Dear fellow citizens,
We want to inform you about the planned turnaround in
our chemical plant in Záluží u Litvínova. It is a planned shutdown of
production facilities to perform the necessary revisions and ensure safe
operations. We believe the text below will provide you with as much information
as possible as we are continuously implementing all safety and hygienic measures
(situation as on 20 May 2020). We want to thank all the stakeholders –
authorities, institutions, and organisations – which have been involved in the
preparation and implementation of safety, hygienic and anti-epidemic measures.
of the Board of Directors of the Unipetrol Group
1. What does it mean that Unipetrol is part of the Czech
Republic’s critical infrastructure?
state must ensure uninterrupted distribution of the essential products and
services for people to be able to live their fully-fledged everyday life. Healthcare
services, electricity or fuel supplies may serve as an example.
is the only oil processing company and the only fuel producer in the Czech
Republic. That is why Unipetrol’s production facilities are part of the
critical infrastructure of the state, and their operations are governed by
special statutory regulations.
means that Unipetrol is a critical infrastructure entity within the meaning of
Act No. 240/2000 Sb., on Crisis Management and Amendment to Other Laws (Crisis
Act), as amended, and Point C.4 of Appendix to Government Regulation No. 432/2010
Sb., on Criteria Determining Critical Infrastructure Elements, as amended.
2. What does a turnaround mean?
operational turnaround in the chemical plant in Záluží u Litvínova is a planned
interruption of operations. It involves the maintenance of production
technologies on the site and preparation of all facilities and equipment for
the next operating cycle.
The respective inspections
and revisions of production facilities are imposed by laws and regulations. We
cannot operate non-revised production facilities. We could endanger the safety
of people living in the refinery’s vicinity and the safe functioning of the
state. We are a part of the critical infrastructure of the Czech Republic, and we
must ensure continuity of fuel supplies for the Czech market.
3. Why is the turnaround performed?
production is a highly specific production process with maximum requirements for
the functionality of technologies and overall safety.
· To be
continuously involved in the fuel supplies for the Czech market, Unipetrol’s
production facilities must be subject not only to ongoing checks and
inspections but also to regular maintenance. The crucial revision and
maintenance work cannot be performed without ceasing the production.
turnarounds of Unipetrol’s production facilities enable their maximum
maintenance, thus ensuring the utmost safety and continuity of fuel supplies
for the Czech Republic.
4. Why cannot the turnaround be postponed? At what
intervals must the turnaround be performed?
As we have said, we must
perform inspections and revisions of production facilities to comply with laws
and regulations. We cannot operate non-revised production facilities. We could
endanger the safety of people living in the refinery’s vicinity and the safe
functioning of the state. We are a part of the critical infrastructure of the
Czech Republic, and it must ensure continuity of fuel supplies for the Czech
turnaround must be performed at regular four-year intervals. The previous
operational turnaround took place in 2016.
5. Does Unipetrol react to the current situation in the
· As a
company producing strategic products that are necessary for the full-fledged
operation of the Czech Republic, we have undertaken all steps to ensure the
safety and continuity of the supplies.
are also fully aware of the current hygienic risks. That is why we have reduced
the volume of the work by 60% following a thorough assessment of the situation
and discussions with the competent state administration authorities.
informed the Central Crisis Staff of this measure through the Ministry of
Industry and Trade.
6. What work will be performed during the turnaround?
original scope of the maintenance work including 5,800 activities was more than
halved to a necessary minimum. We are currently implementing about 2,300
activities to ensure the revision, maintenance and preparation of production
technologies for the next four-year production cycle.
this extent, we can meet the existing statutory requirements while minimising
the risks associated with the potential spread of the infection. The health of
our employees, employees of supplier companies and inhabitants of the
neighbouring towns and vicinities is our priority, as well as the continued
supplies of strategic products, especially fuels, on the Czech market.
key projects include the repair of the furnace in the atmospheric oil
distillation unit, replacement of underground pipes for cooling water in the
partial oxidation production unit, and service repairs of large compressors in
the steam cracker.
7. How many people will be involved in the turnaround
the reduced scope of the planned maintenance work, the volume of the scheduled
activities will go down from 5,800 to about 2,300.
reduction will also result in a lower number of people who will be involved in
the turnaround performance from 2,800 to 1,260, i.e. by more than half.
number of employees who are present on the site during the turnaround is being kept
to the necessary minimum.
8. Why does Unipetrol involve external companies in the
to high-quality and safe renovations of a flat or a house, the turnaround at
Unipetrol will be performed by expert companies specialising in such work and
guaranteeing the required quality.
9. Why do external companies use workers from abroad?
maintenance of production facilities in the chemical industry requires specific
expertise and skills. All professions and human capacities cannot be
sufficiently covered in the Czech Republic, considering the complexity and
requirements related to this project.
We use unique technologies owing to the character of
the industry in the Czech Republic. However, there are not enough sources with
the required qualifications and expertise in the Czech Republic.
ensure the required quality and safety, we cooperate with renowned international
companies specialising in the maintenance of production sites and facilities
not only in the Czech Republic but also abroad.
the modern globalised world, it is quite natural that specialised companies use
their workers to perform the maintenance work at chemical plants in several
countries. In the petrochemical industry, it is a commonplace also in any other
European country to share sources in this kind of projects. It is only because
the necessary number of local workers with the required qualifications is just
10. How many people will come from abroad?
reduced scope of the turnaround resulted in a lower number of people coming
from abroad. Instead of the planned 1,090 international workers, there are about
550 of them, especially Slovaks (270) and Poles (245). There are also 50
employees from Serbia who have been staying in the Czech Republic on a
long-term basis, and 20 Romanians. A clear majority of them come from the
countries where the current situation is comparable to ours. There will also be
20 more specialists from Germany, individuals from France, Austria, Belgium,
and the Netherlands.
companies are responsible for ensuring that their workers coming to the Czech
Republic are healthy and have the required health capacity to perform their
job. They should not be in contact with COVID-19 patients or people who were
ordered the quarantine 14 days before they arrive in the Czech Republic. They
will complete the respective good health questionnaire.
11. Is this the final number?
current situation in Europe also impacts the availability of specialists at
individual international companies that are also involved in the planned
maintenance of our production facilities. That is why the composition of the
international work teams may be partially changed. But these particular changes
do not have any impact on the scope of our security and safety measures.
12. How come these people can arrive in the Czech Republic
from abroad in the current situation?
is a critical infrastructure entity within the meaning of Act No. 240/2000 sb.,
on Crisis Management and Amendment to Other Laws (Crisis Act), as amended, and
Point C.4 of Appendix to Government Regulation No. 432/2010 Sb., on Criteria
Determining Critical Infrastructure Elements, as amended. That is why Unipetrol
is subject to an exception from the measures taken by the Government of the
Czech Republic prohibiting the entry of foreign nationals to the Czech
Republic. This means that Unipetrol can, based on a certificate, accept workers
both from abroad and other parts of the Czech Republic to perform work on
Unipetrol’s operating facilities.
13. When will the employees of external companies come?
from abroad are not coming or leaving all at once. They are coming and leaving
gradually as they will be performing their assigned tasks according to the
14. How will you organise the arrival of workers from the
external companies? -
have negotiated a schedule with external companies, as well as the locations
where individual worker groups will cross the border, including the routes of
designated Unipetrol employees are expecting each group of international
workers from external companies at an agreed border crossing. Once the rescue
system teams check these people, Unipetrol employees receive a list of these
workers. They instruct them about the current situation and potential changes
compared to the initially sent information.
of external companies will receive documents summing up the requirements
regarding their behaviour during the quarantine in their mother tongue, and
they will complete a good health questionnaire. The papers will also include a
declaration about respecting the conditions of the state of emergency and
temperature will be measured. Their personal protective equipment will be
checked and, if necessary, provided.
15. Where are the workers of the supplier companies accommodated?
workers from external companies are accommodated at the Cascade Hotel in Most. An
updated list of accommodation facilities is available in “Denní reporty”
(Daily Reports), in the “Dokumenty ke stažení” section (Documents for
downloads). This section can be found in the right column of this website.
have a detailed crisis plan in case of suspected or proved occurrence of
infection on the chemical site. It respects the current government regulations.
for international workers is divided into three categories, depending on their
Category 1 – standard accommodation for healthy
persons is provided by the external companies and coordinated with Unipetrol.
Our primary effort is to accommodate only international workers in these
Category 2 – two back-up accommodation facilities (200
beds) in less frequented locations outside the cadastre of the towns of
Litvínov and Most – provided by Unipetrol for workers of external companies to
secure their quarantine.
Category 3 – back-up accommodation facility (40 beds)
outside the public reach – provided by Unipetrol for workers of external
companies to isolate those positively tested for COVID-19 or suspected of being
Accommodation in Categories 2 and 3 will be designed
exclusively for the 2020 Turnaround project.
Those accommodated in Category 2 and 3 facilities will
receive supplies of food, drinks, and the necessary medications directly to
16. How do you test foreign workers and what are the
blanket testing for COVID-19 of all foreign workers involved in the turnaround is
one of the anti-epidemic measures that we have adopted. Unipetrol covers all
the costs associated with the testing.
results of all foreign workers who have been tested so far (471) are negative,
including the workers coming from the countries with a high risk of COVID-19
continue the tests, and the foreign workers coming later will be tested, as
to the decision of the Regional Public Health Authority of 28 April 2020, we
are gradually terminating the mandatory quarantine of the groups of employees
with negative tests.
the obligation to use exclusively own means of transport still applies. Together with the
municipal police and the Police of the Czech Republic, we continue the checks
of adherence to all measures inside and outside the premises.
17. How do you secure the movements of external contractor
workers on the site’s premises?
contractor workers use a separate dedicated entrance to/exit from the premises.
have restricted their movements only to the areas where the maintenance work is
performed. We monitor and prevent any accumulation of people and blending of
individual worker groups. We regularly disinfect all premises.
measure the temperature of all workers entering the site. If there is any suspicion
of infection, we will isolate them and activate all hygienic and security
measures we have prepared for this situation.
18. How do you see to the catering of external contractor
workers within and outside the premises?
receive special catering services directly on the site. The meals are
distributed by the catering company in protective packaging.
are also three shops operated outside the site: two shops are located at the
entrance gates to the site that are reserved for external contractor workers.
One shop is placed in front of the Cascade Hotel in Most.
19. How come that the workers of the supplier companies are
moving freely outside the Chempark premises?
workers of the external companies must follow the same rules as are currently
valid for everyone in the Czech Republic. That means they must use some mouth
and nose protection; they must respect the restricted free movements and
assemblies of more than two people.
to the decision of the Regional Public Health Authority of 28 April 2020, we
are gradually terminating the mandatory quarantine of the groups of employees
with negative tests.
have only limited possibilities to check the free movements of people outside
Unipetrol’s premises. Still, we are working on measures to limit their
movements as much as possible:
Transport between the accommodation facilities and the
plant will be provided. The means of transport will be daily disinfected.
External supplier companies are not allowed to use
public transport. This provision is part of the contracts.
The workers will be provided with special catering
services on the site. Food will be distributed in protective packaging by a catering
o We have also prepared three shops operated outside the site:
two shops are located at the entrance gates to the site that are reserved for
external contractor workers. One shop is placed in front of the Cascade Hotel
in Most. At present, in line with the phasing out of mandatory quarantine, only one store is still open.
We are ensuring increased supervision in the places of
accommodation for the workers of the external companies together with the
respective towns (municipal police) and the Police of the Czech Republic.
Representatives of the Police of the Czech Republic are members of our crisis
20. With whom do you coordinate the scope of the hygienic
consult the scope of the hygienic measures with the Regional Public Health
Authority and Most Hospital. A Most Hospital representative is a member of
Unipetrol’s crisis staff. The scope of our measures is in line with their
recommendations. We have also hired two consultancies specialising in
industrial security. Their experts are helping us prepare the safety and
21. Are these
they are. On 7 April, we received a decision from the Regional Public Health
Authority that our measures are sufficient. If the foreign workers comply with
them, they can perform their work in an enclosed site within the initial
quarantine. Furthermore, according to the decision of the Regional Public
Health Authority of 28 April 2020, we are gradually terminating the mandatory
quarantine of the groups of employees with negative tests.
22. Do you continue communicating with the representatives
of the surrounding towns and municipalities during the turnaround?
will continue communicating with the towns and municipalities and state
administration. Every day, we will send regular reports to the towns and the
Regional Public Health Authority. We will be checking compliance with all
measures in cooperation with the towns.
23. How do you monitor compliance with all measures?
with the towns where the external workers are accommodated, we have agreed
increased supervision (municipal police, Police of the Czech Republic. Representatives
of the Police of the Czech Republic are members of our crisis staff.
provide night surveillance in selected accommodation facilities. Our motorised
patrol performs random checks at other facilities.
24. Do you have enough protective aids and hygienic
we have enough of the necessary protective equipment and disinfectants. Our
employees and people working for the external companies will have the following
protective equipment: protective shoes, protective gloves, protective goggles,
protective suits and facemasks.
distribute the protective equipment and disinfecting liquids to our employees,
to the staff at Benzina filling stations, to local towns and municipalities,
hospitals, integrated rescue system units, and non-profit organisations.
Disinfection is made directly at our Unipetrol Centre of Research and Education
(UniCRE) in Záluží u Litvínova. To date, we have delivered almost 5,000 litres
of disinfectants to the towns of Most and Litvínov, Most Hospital, Ústí nad
Labem Hospital, integrated rescue system units, and other organisations. Unipetrol
has also purchased 500 protective suits for the Anaesthesiology and
Resuscitation Ward of Most Hospital. Unipetrol Foundation, Benzina, Spolana,
Paramo and other Unipetrol Group companies have joined the assistance, too.
(link to press release)
of the Integrated Rescue System can use free snacks at the filling stations
around the towns of Litvínov and Most (a small cup of coffee or a hot drink to
help them and express thanks for their exacting job).