ORLEN Unipetrol has built a unique training centre in its Litvínov site. It includes miniature models of operational technology units and a new fire safety incident ground. The ground is used for hands-on induction courses in fire safety issues for new employees, and corporate firefighters use it to drill various situations and scenarios. The centre and the ground are also open to external companies and fire service units from the neighbouring area. The investment in building the centre totalled CZK 50 million. An additional CZK 10 million went to the fire safety ground.
The fire safety incident ground is a fresh addition to the training centre located in a three-storey building of the former research base of ORLEN Unipetrol’s chemical site in Záluží near Litvínov. The ground is situated in its immediate vicinity. It is available to new operators to experience hands-on training on a platform with steam leakage, movements in free space with belaying, horizontal and vertical rescue holes from tanks, extinguishing small fires, and selected types of fire safety equipment.
Besides the new operators, the ground is mostly used by corporate firefighters. “Firefighting and rescue work in chemical operations is very specific and challenging, both in terms of theoretical and practical preparedness. With the new incident ground, we can simulate various emergency scenarios on different equipment types and drill our response to fires of gaseous hydrocarbons or leaks of gases and liquids. We have not had such an on-site ground yet,” explains Petr Králert, chief of the ORLEN Unipetrol firefighting unit. Similarly to the training centre, the incident ground will be open to external companies and other fire brigades to train new or existing employees.
Besides the incident ground, the training centre also offers other training sites directly in the centre’s building or outside its immediate surroundings. “A production technology operator with high-quality training is an alpha and omega of chemical operations. They must know the operations, move around them and be able to tackle standard and non-standard situations,” explains Tomáš Herink, a member of the Board of Directors of the ORLEN Unipetrol Group responsible for production, research and development. He adds: “Many job candidates have zero experience in chemical operations. Our new centre allows them to try their newly acquired theoretical knowledge in practice and on the sites simulating a real-life working environment before they become part of operating teams.”
The training centre also offers a spacious conference room and modern classrooms with miniature yet fully functional operational models. They are used to gain knowledge about occupational safety and use of personal protective equipment and hands-on experience with the operation of technological equipment and work in the operating environment. The training also contains exercises focused on the correct steps to tackle emergencies and crisis situations, including first aid.
A simplified, four-storey functional model of a production unit and the fire safety incident ground are located next to the training centre. Using the production unit model, new employees learn to work in heights and operate individual technological parts of the training production unit, including a control room. The training also includes the production unit’s commissioning and shutdown.
The ORLEN Unipetrol Group is the largest refinery and petrochemical company in the Czech Republic. It focuses on crude oil processing and the production, distribution and sale of vehicle fuels and petrochemical products – particularly plastics and fertilisers. In all these areas, it belongs among the critical players in the Czech and Central European markets. The ORLEN Unipetrol Group encompasses refineries and production plants in Litvínov and Kralupy nad Vltavou, Paramo, with its Mogul brand in Pardubice, Spolana Neratovice, and two research centres in Litvínov and Brno. ORLEN Unipetrol also includes a network of Benzina ORLEN filling stations in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. With 421 filling stations, Benzina ORLEN is the largest chain in the Czech Republic. Since its entry in 2019 to Slovakia, Benzina ORLEN has been one of the fastest-growing chains and currently has 20 stations in its network. ORLEN Unipetrol employs more than 4,800 people. In 2005, ORLEN Unipetrol became a member of the ORLEN Group, the largest crude oil processor in Central Europe. In addition to its business development, ORLEN Unipetrol is proud to be a socially responsible corporation. Therefore, it pays an equal amount of attention to initiatives, focusing on the cultivation and support of sustainable development, education, local communities, and the environment.