August 2023: Lithuania’s largest ever road cargo, Reactor R-1001 heads across country to the Mažeikiai Refinery site Image Credit: PC ORLEN Lietuva

As the world continues to adjust to the new challenges and opportunities brought about by an unprecedented energy crisis, countries worldwide are seeking the best long-term balance between energy security, affordability and sustainability. Across each of these dimensions, Petrofac, a leading energy services company that helps their clients meet the world’s evolving energy needs, has an extensive track record.

With a legacy in the UAE dating back to 1991, the company has developed a large workforce, supporting both regional and international infrastructure projects. The Petrofac Lithuania story began in 2021 when the company was selected by PC Orlen Lietiva' to deliver a contract, worth around EUR550 million (approx. $640 million). A new client and geography, the Mažeikiai Refinery modernisation is one of Petrofac’s latest and most exciting strategic projects.

Involving the modernisation, expansion and environmental upgrade of an existing refinery complex, located in the North-West of the country, the project plays a significant role in the economy and energy security of the region and is also the biggest Polish capital investment in Lithuania. Petrofac has since also secured a further Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract from ORLEN Lietuva, to support the next phase of the refinery upgrade

In August 2022, a ground-breaking ceremony in Lithuania officially marked the beginning of the construction of the refinery’s new Residue Conversion Unit. Guest of honour, Dainius Kreivys, Minister of Energy of the Republic of Lithuania, said: “The refinery ensures a stable supply of petroleum products to the entire Baltic region and stands among the most important industries for our energy security. Therefore, current investments of ORLEN are meaningful and important to Lithuania because this contributes to the competitiveness of the Lithuanian economy and energy security.”

A year later, activities are gaining momentum. In August 2023, a big milestone was achieved with the country’s largest ever road cargo arriving in Mažeikiai following its historic 145 km journey from the port city of Klaipėda. Engineered by Petrofac and manufactured in Italy, a giant reactor weighing around 1500 tons will soon form the heart of the new refinery area and is now being prepared for upcoming installation.

Once all items are delivered and the engineering wraps up, the role of Petrofac’s main operating centre in the UAE will scale down, with the team’s focus centered on supporting operations with Lithuanian contractors at site, ahead of this important energy infrastructure project coming to life.