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									CRUDE OIL
1882 - 2004
1882 - 2004
                    Publisher: INA Industrija nafte d.d., Sector for Corporate Communication
         • For the Publisher: Gordana Modru{an-Horvat • Editor: Velid \eki} • Text writer: Velid \eki}
      • Design: Branko Leni} • English translation: Slobodan Drenovac • Photography: Miljenko Marohni}
• The archival photographs in this edition are from the holdings of the City Museum of Rijeka, INA’s INDOK Rijeka,
            the Maritime and Historical Museum of the Croatian Littoral in Rijeka and private sources
                      • Printing House: Zambelli, Rijeka • Rijeka, Croatia, September 2004
                   Caption: distilling boilers in the Refinery at the end of the 19th century
          In the Honorable Company of the World's Oldest

T                he oil refinery facility in Rijeka has
been in operation continuously since the 19th centu-
                                                            director, Milutin Bara~, was at the same time in
                                                            charge of the Bra{ov facility.
ry to the present time; a rare phenomenon on a                         The impressive longevity of conversion of
scale of European as well as worldwide proportions.         crude oil in Rijeka is to some extent an incredible
           From the time of founding of the Refinery        occurrence in light of the exceptionally turbulent
in Rijeka (1882) and the start of its operation             historical circumstances under which the converting
(1883), the refinery workers of Rijeka have been            evolved.
participants in a story about one of today's oldest                    Due to incessant border changes, the city
and still active refineries in the world, which means       was passed from one state to another. During the
one of the world's historically most attractive facili-     20th century alone, Rijeka found itself within the
ties for the processing of black gold. Indeed, the story    structure of so much as seven states. Without leaving
absorbs attention: not only can many countries              the city, the townsfolk of Rijeka came to be citizens of
with respectable oil processing traditions boast hav-       the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, of the states of La
ing such longstanding operations, even whole conti-         Reggenza Italiana de Carnaro, of the Free State of
nents cannot do it. Confirmation of this is found in        Rijeka, of the Monarchy of Italy, of the Third Reich, of
the examples of Asia, South America, Australia and          Yugoslavia (within its variants, from the Kingdom
Africa. Such longstanding active refineries are non-        of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes to the Socialist Federal
existent even in the Caspian and Black Sea region,          Republic of Yugoslavia), and in the end the city
whose ground has endowed world history perhaps              finds itself in the Republic of Croatia. Is it necessary
with the earliest experiences in the extraction and         to stress that, as a rule, changes of states are not
utilization of crude oil. The birth certificates of         peaceful events? Conflicts and destruction caused by
refineries in those parts of the world do not even          the changes of flags waving over the city have left
come close to Rijeka’s criterion.                           painful traces on the oil facilities of Rijeka.
           The historical facility of the Oil Refinery of   Nevertheless, time has shown that they had always
Rijeka, which today bears the name of INA Maziva            been of greater endurance than destruction.
Rijeka, is the third oldest active refinery on the                     In a nutshell – the tireless, persistent, tough
European continent. A point of interest, the Refinery       tradition of crude oil conversion, that key compo-
of Rijeka and the second oldest European facility of        nent of Rijeka’s industrial landscape, enlists Rijeka
its kind, the Lubrifin Refinery in the Rumanian city        among those exceptionally rare, hence exceptionally
of Bra{ov, in the end of the 19th and beginning of the      privileged spots on the map of the world that deserve
20th century operated within the framework of the           permanent attention for pioneering merits as well
same joint stock corporation, and what is more,             as for its readiness to always link new operative
functioned as an organizational whole. Rijeka’s             advances to those pioneering merits.
T               he building of the Refinery in Rijeka is a
                direct result of the growing need of the
Hungarian side of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy for
                                                              line. In order to achieve turnover of capital (primarily
                                                              Hungarian) as successfully as possible, the face of Rijeka
                                                              changes totally. Through implementation of huge build-
petroleum products during the beginning of the 1880’s.        ing operations, the port of Rijeka expands its loading and
           Why was the refinery built in Rijeka? And why      discharging capacities, along with a rapid increase in the
did Hungary do so, when we know that present-day Rijeka       quantity of transported goods. The work of shipping com-
is a city on the Adriatic Sea in the Republic of Croatia      pany Adria begins, and a string of smaller shipping enter-
some 250 kilometers away from the Hungarian border?           prises join the company. Shipyard Lazarus is active on the
           As the geographically most favorable maritime      shore, and then there are the works of the Whitehead tor-
outlet point for the Hungarian economy, thus almost           pedo factory (first in the world), the Smith & Meynier
“naturally” predetermined to become Hungary’s leading         paper mill (with the first steam engine in southeastern
import & export seaport, Rijeka was as early as in the        Europe), the rice-husking plant (one of the largest in the
middle of the 19th century in the focus of interest of the    world), the Tobacco Factory (biggest in the Monarchy),
economic and political circles of Budapest. Furthermore,      the city gas-works (the first in southeastern Europe), five
in 1868 this fact brought about the city’s severance from     iron-casting foundries, the first steam mill in Croatia…
the structure of the then Banate of Croatia and its annex-    In those years the industry of Rijeka equaled the power of
ation to Hungary. This was achieved by thwarting the          half of the industry in all of Croatia.
Croato-Hungarian compromise that had been concluded                     In such an economic boom, crude oil and
that year, according to which Rijeka became cut off from      petroleum products could not remain an exception. As
Croatia as a separate body (corpus separatum). The            soon as the Government in Budapest brought forth a deci-
emperor and king, Francis Joseph I, accepted such a state     sion on accelerating the development of their own oil pro-
of affairs in 1870, and so the territory of Rijeka, an area   cessing industry, the customs duty policy deterred imports
of 19.5 square kilometers, fell under the governorship of     of finished products and stimulated the import of crude
the Governor of Rijeka and Hungaro-Croatian Littoral.         oil. According to Article no. XVI of the law in 1881, the
           The consequence of Rijeka’s subjugation to the     customs duty for 100 kilos of crude oil was stipulated as
Crown of St. Stephen was a dynamic upsurge in the city’s      two golden forints, whereas the amount was 10 golden
economic expansion. Especially beginning with 1873,           forints for 100 kilos of petroleum. Lacking sources of its
when Rijeka is linked by railway to Karlovac, and via         own, Hungary had to import oil, mainly from the then
Karlovac to the other Pannonian areas. At the same time       leading exporter, the United States. Hence, by sea. And in
the city is linked by railway with the other part of the      the Hungarian framework of those times, the other name
Monarchy, thus gaining attachment to the Vienna-Trieste       for the sea – was Rijeka.
Building of the first storage tanks in the summer of 1883.
                                         The Pioneering Period (1882-1883)
                       Founding & Building of the Refinery
I             n the wake of such state policy, in Budapest, on December 11, a request was sent to the City Hall’s
              on October 7, 1882, in Hungary’s general department of public safety to allow the building of the
credit bank (Magyar                                                                          refinery. The building
Általános Hitelbank), a                                                                      permit was issued by
joint-stock corporation                                                                      the City Hall on
(Köolajfinomitó gyár                                                                         February 8, 1883. This
reszvénytársaság)                                                                            was the signal that
founded a Mineral oil                                                                        works in the Ponsal
refinery. The purpose of                                                                     area could begin. The
the Corporation was to                                                                       hilly and rocky terrain
build new, modern min-                                                                       was leveled by mining,
eral oil refineries (as                                                                      and the material thus
crude oil was called in                                                                      acquired was used for
those days), build kin-                                                                      collateral building of a
dred industrial facilities,                                                                  Petroleum port in front
and manage the business                                                                      of the Refinery (build-
of these buildings. The                                                                      ing of the port began
corporation has at its dis-                                                                  on December 14,
posal a joint-stock capital                                                                  1882). A total of 430
of two million forints, the                                                                  thousand tons of rock
major owner of which                                                                         material will be
was the Hungarian gen-                                                                       removed from Ponsal.
eral credit bank. However,                                                                   The refinery’s installa-
since the founder of the                                                                     tions were built by car-
Bank in 1867, and its                                                                        rying out a new and
biggest stockholder, was                                                                     very precise facility
the Rothschild banking                                                                       design, prepared by
family - partly in their                                                                     Mate Glavan in March
own name and partly in                                                                       1883.
behalf of the Austrian The first general design of the Rijeka Refinery, bearing the Although it seemed as
Credit Institute of author’s signature of architect from Rijeka (Su{ak), Mate if that phase of works
Commerce and Trade – Glavan, appeared on December 9, 1882.                                   was managed by the
the real owner was the                                                                       local representative of
House of Rothschild. This meant that the actual owner of the Budapest Bank, this was only partially true. Namely,
the future Refinery in Rijeka would be the House of a fair share of building instructions, especially technical,
Rothschild. The Statute of the Corporation emphasizes reached the offices in Rijeka from Vienna.
that among the particular purposes, “the priority is the             Namely, Milutin Bara~, the man who will be
building of the refinery in Rijeka”. In Hungary there remembered as the Refinery’s builder and first director,
were no oil companies powerful enough to build excep- was still living and working in the mentioned city at the
tionally large refineries, as the one in Rijeka was sup- beginning of 1883. This professional chemist – born
posed to be, and so the Corporation was founded in asso- 1849 in the village of Paukovac near Donja Zelina, not
ciation with the Les Fils du A. Deutsch of Paris, to whom far from Zagreb, who won his degree at the High
the government gave a concession to build the refinery Technical School (Technische Hochschule) in Vienna in
facility.                                                   1872 – already as an exemplary student caught the eye of
          Only forty days after the founding of the Gustav Wagenmann, owner of the Vienna Petroleum –
Corporation, on November 18, 1882, the lot of land was Raffinerie. This was at that time the leading Austrian
purchased in Rijeka’s suburban area of Ponsal. Already facility for processing of crude oil, and was particularly
outstanding for its innova-                                                                 to business obligations
tions in the production of                                                                  towards       Wagenmann,
lubricants. Bara~, the                                                                      Bara~ stayed on in the cap-
young chemist newcomer                                                                      ital for several more
to this refinery, would soon                                                                months. During that peri-
give his contribution to the                                                                od there occurred a fre-
repute of this refinery by                                                                  quentative forwarding of
patenting a procedure of                                                                    letters with instructions to
deriving pure ceresine from                                                                 the builders. He moved to
earthwax (ozokerite). After                                                                 Ponsal with his family on
the Joint-stock corporation                                                                 May 20, 1883.
issued an announcement of                                                                           Without waiting for
vacancy for technical                                                                       the final ending of build-
director of Rijeka Mineral                                                                  ing construction works,
Oil Refinery in the process                                                                 the first cargo of crude oil
of foundation, Bara~ sub-                                                                   arrived to Rijeka of July 24,
mitted his application.                                                                     1883. The sailing vessel
Upon receiving references                                                                   Paragon had shipped
from a reputable refinery                                                                   4,841 barrels of oil from
regarding a successful                                                                      Philadelphia. The crude
expert, the commission in                                                                   oil traveled across the
Budapest decided that          After a special city commission checked the con-             ocean in wooden drums
Bara~ was the kind of man      dition of the Ponsal works for the last time, on             and cases, and from the
that they were looking for.    September 12, 1883, Milutin Bara~ wrote a                    ship the cargo was
On December 13, 1882,          report to the local police: “I hereby take the liberty to    unloaded into boats that
Bara~ was told that he had     inform you that the Oil Refinery at Ponsal will, as of the   conveyed the cargo to the
been chosen. However, due      13th of this month, partly be put into operation”.           wharf along the shore.

With a processing capacity of 60 thousand tons of crude oil per annum, the Rijeka Refinery by the mid-
1890’s became the largest facility for processing of crude oil on the European continent. The newspa-
per La Bilancia lauded its opening with the following exclamations: “a magnificent plant”, “a miracle of
science, industry and capital”, “a colossal structure”, “brilliant success”, “an eternal monument to genius and
                                        The Austro-Hungarian Period (1883-1918)
                               Golden Years and the Decline
T               he formal beginning of operation of the
                Refinery took place on September 14, 1883.
This act most probably represents the first European
                                                                installed within the circle of the facility (capacity 26
                                                                cubic meters) and a wax production plant, and by 1887 a
                                                                plant for lube oils.
facility for the industrial conversion of crude oil. The                  The first dispatch of products from the Refinery
other facilities of that time processed crude oil in a man-     was registered on September 21, 1883, when five wagons
ufactural way, in small quantities, usually employing not       of lighting petroleum were delivered to the market. In the
more than about a dozen work-                                                               beginning the Refinery dis-
ers. In comparison, the Rijeka                                                              patched twenty wagons of
Refinery had three hundred                                                                  products per day. Soon it
workers, and its director is a                                                              would cover a third of the
highly educated professional.                                                               demands for petroleum prod-
           The Refinery covers an                                                           ucts in the Austro-Hungarian
area of 73,440 sq. meters. The                                                              Monarchy. In a short time the
facility is constructed on the                                                              following products were added
world’s first-class prototypes of                                                           to the lighting petroleum:
that time, uniting the technolog-                                                           hydrir, gasoline, ligroin, wax,
ical know-how of the refineries of                                                          lube oils, bitumen, coke, gas-
North America and France.                                                                   oil and phosphates. During
Within the circle of the plant                                                              the big exhibition of the
there were 12 horizontally posi-                                                            Hungarian economy in
tioned cylindrical tanks for pri-                                                           September 1885 in Budapest,
mary-distillation, with a total                                                             where it made an appearance
volume of 1,100 cubic meters,                                                               in a separate pavilion, the
and six tanks for re-distillation of                                                        Refinery was given the highest
petroleum and gasoline.                                                                     certificate of commendation,
According to technologic proce-                                                             the Grand Diploma. Director
dures in those times, re-distilla-                                                          Bara~ received a medal for
tion of crude oil was carried out                                                           extraordinary management of
discontinuously. The refining of                                                            the Refinery.
the principal product, lighting petroleum, was done in                    The petroleum port in front of the Refinery
two agitators, each with a capacity of 285 cubic meters.        became operative in November 1883, and was entirely
The Refinery had 24 retorts (Diables) for processing left-      completed by February of 1884. It was able to accommo-
overs into petroleum coke, and the coking procedure per         date five large ships. The beginning of work in Refinery
retort took seven days.         Auxiliary facilities? There     records the predominance of American (Pennsylvanian)
were low-pressure steam boilers type Cornwall, a central        crude oil. However, by 1890 the greater part of the crude
pumping station, a machine workshop, a washroom for             oil was coming from the Caspian and Black Sea regions
barrels, a dispatch station and a gasometer. At first the       (Baku, Grozny). In 1892 we note the first arrival of crude
storage area had four reservoirs. By 1884 two more would        oil from a Croatian source (Veliki Poganac). In the peri-
be added, and so the Refinery was able to store 11,700          od from 1883 to 1896, the Refinery processed 750 thou-
cubic meters of oil. The storage space had five storage         sand tons of crude oil, which makes an average annual
tanks for lighting petroleum (capacity 2,550 cubic              conversion of 57 thousand tons of oil. The yearly produc-
meters) and two storage tanks for gasoline (capacity 390        tion of petroleum was 46 thousand tons. The degree of
cubic meters). To this one should add 16 reservoirs for         utilization of capacities was around 95 percent. The
distilled petroleum and three for distilled gasoline. In the    Refinery shareholders are exceedingly satisfied: since the
circle of the facility there were storage tanks for chemicals   mid-1880’s to the mid-1890’s, the initial capital was mul-
and water, an office and residential building, and two          tiplied by ten. The good production results of the
guard-houses. By 1884 an agitator for gasoline will be          Corporation’s first Refinery instigated it in 1890 to
The beginning of work in the Rijeka Refinery can be considered the beginning of the modern
Hungarian petroleum industry. The nine other Hungarian refineries of that time consisted of very
small facilities. Their united capacities did not achieve even a tenth of the capacity of the new Refinery
in Rijeka. What did that mean for the country? The best reply is in the following example: In 1886 the
national revenue on imports of crude oil amounted to 4,277,878 million forints in customs duty, and
the share of the Rijeka Refinery in that amount was 2,862,755 million forints. In other words, approx-
imately 70 percent.

On December 12, 1892, when the Refinery’s ship named “Etelka” called at the petroleum port for the
first time, bringing 3,500 tons of crude oil from Batumi, the Refinery was once again in golden letters
enlisted into the economic history of those times. The Etelka was the first and only tanker of the Austro-
Hungarian Monarchy.
become the owners of the Petroleum facility in Bra{ov            ning experiences acquired through working in the Rijeka
(today in Rumania), and in 1893 the refinery in Oderberg         Refinery were directly conveyed to the facilities in Bra{ov
(today Stary Bohumin in the Czech Republic).                     and Oderberg. Moreover, besides the assignment to mod-
          With the discovery of large oil fields in Galicia in   ernize and strengthen Bra{ov, in 1895 Bara~ was entrust-
the mid-1890’s the circumstances in which the Refinery           ed with the assignment of building a huge refinery facil-
continues to work underwent an essential change. The             ity in Oderberg, with a capacity equal to that of Rijeka.
Refinery’s greatest advantage, its geographical position,                  In Rijeka, the Black Sea and Caspian crude oil
stopped being what it was. The oil fields in Galicia were        was replaced with the Galician, and the products are
now closer to the Hungarian and Austrian consumers,              exported by sea. Although the annual quantity of convert-
thus a large number of new refineries in those parts of the      ed crude oil decreased, the production of some product
Monarchy diminished the influence of Rijeka. However,            brands is on the increase. Thus the production of paraffin
the Refinery’s precious experience in oil refining was not       is increased by ten times in 1902 and rises to 140 tons per
forgotten and by decision of the management of the               annum. When paraffin production was initiated in the
Stockholder’s Corporation, Bara~ was appointed technical         Hungarian town of Orsova, they looked up to the experi-
director of all the refineries of the Corporation. The win-      ences of Rijeka regarding the production process.
On June 23, 1891, the emperor and king, Francis Joseph I, visited the Refinery. Thus he became the first,
in a sequence of famous names, to leave his signature in the formal autograph book of visitors to the
Refinery. Coming after him one will note the signatures of the archduke Francis Ferdinand, archduke
Franz Salvator and princess Ann, count Czecheny, count Wickenburg, the prince of Siam, bey Saadi and
many others.
Refinery products on the Industrial Exibition in Rijeka (1899?)
Milutin Bara~ remains a name
that deserves a special place in the
history of the European oil indus-
try. He was the director of
Europe’s largest Refinery (Rijeka),
and at the same time director of
probably the first European refin-
ery to practice industrial conver-
sion of crude oil (also Rijeka),
and when the time came he was
appointed technical director of
five refineries of the joint-stock
Corporation, nowadays on the ter-
ritory of five different European
countries      (Croatia,      Czech
Republic, Rumania, Hungary and
Poland). Moreover, he was the
builder of two of these refineries
(facilities in Rijeka and
Oderberg), while he thoroughly
advanced the production of the
refinery in Bra{ov.
                                          Times of Uncertainty (1918 – 1924)
                                      From Owner to Owner
P             resumably planning to expand exports, the Bank as the owner of refinery facilities to hide behind the
              refining capacities of Rijeka just before the name of a “Dutch” company. This strategy proved to be
First World War were increased to 80 thousand tons per successful. Everywhere, except in the case of Rijeka. Italy’s
annum. Unfortunately, the breakout of war will disrupt pressure for territorial expansion on the city was so great
all that. Cut off from the market and the oil field, the that Budapest realized it would not be able to retain the
Refinery will in November 1918 be forced to stop working Refinery in Rijeka even under the façade of Photogen’s
for the first time. On September 12, 1919, Gabrielle name. Therefore a decision was brought to sell the
D’Annunzio, the head of a band of the rising fascist move- Refinery to the Italian side.
ment in Italy, seized Rijeka. With the fall of Austro-                  Why was Rijeka in those times of such impor-
Hungary his intention was to annex the city to the tance to Italy? The Italian oil market in those times was
Apennines, and thus he proclaims a city-state, naming it in the hands of foreigners. It was governed by America’s
Italian Regency of the Kvarner (La Reggenza Italiana Standard Oil and the British-Netherland’s Royal Dutch
del Carnaro). D’Annunzio was the first Duce, Mussolini Shell. In order to rid the country of such political and eco-
will be the second. Croats were banished from Rijeka, and nomic dependence, the Italian government decided that
such a destiny threatened                                                                   the moment had come to
director Bara~.                                                                             build an oil industry of
          In 1920 the joint-                                                                their own. And this could
stock corporation became                                                                    not be realized without
owner of two more refiner-                                                                  large oil refinery facilities.
ies, one in Drohobycz                                                                       Since the Rijeka Refinery
(nowadays in Poland) and                                                                    had fallen under the
the other in Budapest.                                                                      scrutiny of Standard Oil
According to some indica-                                                                   (the American company
tions, it seems that the                                                                    had in the meantime
Budapest refinery was                                                                       bought the refinery in the
formed as a kind of branch                                                                  ex-Austrian city of
of the Rijeka Refinery,                                                                     Trieste), Italy decided to
namely it emerged by                                                                        grasp Rijeka as soon as
means of the “withdrawal”                                                                   possible.
of part of the facilities                                                                           Cooperating
from Rijeka. The expla- Advertisement for candle production in the Refinery through Photogen, the
nation for such an act is in the beginning of 1920’s                                        Hungarian and Italian
Hungary’s fear of the con-                                                                  sides founded in Rijeka on
sequences of military defeat, or more precisely, fear of dis- April 28, 1922 a joint company under the name of
possession of her industrial facilities for the purpose of Mineral Oil Refinery Limited (Raffineria di Olii
compensation for war damages. The Refinery’s director Minerali Societa Annonima, abbreviated: Romsa). The
was exiled from Rijeka on January 13, 1922, which marks objectives of the Company are oil-related business trans-
the end of his professional career.                           actions, “especially purchasing of the Rijeka facility of
          At the time of Bara~’s departure to Zagreb with the Mineral Oil Refinery Ltd. of Budapest”. Through an
his family, the owners of the Refinery had for two years agreement between the Ministry of Finance of the
already been a company from Amsterdam, Kingdom of Italy and Photogen, concluded on April 19,
Neederlandische Petroleum Matschapy Photogen. Why 1923, the Italian state was enabled to take shareholder
Photogen? Wanting to avoid the dispossession of proper- control over the Refinery. On January 27, 1924, after
ty, the management of the Corporation found a solution Rijeka officially became a part of the Italian state, the first
in selling the property to a company in the Netherlands, shipments of crude oil began to arrive at the end of July.
since it was a neutral country. However, this was a busi- The head office of Romsa moved from Rome to Rijeka on
ness trick. Photogen is a joint-stock company, and the August 28, and that same month the Refinery’s produc-
majority shareholder was none other than the Hungarian tion was initiated again. This occurred after a five-year
General Credit Bank. Photogen is only formally a Dutch intermission, during which time the Refinery lived off of
firm, but this fact came in handy for the intentions of the resale of products made by others.
                                      The Italian Period and War (1926 – 1945)
         Supplying the Fascist Regime & the Punishment
O             n April 1926, after bringing forth the deci-              In 1927 there is a significant turn of events in
              sion to establish a state-owned oil company, the Refinery’s production. Petroleum, that most impor-
Agip, in November of the same year Agip purchased tant crude oil product of the 19th century, gives way to
Romsa. As their only facility and the largest facility of its gasoline as the leading production. The boom in the
kind in Italy, the Rijeka Refinery was transformed into automobile industry and the then current innovations in
Agip’s Production Department.                                 the technology of oil refining refer Romsa to plan system-
           Working on such assignments, the economic atic modernization of facilities. This calls for huge invest-
rehabilitation of the Refinery was very rapid. Romsa’s ments, split up into three years-long cycles.
trade promotion network spread with lightning speed,                    The first moves were initiated as early as 1925,
both inside and outside of Italy. As early as in 1926/27, when the updating of the old distillation facility began.
Romsa has 51 agencies and 108 storerooms. In the fol- Its capacity was increased and enabled to perform contin-
lowing business year the number of storerooms will rise uously. For the production needs of lube oils the new vac-
to 296. The derivatives from Rijeka were not only sold in uum technology of distillation was developed in 1926,
Italy, especially since Romsa also dealt in the selling and and in the next year the paraffin plant was expanded.
mediation of shipping petroleum and petroleum prod- There was an eight thousand cubic meters increase in
ucts in Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hunagry, Kingdom of the storage space. The utilization of settlers to scavenge crude
Serbs, Croats & Slovenes, Arab countries, etc.                oil was introduced. In 1929, the beginning of the second
  The Italian government intended a key role for the Rijeka Refinery in the plans to build a powerful
Italian oil industry. It was supposed to become “the nucleus of Italy’s oil production program”. In April 1926,
after bringing forth the decision to establish a state-owned oil company, Agip, in November of the same
year Agip purchased Romsa. The Refinery became the “embryo of the industrial section of the new enterprise”.
As their only facility and the largest facility of its kind in Italy, the Rijeka Refinery was transformed into
Agip’s Production Department.
cycle of technology investments went into the develop-          mobiles and the industry). The enormous demand for
ment of Cracking (type Holmes-Mainley), which will              Rijeka’s motor oils will incite Romsa in 1926/27 to set up
result in an increase in the quantity of gasoline produc-       an oil plant for motorcar oils and greases in the town of
tion. Rijeka’s Cracking was one of four in Italy, and its       Fegino, near Genoa.
capacity was 20 thousand tons per year. Facilities for con-               In 1926, for the purpose of petroleum products
tinuous gasoline cracking and storage tanks for products        in the Arab world, Romsa established the firm La Societa
produced by cracking were installed. In 1932 the most           Commerciale Italo-Araba (Scitar). The intention was to
modern facility for continuous primary distillation, Pipe-      take command of the market that was emerging as the
Still, was built. This once again enabled the Refinery to       result of Italy’s colonial empire in Africa. Scitar became
reach a refining capacity of 80 thousand tons of petrole-       extinct in 1930, but Romsa continued the business
um per year. In order to concede space for the new tech-        through other channels.
nology, parts of the old facility were gradually done away                Since the city of Rijeka economically stagnated
with. The investing did not stop here, thus in 1935 the         during the interwar period, Romsa, as one of the rare
Refinery was so strong that it was able to refine 100 thou-     firms that were successful, was the city’s economic
sand tons of crude oil and 20 thousand tons of residues         foothold. In the beginning of the 1930’s petroleum will
per annum.                                                      represent 50 percent of the cargo in the port of Rijeka.
           Although losing its leading capacity role in the     After having become one of the most important econom-
course of the 1930’s in the competition with the same           ic mainstays in its environment, in 1935 the Refinery also
kind of new Italian facilities, the facility in Rijeka suc-     becomes one of the most important mainstays of the
cessfully retains a dose of particularity. At the end of 1926   country’s armed forces. As a state-owned industrial com-
and beginning of 1927 two new series of lubricants prod-        plex, the Refinery will starting with the invasion of
ucts began arriving from Rijeka, under the names of             Ethiopia become a facility that directly supplies the
Italoil (a trademark of lubrication oils for automobiles)       aggressor’s forces in a foreign land. Moreover, it is diffi-
and Lubrifix (a trademark of technical greases for auto-        cult not to notice the concurrent strengthening of its
 The Refinery in Rijeka supports market expansion in 1925 by creating an independent shipping com-
pany. In the following year that company was named Societa Petrolifera Esercizi Marittimi (Spem). Its
tankers Prometeo, Lucifero, Poseidone, Tritone and others navigated to all the seas of the world.
technologic capacities                                                                            oils from infe-
and the fortifying of                                                                             rior types of
the          colonialist                                                                          crude oil. For
appetites of the                                                                                  the needs of
regime, especially                                                                                the facility the
when it is obvious                                                                                Refinery was
that the priority                                                                                 obliged       to
assignment of the                                                                                 expand        by
Refinery in those                                                                                 buying        32
times was to provide                                                                              thousand
the armed forces and                                                                              square meters
state institutions.                                                                               of adjacent
           The third                                                                              land that used
cycle of intensive                                                                                to belong to
technological face-                                                                               the      extin-
lifting of the Refinery Rijeka’s Italoil was the first Italian motor oil produced in a quanti- guished rice-
was to a great extent ty that had foreseen utilization on the whole territory of the hulking plant.
subjected to such Kingdom. The oils were packed in containers produced by the At the same
interests of state. The Refinery, enabling it to become well known as a market brand.              time a contact
year of 1936 marks                                                                                 and decol-
the beginning of planned building of works for solvent orant works for lubrication oils was installed, new steam
extraction and dewaxing processing, type Edeleanu, boilers type Tossi were set up, and a pool for waste water
indispensable for the production of high-quality motor treatment was under construction in the petroleum port.

During the summer of 1939 the Refinery got a new, monumental head office, in the building of the for-
mer rice-hulking plant, which its architect E. Perugini reshaped in accord with the procedures of the
then fashionable state-inspired art, the Novecento style. Architectural plan of the facade.
                                                    The building of Edeleanu began in 1938, It was
                                                    the third facility of its kind in Europe. When it
                                                    was put into operation in 1940, Edeleanu had a
                                                    production capacity of 20 thousand tons of oil
                                                    per year.

                                                   On June 24, 1939, the day when Romsa’s new head office
                                                   was inaugurated, dictator Mussolini visited the Refinery.
                                                              With the capitulation of Italy in 1943, the
                                                   Refinery falls under the rule of the Third Reich, and the
                                                   facility was obliged to stop production for the second time
                                                   in its history. Nevertheless, this will not prevent the real-
                                                   ization of the grim scenario that overtook Rijeka at the
                                                   very end of the Second World War. The Refinery was
                                                   transformed into ruins. 83 percent of the facilities were
                                                   destroyed and 65 percent of the buildings and 96 percent
                                                   of the storage tanks. Among the facilities, the greatest
                                                   damage was done to the vacuum distillation plant (70
                                                   percent), the Cracking (80 percent), the installation for
                                                   discontinued refining of petroleum and gas-oil (80 per-
                                                   cent) etc.

In five bombardments by the British-American air forces, that took place during the period between
January 21, 1944, and February 23, 1945, some 260 bombs were dropped on the Refinery, their weights
between 250 and 500 kilos. Following the bombs, 23 land mines were activated to destroy the Refinery
in May 1945 by members of the Wehrmacht directly before they withdrew.
                                           The Yugoslav Period (1945 – 1991)

         Restoration of the Old and Building of the New
I              f after the air attacks many refineries
               throughout the continent, including the
very old ones, met the postwar period extinguished forev-
                                                                  in 1953 and became the Boris Kidri~ Oil Refinery
                                                                  Rijeka, in honor of an eminent figure among the top
                                                                  government leaders.
er, the Refinery of Rijeka rejected to share such a fate.                    During the 1950’s the developmental cycle
Yugoslavia, into whose state borders the postwar Rijeka           gathers new momentum. After the start of the Edelean in
was included, decided to revive the Rijeka Refinery from          1952, the Refinery resumes the production of motor oils.
the dead. The impoverished country found the building             At the same time the decolorant and contact facility is put
of a new refinery at the time would financially mean bit-         into operation. The first postwar motor oil, Selekta, was
ing more than one could chew, and so the solution was to          put on the market in 1952. By 1953 motor oil Alfa (con-
undertake restoration of the demolished facility.                 taining anticorrosive and antioxidative additives) also
           The facility parts still fit for use, appliances and   arrived, as well as Alfa D (with the addition of detergent).
equipment, were drawn out of the debris for the purpose           They were joined by Extra HD (for gasoline and diesel
of using them again. The facility began to return to life         motors) in the year that followed. In those years the
thanks to recycling, technical modifications and innova-          Refinery was the only oil producing facility in Yugoslavia.
tions. It’s a lucky thing that immediately prior to capitu-       It covered the needs of 90 percent of that market. New
lation the Italian authorities dismantled some of the             types of oil kept coming from Rijeka without interrup-
facilities and appliances and moved them away from the            tion: in 1955 Super HD S-1 (for diesel motors), in 1957
Refinery, hiding them in parts of Rijeka and vicinity.            Super DS S-2. At the same time the extension of the Pipe-
Being saved from destruction, these components were               Still is under way, as is the advancement of production of
returned to the Refinery. (The parts that had been hauled         selected lubrication oils and many other undertakings.
away to Italy, like the Edeleanu components, were                 In the Yugoslav production of petroleum products, the
returned to Rijeka in 1949.) By the end of 1945 produc-
tion was already put into operation. The symbolic quan-
tity 1,807 tons of refined crude oil was of minor impor-
tance in comparison to the fact that the facility func-
tioned. The task that the restorers faced was huge, but no
less colossal was their desire to see the facility again
become what it used to be. In a period of only seven
months, by January 1946, the extent of repair of the facil-
ity reached 40 percent. The restoration of the more com-
plex equipment took a much longer time, but already in
1946 a quantity of 12,726 tons was refined, and in 1947
it amounted to 39,485 tons of oil. Three years after the
war, in 1948, all the facilities were more or less restored.
That year, the Refinery converted 111,244 tons of crude
oil, mainly imported, and measured up to the conversion
attained in 1939.
           The Yugoslav state became the owner of Romsa.
In accordance with the slogan “Factories to the work-
ers!”, a workers’ self-management system is introduced
in the country, and in 1950 the Refinery founded its first
Workers’ council. This is a democratically elected dele-
gable body of workers, whose assignment in the begin-
ning was to act as an advisory board, and later to partic-
ipate in management. In line with the political practice
of the time, the Oil Refinery of Rijeka changed its name
 By the beginning of the 1960’s, a 100 percent of all lubricants in the country were made in Rijeka, 75
percent of all bitumen and 95 percent of all waxes.

Refinery’s participation is 48 percent. It firstly supplies   motor oils, and 1962 marks the start of the Deasphalting,
consumers on its own gravitational market, consisting of      first in the country. Taking into consideration various
the Adriatic seacoast, western part of Croatia, Slovenia      lubrication oils and greases, lighting and motor petrole-
and Montenegro. The export of Rijeka’s products has           um, gasoline (from 74 to 93 octane), all types of gases
been going on since 1950. Thanks to constant technolog-       and heating oils, wax, bitumen et al., the Refinery offers
ical advances, from year to year the refinery capacities      the buyers a range of 150 products. In 1963 the Refinery
and the list of products have been expanding. Thus in         employed 1,100 workers, and had reached a refining
1961 the Furfural plant was put into operation, enabling      capacity of 600 thousand tons. As early as the Fifties, the
a quantum jump in the production of high-quality              product expansion of the facility aroused considerations
The first preparations for the groundwork on the site for the new refinery facility began in March 1963,
within an area of 360 hectares. Thanks to the financial and professional forces of the old refinery on
Mlaka, the Urinj facility was out into operation on November 26, 1965.
regarding the necessity of territorial expansion as well.      The second phase of construction of the Urinj
This was no longer possible on the old location – due to       refinery was from 1967 to 1971. The third phase
the spreading of the city’s urban tissue, the initial          lasted until 1977. Building of the third Topping,
Refinery’s suburban position transformed into an inner-        in 1976, marks the mounting of the largest
city position – hence the choice is in favor of the Urinj      petroleum column in the country. Rijeka’s refin-
peninsula, some ten kilometers from Rijeka. With Urinj’s       ing capacity is thereby increased to eight million
refining capacity of 1.5 million tons, and together with       tons per year.
the 600 thousand tons that the old refinery produced, it is
possible for Rijeka to process 2.1 million tons of crude oil
yearly. The Urinj and Mlaka refineries divide their tasks.
The new facility is specialized in producing fuels, while
the old facility produces lubricants.
           During the first phase of construction of the
Urinj refinery, from 1963 to 1967, the following was con-
structed: an atmospheric distillation plant (Topping 1),
catalytic reforming (Platforming 1), gas recuperation
and facility for refining gasoline, Vibreaking with desul-
furization of gas oil and Merox 3 for gasoline “sweeten-
ing”, a power station, a port in Bakar bay, a filling sta-
tion of railroad cars and tank trucks, a facility for waste
water treatment, etc. Such a refinery profile enables the
production of high-octane gasoline, liquid gas, jet fuel,
diesel fuel et al. The second phase of construction was
from 1967 to 1971. A second atmospheric distillation
plant (Topping 2) was erected, a second catalytic reform-
ing (Platforming 2), a berth for tankers and largest of
ships, and the beginning of building a plant for extrac-
tion of aromatic hydrocarbons. The refinery in Urinj has
the possibility to refine 4 million tons of petroleum per
annum, thus it became the largest Yugoslav facility of its
kind. The third phase lasted until 1977 and included
Isomerization, Topping 3, and more new petroleum stor-
age tanks. Building of the third Topping in Urinj, in
1976, marks the mounting of the largest petroleum col-
umn in the country. Rijeka’s refining capacity is thereby
increased to eight million tons per year.
           The refinery workers of the Mlaka facility did
not lag behind the dynamic rhythm of the younger facil-
ity. By utilizing the atmospheric residue from Urinj as a
raw material (in spite of their separate locations, the two
facilities are projected as a single technological and com-
mercial whole), in 1968 Mlaka offers new products to put
on the market. These are motor oils INA Delta Multigrade
and INA Delta TLX. Three years later, for paraffin produc-
tion, the first Yugoslav Deoiling is put into operation.
This was followed by the starting of the facility for oxida-
tion of bitumen, the appearance of motor oils INA
Rubella and INA Delta TLX 15 W – 50 (both in 1975),
thereafter INA Delta Korina.
           What did the word INA mean in the name of
these brands? As of January 1, 1964, the Rijeka Refinery,
jointly with the Refinery Sisak and the Naftaplin enter-      arch in the world.
prise for research and production of naphtha and gas                    In Urinj in 1981 a FCC (Fluid Catalytic
(also oil companies in Croatia), formed a joint company.      Cracking ) complex was completed, its capacity being one
The reason for this was the intention of making the busi-     million tons per year. Two years later a plant for blending
ness of oil companies in Croatia as effective as possible.    of gas and heating oils was put into operation, as well as
The company emerged under the name Multi-plant                a circular cooling system, a control laboratory, the second
Works for Refining of Petroleum and Gas, and as of 1965,      phase of power production and distribution (Energetika)
under the name of INA – Industrija nafte (Petroleum           was completed, a port for liquid gases was built, etc. From
Industry). That was how the largest Yugoslav petroleum        Mlaka the motor oils INA Super 5, INA Delta 5, INA Delta
enterprise was created.                                       Sint and INA Super 3 S were launched.
          The organizational, technological and market-                 That year was at the same time the end of the
ing expansion of the Rijeka Refinery attained a new           period of the Refinery’s intensive development.
dimension in 1975 with the conclusion of a contract           Yugoslavia’s decline into an economic crisis brought the
between INA and the American company Dow Chemical             Refinery huge financial difficulties. The price of main-
from Michigan regarding joint investment in the build-        taining social peace in the country was transferred on to
ing of a petrochemical plant near Omi{alj on the island       the back of powerful companies like the Refinery.
of Krk.                                                                 The politically controlled retail prices of petrole-
          The result was the founding of a joint company      um products, the galloping inflation that constantly
Dina-Petrokemija Omi{alj, whose undertaking was to            increased the price of imported raw material, which was
produce polyethylene, vinyl chloride, styrene, monomer        the reason for taking tight foreign credits, brought a stop
and other products that were at that time attractive on the   to the investment cycle in the Refinery. In spite of these
world market. INA invested into Dina 51 percent of its        circumstances, in 1985 Rijeka was the producer of the
capital, and the Rijeka Refinery participated in this         first unleaded gasoline in Yugoslavia. In April 1986, an
investment with 65 percent of its assets. In the framework    agreement was signed with Shell for joint production of
of this project the Refinery built important infrastructur-   marine motor oils. In 1987, Rijeka produced 66.5 thou-
al objects, helping for example in the construction of the    sand tons of lubricants, of which 63 thousand tons were
Krk Island bridge, at that time the bridge with the longest   motor oils.

The period of investment, marketing, and all the other expansions of the Refinery reached a symbolic
peak in 1979. That year Rijeka processed a record-setting 5,580 million tons of crude oil. Rijeka was
at that moment the uncrowned ruler of the country’s oil market. At the beginning of the 1980’s, the
facilities in Rijeka were producing 250 types of derivatives.
                                          Independent Croatia (since 1991)

       Defensive Tasks and a New Developmental Cycle
A                 t the end of the 1980’s, the Yugoslav eco-
                  nomic crisis turned into a deep political
one, and in the beginning of the 1990’s into war and dis-
                                                               in Rijeka. The environmental unit Endotot, an invention
                                                               that Urinj’s engenieers use for mud removal, has been
                                                               recognized by 16 countries. In 1994 both Platformings
integration of the country. The brutal attack on the just      were renovated, the Visbreaking was reconstructed and
established Croatian state threatened to destroy both          HDS (Hydrodesulfurization) was brought up to date. In
facilities of the Rijeka Refinery. The artillery of the        1997, for the purpose of producing more diesel fuels with
Yugoslav People’s Army overlooking the city had already        reduced sulfur content in compliance with European
been given orders to open fire on Rijeka, and the Oil          quality standards, the building of a new HDS/MHC
Refinery seemed to be the ideal target. Furthermore, the       (Hydrodesulfurization/Mild Hydrocracking) facility was
naval blockade of the Refinery’s shorefront exposed the        completed. In 1993 the facility on Mlaka was entirely
facility to the gunfire of the enemy’s warships. After ardu-   converted to the utilization of gas as an energy source,
ous negotiations, peace was preserved and the city and         and on the following year buyers were offered motor oils
Rijeka’s refinery were spared being destroyed. This proved     INA Delta 5 SG 15 W-40 and INA Delta Sint SH 10 W-40.
to be of exceptional significance for the defense of                      The first day in the year of 1997 brought a
Croatia. During the Croatian War of Independence, from         change in the organizational structure of INA, hence in
1991 to 1995, being the only operative Croatian refinery,      the Refinery of Rijeka. Until that time, a single and inte-
the Rijeka Refinery was the key pillar in supplying the        gral enterprise, the Refinery split into two separate
Croatian army and population with fuels. The refinery          wholes: the INA Rijeka Refinery (the reference is to the
workers also gave their individual contribution to the war     facility in Urinj, which takes over the historical name of
effort by going to the front lines. 948 workers of the         the Mlaka facility), and INA Maziva Rijeka (the reference
Refinery participated in the War of Independence. Four of      is to the old refinery on the Mlaka location). The organi-
them lost their lives.                                         zational units that were not considered basic activities
           The wartime assignments were executed paral-        became independent firms, while some formed a vertical
lel with INA’s decision to set the Refinery’s guidelines       union within INA. Market competition is reinforced with
towards production for the European market. Therefore          offers of new products. In 1999, these were motor oils INA
this involved decisions to modernize the facilities. In        Millennium and INA Super 2000. Since the summer of
1991 the first unleaded 91-octane gasoline was produced        2004, in cooperation between INA and Shell, via their
During the Croatian War of Independence, from 1991 to 1995, being the only operative Croatian refin-
ery, the Rijeka Refinery was the key pillar in supplying the Croatian army and population with fuels. It
thereby fulfilled its most important wartime assignment.
joint firm Polybit, Mlaka produces polymer modified bitu-               Right now the Rijeka Refinery has a refining
men. Urinj provides the market with European quality         capacity of 4.5 million tons of crude oil, while Maziva
fuels. Both locations have established an integrated sys-    Rijeka process 450 thousand tons of atmospheric residue
tem of business management. They have ISO 9001 certifi-      per year. In order to keep track of the progress in fuel qual-
cates confirming the standards of quality, certificate ISO   ity that are brought forth by European standards 2009, the
14001 confirming the standards of protection of the envi-    Rijeka Refinery has started to execute the realization of a
ronment, as well as the system of healthcare and safety      new development cycle. It includes Hydrosulfurization/
according to specification OHSAS 18001.                      Hydrocracking unit, with hydrogen producing facilities, a
          The government of the Republic of Croatia has      sulfur recovery units and others. At the present moment,
announced on July 17, 2003 its decision to privatize the     both of the locations in Rijeka are in the course of carry-
state-owned company of INA, which included the Rijeka        ing out a series of environmental projects that were pre-
Refinery and Maziva Rijeka. It was decided to accept the     pared in cooperation with the European Bank for
offer of the Hungarian company MOL, whereby MOL              Reconstruction and Development.
becomes INA’s strategic partner, and owner of 25 percent
plus one share of INA.
                                                              In Rijeka, the Refinery’s first smoke-stack, built
                                                              in 1883, bears witness to petroleum processing
                                                              during a span of three centuries. Without taking
                                                              into account minor local conflicts, the smoke-
                                                              stack has survived through three wars. Some 260
                                                              bombs were dropped around it, 23 mines were
                                                              activated, and its top was even struck by light-
                                                              ning. The termination of its services took place
                                                              in December 2003. As a landmark of industrial
                                                              heritage, in June 2004 the Ministry of Culture of
                                                              the Republic of Croatia has put it under preven-
                                                              tive protection.

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