OMV to upgrade European refineries

OMV, planning a program of upgrades in its European refineries, said it will shut down its 69,280 b/d Petrobrazi refinery in Romania for upgrades sooner than originally planned.

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Aug. 17 -- OMV AG, Vienna, planning a program of upgrades in its European refineries, said it will shut down its 69,280 b/d Petrobrazi refinery in Romania for upgrades sooner than originally planned—in this year's fourth quarter instead of first quarter 2008.

In Germany, it plans to install an expanded cracker and new metathesis plant at its 72,000 b/d Burghausen refinery, work that will take 6 weeks in the fourth quarter. "Additional propylene will be delivered to Borealis, feeding the new Borstar propylene plant coming on stream at the same time," OMV said. In addition, the 262,300 b/d Bayernoil refinery in Germany will be restructured to improve plant configuration, OMV said.

In Austria the company will construct a thermal cracker in its 208,600 b/d Schwechat refinery in Vienna so it can process more heavy crude and reduce the amount of heavy fuel oil in the product slate.

A company spokeswoman told OGJ that OMV's strategy is to build on two hubs: a Western hub comprised of Schwechat, Burghausen, and Bayernoil that would have a refining capacity of 18.4 million tonnes/year and an Eastern hub of Petrobrazi and Arpechim in Romania, with a capacity of 8 million tonnes/year (OGJ Online, Oct. 12, 2006). Arpechim is operated by OMV's Romanian unit Petrom.

OMV said it also will begin preparations to construct a 360-km ethylene pipeline in southern Germany from Munchsmunster to Ludwigshafen that will connect the southeast Bavarian chemical triangle with the northwest European ethylene network at Ludwigshafen. The pipeline will be completed in third quarter 2008.

OMV upstream priorities for 2007 are to develop Strasshof gas field in Austria, Maari oil field in New Zealand, Komsomolskoe oil field in Kazakhstan, Block S2 in Yemen, and oil discoveries in Libya and to complete Pohokura gas field development in New Zealand, said OMV Chief Executive Wolfgang Ruttenst at a press conference Aug. 16.

In Romania, the company will continue its modernization of production facilities to enhance efficiency and reduce production costs.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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