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OMV, Borealis to expand Burghausen refinery

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Oct. 10 -- OMV AG and Borealis AG, both of Vienna, have invested €840 million to increase the petrochemical production capacity of the 72,000 b/d Burghausen refinery in Germany.

OMV expanded the ethylene plant and constructed a new metathesis plant and major cracker furnace. The €640 million facilities have increased the refinery's production of ethylene by 110,000 tonnes/year to 450,000 tonnes/year; propylene by 315,000 tonnes/year to 560,000 tonnes/year; and polypropylene by 330,000 tonnes/year to 570,000 tonnes/year.

Simultaneously Borealis, which is directly connected to the OMV refinery, invested €200 million to expand its polyolefin capacities by 80%—to 745,000 tonnes/year from 415,000 tonnes/year.

After the 2009 start-up of the 360 km Ethylene Pipeline-South (EPS) between Munchsmunster and Ludwigshafen, OMV will be linked to the Western European ethylene network.

OMV also has completed a feasibility study for the construction of an 800 Mw combicycle power station to provide electricity and steam generation for the Burghausen refinery, converting it from gas to increase efficiency by 5% on average and reduce energy consumption.

"The decision regarding the [power plant] investment should be made by the end of 2008," the company said, so "2012 would thus be the earliest start-up date."

OMV first announced in November 2006 its proposed €1.1 billion investment in Bavaria. IT has invested €640 million in the Burghausen refinery, and Borealis invested an additional €200 million in the expansion of the nearby plastics production facilities.

Borealis expanded its polypropylene production by integrating an additional Borstar polypropylene plant on its Burghausen premises. Development began in 2006, and the plant started up in early 2008 after a major refinery shutdown to integrate the new components.

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