• € 90 mil.
    investments in Group’s installations for environmental management projects and energy efficiency improvements

  • >30%
    reduction of main air emission indicators over the last 5 years (tn/throughput)


Environment, Energy &
Climate Change

Ensuring Air Quality

Why is it material?

Socially and environmentally responsible and efficient operation requires continuous reduction of air emissions in order to minimize our impact and contribute substantially to improving air quality in the locations we operate.

By operating our facilities with social and environmental responsibility, we build relationships based on trust and cooperation with the local communities. The goal for continuous reduction of air emissions and improvement of air quality is achieved by adopting Best Available Techniques which include best practices and investments in modern low emission technologies.

Our approach

We aim to continuously reduce air emissions by implementing specific actions such as maximizing gas fuel use, using fuels with higher environmental specifications and applying advanced technologies to the production process.

We are committed to strictly complying with all national and European laws and best practices, a case in point being our compliance with petroleum industry’s Best Available Techniques and the European Industrial Emissions Directive.

Our commitment is put in practice through significant investments in modern production & emission abatement technologies. These include low nitrogen oxide emission burners, particle retention filters, volatile organic compound recovery units, sulfur recovery units from exhaust gases, etc.

Our approach and results to date have had particularly positive evaluations, if you take into account the significant reduction of key air emission indices over the last six years as well as our contribution to reduce the monitored quantitative air quality data of the neighboring areas in which we operate.

Our ambition

Our goal is the continuous reduction of air emission indices in all our activities and acknowledgment of our significant contribution to improving the air quality of the local communities.


Performance – Quantitative Data

HELLENIC PETROLEUM aims to reduce air emissions across the range of its activities by implementing specific actions including maximizing fuel gas use, using fuels with higher environmental standards and implementing advanced technologies in the production process (ie. low nitrogen oxide emission burners, steam recovery systems during petroleum products loading).

In the Group’s three refineries, which comprises the company’s main productive activity, fuel gas use for self- consumption has been maximized, i.e. fuels derived from flue gases that undergo treatment to reach zero sulfur content are used in order to limit use of heavier liquid fuels with higher sulfur content (i.e. fuel oil). As a result, significant reductions in sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions have been achieved. In addition, low nitrogen oxide emission burners have been installed, in combustion sources in which it was technically feasible, resulting in the significant reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions evident in recent years.

To reduce Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions, Best Available Techniques have been implemented for product storage and transport. These include secondary seals on the roofs of floating roof tanks, white painting of volatile product tanks (for high reflectivity), bottom tank truck loading with simultaneous operation of Vapor Recovery Systems at loading facilities, as well as a preventive maintenance program.

Additionally, in accordance with Best Available Techniques, investments to install new Vapor Recovery Systems were made at the tanker loading dock facilities, which will also achieve significant emission reductions from loading mainly light products. Further to the above, the implementation of leak detection and repair (LDAR) programs on equipment (i.e. valves, gaskets) with the aim of reducing VOC emissions from equipment continues achieving significant results.

Specifically in 2019, despite the significantly increased operating levels compared to previous years, the indices for sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX) and particulate matter – PM10 emissions (kg emissions per tn throughput) show significant improvement with a decrease of 36%, 32% and 53% respectively, with PM10 predominating for the last six-years (2019 in comparison to 2013 reference year).

Air emissions indices over the last six years are presented in detail in the diagram below.


Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen Oxides (NOX) and Particulate Matter (PM10) Indices (kg emissions per tn throughput for 2013-2019)

Specifically for particulate matter, in the context of implementing the latest Best Available Techniques and in order to achieve further emission reduction, an investment to install a particulate retention filter for the catalytic cracking unit is scheduled for 2020.

Regarding compliance with current legal limits (tn/year), reported SO2 emissions (as an absolute figure, tn/year) remained much lower (-64%) than the current limit of the relevant environmental permits (in tn / year).

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) emissions for 2013-2019 compared to the current limit

The above performance, in basic sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX) and particulate matter (PM10) emissions, regarding point source emissions from the industrial facilities’ operation, contributes to the decline in air quality emission measurements in the areas in which we operate. This improved performance is reflected in the areas’ air quality measurements which is monitored by our facilities’ Air Quality Measurement Stations and other respective competent authorities’ monitoring Stations as well (municipalities’ air quality reports and the Ministry of Environment and Energy).

Note that air quality measurements include and correspond to all the surrounding area’s contributing air emission sources, such as transportation and other industrial activities.

Next Steps

Within the context of complying with the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) and the new limits according to the Best Available Techniques Conclusions for the refining of mineral oil and gas (REF BAT Conclusions Decision), all projects planned to further improve Hellenic Petroleum’s environmental performance are scheduled for completion by the end of 2020 .

In particular, significant investments have been programmed to further reduce nitrogen and sulfur oxides, particulates and volatile organic compound emissions, for instance filters, volatile organic compound recovery systems, etc. or operating expenditures such as increased use of natural gas as fuel for self-consumption.

The results stemming from the above programs, in addition to the impact of other energy efficiency and savings projects being implemented in parallel, will lead to further reductions in air emissions.

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