29–30 September 2022

Dubrovnik, Croatia

IDW 2022 - co-hosted by MOL GROUP

Downstream Conference

Europe’s Premier Technical Refining & Petrochemical Conference

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Highlights from Dubrovnik

A big thank you to all our speakers, sponsors and attendees who joined us this September in Dubrovnik and helping make the return to IDW in-person a success.

Welcome to IDW 2022

IDW is delighted to be back ‘in person’ on the 29th & 30th September in Dubrovnik, Croatia – once again connecting the refining & petrochemical community to address, exchange and identify solutions to the pressing questions and challenges being faced by the downstream sector:

  • The Future of Liquid Fuels - Here to stay: Their role in maintaining clean & sustainable mobility?
  • Business - How to remain competitive and generate high margins with well-balanced products & diverse portfolios?
  • Existing Assets - Which pathways to maintain, optimise and sustain existing assets in a reliable and efficient state?
  • Technology Routes - Which refining technologies for processing conventional and renewable feedstocks to achieve higher value products?
  • Clusters - What are the possible approaches to further integrate European refining & petrochemicals?
  • Low Hanging Fruits - What are the latest energy efficiency solutions and best practices for implementation?
  • Industry 4.0 - How digital tools can us achieve targets in operational excellence?
  • Bottom of the Barrel - Is it time to look back at residue upgrading? A look at how upgrading technologies can be part of the solution.

The IDW programme is tailored by our downstream consultants and expert event producers to address the key industry challenges and to present the latest technologies, case studies and best practices to help refiners and petrochemical producers as they adapt to new market and industry conditions.

IDW 2022 Programme - Main Sessions Include:

  • Strategies & Pathways for Downstream Processing & Petrochemical Profitability
    Keynote presentations from MOL, NEXANTECA & LUMMUS TECHNOLOGY
  • KEYNOTE PANEL: Aiming Together for a Positive Change
    Leading regional, integrated oil and gas companies such as MOL GROUP, INA GRUPA, RAFINERIA GDANSKA have been invited to share their experience in operating complex refinery assets in today's challenging context - How to remain competitive and generate high net cash margins through well-balanced product and customer portfolios.
  • Energy Efficiency in Downstream Assets – Focus on Refinery Heat Generation & Management
  • Digital Tools & Routes to Achieving Downstream Excellence
  • Driving the Refinery Evolution - Focus on core (and advanced) refining technologies in relation with crude oil distillation and processing conventional and renewable refinery feedstocks into a higher value products
  • PANEL DISCUSSION: The Role of Liquid Fuels for Maintaining Clean and Sustainable Mobility, Transport and Aviation.
    Invited & confirmed panellists include senior representatives from CONCAWE, ROLAND BERGER, SUSTAINABLE FUELS, NESTE, and INA GRUPA
  • Petrochemical Technologies & Integration: A look at current trends and with recent project case studies.
  • What now for the Bottom of the Barrel? Review of proven technologies, configurations and approaches for processing heavy residual streams
  • CLOSING PANEL DISCUSSION: Addressing the short & long-term strategies and investments in the Turkish Downstream sector



Latest Insights

Exclusive first-hand insights, reports and interviews at the pulse of the global oil and gas downstream industry

Gabriel Szabó, Executive Vice President of Downstream, MOL Group

Executive VP Of Downstream, MOL GROUP, Proud Co-Host of the Event

Ahead of the upcoming IDW 2022: International Downstream Week, we asked Gabriel Szabó, Executive Vice President of Downstream, from our co-host MOL GROUP, to share how the company is tackling the current challenges facing the industry and working to achieve their goal to be one of Europe's best refiners.

1. Considering that globally the majority of today’s vehicle fleet continue to be powered by ICE’s, which liquid fuels will MOL continue to produce and what is the company’s strategy for future fuels – fossil blended, synthetic e-fuels, renewables?

Last year, when we disclosed our updated strategy, 2030+ ’Shape Tomorrow’, the main goal was to further accelerate the pace and scale of the fundamental shift away from fuels, so to set new horizons to meet with the present challenges. That is, the transition towards a low-carbon circular economy and reaching net zero carbon emissions.

With this strategy, MOL Group seeks to gradually diversify the Group's revenue streams away from traditional hydrocarbons by seeking opportunities for developing new low-emission products and services in new markets. However, a key aspect for the successful transformation is to generate sufficient cash flow from existing hydrocarbon-based activities to finance the non-fossil fuel related transformational projects, especially in Downstream.

Furthermore 2022 brought new challenges, including the emerging crisis resulting from the conflict in Ukraine, which means that the security of the energy supply is now more important than ever. So as for our strategic goals, which are aligned with the European efforts to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. We believe that it is also a common European interest to ensure the energy security of tens of millions of MOL Group customers who depend on the access to the fuels produced in our refineries.

This year we announced the construction of one of the largest capacity green hydrogen plants in Europe. Once operational in 2023, we will use the green hydrogen in the Danube Refinery during fuel production with our own hydrogen system. It will be incorporated into the molecules of MOL fuels, lowering the carbon outputs from the production technology and the final product.

Several important R&D projects passed critical milestones (green hydrogen projects; advanced and sustainable fuels and mechanical and chemical recycling of waste). We are striving to implement these projects and adapt our operations to the current challenges.

Danube Refinery MOL Group

Figure 1 - Danube Refinery MOL Group

2. Has MOL been able to fully adapt (100%) to the IMO2020 regulation for marine fuels?

Meeting IMO2020 rules implied a massive sulphur reduction, and our Rijeka refinery has successfully changed its crude appetite, having occasional trial runs before fully switching from sour to sweet slates in H2 2019. First batches of IMO2020 compliant fuels were successfully placed on the market early in 2020.

Based on marine fuel demand, refinery geo-location and refining capacity assessments, Rijeka refinery has successfully adapted to the post-IMO2020 environment and contributes to the market close to 300,000 tons of IMO2020 compliant fuels or fuel oils’ blend stocks annually.

Rijeka Refinery INA (part of the MOL Group)

Figure 2 - Rijeka Refinery INA (part of the MOL Group)

3. One classic performance indicator for refineries is energy consumption. What current and future actions are MOL taking to maintain optimal energy efficiency within its downstream production facilities?

Energy efficiency has never been as important as it is now. With the historically high European energy prices, we need to put more emphasis on accelerating energy efficiency investments to help us operate in a more efficient way. We identified several small-to- mid-size projects, and we spent approx. USD 50 mn per year to minimize energy consumption. Our strategic goal is to be among the best refiners in Europe. In response to the rapidly changing energy and carbon price environment, in 2021, the Downstream CO2 Board developed and initiated a CO2 quota strategy to mitigate the financial impact of CO2 emissions.

Our strategic goal is to be among the best refiners in Europe

We launched the so-called PROmotion program in MOL Group’s Production, where a significant portion of the scope focuses on the energy efficiency of the sites. The expected potential of this program is more than 7 mn GJ in volumetric energy saving and up to 500 kt in CO2 saving until 2025.

In daily operations, it is also our responsibility to select available crude types, as well as thoroughly analyze and optimize operation modes and energy sources to mitigate the pressure on hiking utility prices.

4. Living in a modern digital world - what role do digital technologies and digital tools play in your production and maintenance teams?

Digitalization is a key engine of Downstream efficiency, and it transforms the way we serve our customers. Industries are moving towards the core of the digital vortex where the fundamental ways of how their businesses used to run are now being re-written. Oil and gas companies worldwide understand the potential of digitization for their Downstream operations. Benefits from digital solution can be realized in reduced operating costs, improved throughput, reduced unplanned shutdowns, increased efficiency of plants and improved productivity of the workforce. Furthermore, it can help us to provide a safe work environment to maintain the personal safety of our colleagues.

5. Finally, what do you hope the discussion from a long-running conference like IDW, International Downstream Week, will help the downstream industry to achieve over the next 12 months?

MOL Group is a proud co-host of this extremely important event

Nothing can replace the opportunity to meet in person old friends and make new ones. MOL Group is a proud co-host of this extremely important event, where, after a long time, the downstream community can gather in person to discuss the industry’s most pressing topics and help drive the industry forward.

We would like to thank Gabriel Szabo for this interview and MOL Group for supporting this year's International Downstream Week

Advisory Meeting Takeaways Report

Meeting held on the 26th January 2021

Read Now


IDW 2022 will be held in the Rixos Premium Dubrovnik Hotel, a venue that offers a first-class experience, located in an area of historical, cultural and natural beauty.

Rixos Premium Dubrovnik offers you an unforgettable holiday experience in a region rich in historical, cultural and natural beauties. Dubrovnik, on Croatia's stunning Dalmatian Coast, is known as the "Pearl of the Adriatic". Famed for its charming Old Town, terracotta roofs and medieval city walls, Dubrovnik is framed by the warm azure waters of the Adriatic Sea. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979, visitors find the paved limestone streets lined with elegant shops and fabulous restaurants. Rixos Premium Dubrovnik, a luxury lifestyle hotel, is located close to the Old Town of Dubrovnik and is surrounded by spectacular landscape.

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