% waste at production sites. We found a professional waste collection company for recyclable wastes, chemicals and chemical drums. In Pakistan, we treated 1,700 tons of oil-based mud cuttings through a biological-based remediation process.
  • A selective waste collection system was integrated into each operational site of the INA Rijeka Refinery. Both hazardous and non-hazardous waste are collected and disposed in accordance with legal requirements.
  • In Croatia, separate collection of packaging waste (and its attendant recycling) was organized at more than 50% of filling stations; plans are to extend collection and recycling to all of them.
  • Slovnaft Retail created an HSE awareness campaign for customers, calling their attention to the importance of selective waste collection and to the collection bins that are available across the Slovnaft filling station network. Selective trash bins have also been employed at the Sarajevo region in Bosnia, and in the Novi Sad region in Serbia.
  • At certain Hungarian Retail sites (165 filling stations) we expanded the scope of our residential services with our used cooking oil program. By now, 51.3 tonnes of used cooking oil has already been collected from the collection points; a great success. The used oil is reused as a feedstock in biofuel-component production. For more information please visit our website.

In our Lubricants division, 28.3% (2009: 9.2%; 2010 19%) of sold products were recollected and used as raw material for bitumen production in our refineries.

Click here to read a relevant article from the MOL Scientific Magazine.


In 2011 a total of 28 spills (above 1 m3) occurred, including 10 cases at our Croatian operations (INA).
The majority of spills (13 cases) happened at Upstream due to ruptures on (mainly oily water) delivery pipelines. Some of the causes of the ruptures included the age of the pipelines, changed fluid composition at oil fields and theft of condensate from pipelines. In order to prevent further spills, Upstream continuously invests in efforts to replace or repair critical pipeline corridors; in Hungary a section of 3 kilometres was changed.
The rest of the spills happened in Downstream. The details are the following:
  • 10 cases in three different refineries, including the incident with the second biggest volume of spillage (90 m3 petroleum which was spilt due to freezing of a pipeline at the Duna Refinery)
  • At four Logistics sites there were 5 cases of spillage, one of them with the biggest volume (200 m3 diesel at the Bratislava Refinery depot due to corrosion of an underground pipeline leading to the port).
After detecting the incidents, all necessary measures for alleviating the damage and its consequences – remediation included – were immediately put into effect.
The total volume of the spills – not only, but mainly as the consequence of the two aforementioned bigger events – amounted to 525 m3 in 2011.
Related objective: "To reduce by 25% the known environmental liabilities of MOL Group applying the risk-based approach."
In accordance with MOL Group strategic targets we aim to reduce our liabilities by 25% within the next 5 years. In order to meet this target we operate a Group-level remediation programme aimed at eliminating environmental damages. In Y2011 we reduced our liabilities by 4.7%, which indicates that the current strategic goal is realistic.
In the frame of the basic remediation programme – launched at MOL, Slovnaft, TVK – we completed 10 remediation projects, and at further 13 locations the file was closed after the post-monitoring phase. Currently we have approximately 230 open files where the remediation processes are at various stages of completion.  Annual spending was HUF 1.15 billion in Hungary, while the Slovak implementation cost HUF 1.25 billion.
In the case of IES, the main goal was integrating remediation projects into the Group programme. Considering the local demand for improved control, more water withdrawals will be necessary in the future. Since a significant volume of water will be produced, we are investigating different opportunities for using this water in the Refinery and thereby decreasing water intake from other sources. Annual spending for IES was HUF 0.29 billion.
The INA remediation programme is still at a preliminarily phase of development. Knowledge transfer has begun and we have supported future implementation through strategy building and provision of detailed tender materials. Remediation works are continuously ongoing at the Rijeka Refinery, and new activity, harmonised with the reconstruction of 3 Filling Stations – namely, the remediation of the network – has begun. Annual spending was HUF 262.7 million.
Click here to read a relevant article from the MOL Scientific Magazine.

Related objective: “Implement biodiversity action plan for new projects from 2012 and monitor ecological status at critical operations from 2014”

The MOL Group level Biodiversity System has been established. We have collected details on international best practises, oil and gas benchmarks and MOL group’s business activities that are already in place related to the protection of nature. According to the results of the evaluation we undertook, MOL’s Group Biodiversity Program (Primer, Strategy, Group Level Biodiversity Action Plan) was prepared and accepted by management. In 2012 we aim to prepare business-level Biodiversity Action Plans, define standard (minimum requirements) for Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and prepare further awareness-raising materials (posters, presentations, internal newsletters etc.).

HSE Compliance

In 2011, the MOL Group had to pay a total of HUF 53.35 Million in HSE-related penalties, including HUF 6.05 Million for companies in the INA Group. The largest fine – HUF 33.35 million – was paid by the Hajdúszoboszló site (Hungarian Upstream), because the temperature of treated, discharged wastewater exceeded the threshold defined by authority by 4 oC in a period of hot summer weather.
Furthermore, certain administrative mistakes in environmental data reporting (e.g. signatures on reports, or delays in reporting, HUF 2 Million) and the faulty work-safety performance of our contractors (HUF 1.5 Million) were responsible for some of the fines as well.
However, incident-related occasional minor breaches of environmental regulations (e.g. pollution related to spills) also resulted in approx. HUF 12.7 Million of penalties being awarded.
Considering the HSE aspects of the oil and gas industry, we can state that as result of our continuous efforts MOL’s level of compliance has clearly improved in recent years, although in this report we have to admit to incurring more penalties than last year. We are not satisfied with this figure and are still committed to reducing all health, safety and environmentally related penalties to zero throughout the entire MOL Group.
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