Compared to previous year, we observed a marginal reduction in the consumption of direct energy by primary sources. It is highlighted that refineries' performance and operation were highly impacted by the pandemic context. Due to COVID-19 both refineries operated under the minimum load regime and eventually suffered from its site shutdown which occurred during the 2Q and 4Q of 2020. As a result, the production of consumption of raw water, wastewater, and production of waste per feedstock processed increase, due to low production.
The refining segment is responsible for processing most raw materials in Galp's business.
In 2020, the feedstock processed in our refining segment was 96 mmboe.
Galp remains focused on optimising its refining system processes and maximising energy and processual efficiency. We have several ongoing programmes and projects to optimise the use of resources and materials in our operations, both in the Sines and Matosinhos refineries, with a view to achieving continuous improvements, minimising process variations and reductions in waste and effluents.
In 2020, relevant refining activity conversion and energy efficiency improvement projects were implemented, with a total investment of c.€4.44 m.
At Galp, we are working towards reducing the carbon intensity of our refining activity, as shown in the graphs below:
Sines refinery performance
Matosinhos refinery performance
Sines Refinery was launched in this facility the project for the implementation of Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM) methodology, which yielded visible outcomes resulting in a positive trend throughout the second quartile.
Matosinhos Refinery accomplished its commitment: to maintain the positioning in Availability and Energy Efficiency while maintaining its leadership with regard to those indicators in Western Europe.
During the last years, our refineries had implemented several measures to reduce and reuse water in our operations. We highlight the following set of implemented measures:
- Reuse of wastewater from the Sour Water Strippers (SWS);
- Use of rain water in the fire service network;
- Use of rain water in the irrigation system;
- Reuse of treated water (tertiary treatment) from WWTP for use in some specific processes;
- Monitoring and optimisation of water used in floor washes, drainage of condensates and others water intensity activities.
Control and reduction of atmospheric emissions in the refineries
Our refining system reveals a performance improvement through reductions in atmospheric emissions, expressed in the numbers below when comparing the performance between 2020 and 2005.
These results show that our refineries follow the trends of atmospheric emissions reduction in the European Union and it is noticeable that we’re in line or exceeding the industry trends in the geography in which we operate.
Since 2013, the adoption of eco-efficiency measures has led to savings of more than €260 million.
Expenses, investments and savings/cost avoidance
The savings and avoided costs have remained at levels considerably above the total expenses (in capital investment and operational expenses) incurred in improving the operational eco-efficiency. This means that the investments have been effective and generated return, which confirms the success of the strategic decisions taken, enabling medium and long-term benefits.
The operational expenses related to the environmental management systems at the refineries have been reduced since 2012, due to the improvements resulting from the eco-efficiency strategy. The investments made in 2012 and 2013 were based on the BATs, as part of the refinery conversion project.
Since 2013, we’ve reduced almost 50% of our operational expenditures related to environmental management in our refineries.
The investments made since 2013 are essentially related to energy efficiency. The savings and avoided costs include: annual savings related to environmental management; CO2 cost avoidance (2012 - 2020); energy efficiency savings (2013-2020); water reuse benefits (2011-2020); savings in electricity purchasing costs by the refineries (2013-2020).
The social impacts resulting from the operational eco-efficiency improvement of the refining system are in line with the already mentioned Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The measures taken, mainly in terms of energy efficiency and the control of atmospheric emissions, will ultimately produce benefits for society at these levels:
- Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all;
- Promotion of sustainable patterns of consumption and production;
- Implementation of measures to combat climate change and associated impacts;
- Protection, restoration and promotion of the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems;
- Implementation and revitalisation of a global partnership for sustainable development.
Galp intends to contribute to the pursuit of these objectives for society in general, promoting the actions, measures and goals already mentioned, beside the plans outside the scope of refining. If at the global level we want to contribute to the social well-being, namely through the SDGs, at local and regional level the benefits resulting from the eco-efficiency impacts may be more significant.
The measures regarding energy efficiency and the responsible consumption and production will reduce the pressure on local resources and in the future they may also contribute to a reduction in the production of waste and wastewater.
The reduction of atmospheric emissions resulting from direct measures of emissions control, besides the energy efficiency measures, will also produce benefits for the local population, namely in terms of air quality.
In summary, the results achieved allow minimising the negative impacts of the refining activity and optimising the environmental, technical and economic benefits, as well as reinforcing the trust of the various stakeholders, both at the social and corporate level.
In 2020, the performance in the operational eco-efficiency indicators was strongly impacted by the pandemic crisis, namely due to low consumption and, consequential shut-down and significant reductions in production. Nevertheless, Galp entailed all the possible mechanisms available to tackle the challenges that emerged, which were then reflected in the energy efficiency indicators, such as the carbon intensity (both refineries) and energy intensity (Sines refinery) performance, compared to 2013.
To achieve this performance, the constant setting of challenging goals and targets for the most material facilities is essential, as well as the commitment from the top management.
Because operational eco-efficiency is a strategic and material issue, at Galp we identify improvement opportunities and establish action plans concerning the reduction of water consumption, wastewater production, energy consumption and waste production, with positive effects on the associated management costs.
Challenges faced and lessons learned
- The daily challenge of achieving operational excellence;
- Data quality, monitoring and improvement in communication;
- The benefits arising from target definition in order to improve.