OMV Aktiengesellschaft, Vienna, has resumed full operations of the 9.6-million tonne/year refinery at its integrated complex in Schwechat, Austria, following a nearly 4-month outage to repair damage to the site’s main crude oil distillation unit (CDU) incurred during an early June mechanical upset at the tail end of the site’s 2022 turnaround (OGJ Online, June 3, 2022).
Damage occurring to the outer skin of the CDU’s main column during a legally required water-pressure test as part of the turnaround has now been repaired and, following successful completion of that test in late September and a subsequent phased commissioning period, the refinery has now returned to its full operating capacity, OMV said on Oct. 7.
Repairs to the column—50-m high, and 8-m wide—involved extensive dismantling and detachment of the 100-tonne column head, as well as processing of 200-tonnes of steel into replacement parts, all of which were assembled and refitted into place in less than 16 weeks, according to the operator.
Although the refinery has restarted production of finished products and is replenishing stocks, OMV said it will maintain the alternative supply system established in the wake of the June incident for as long as necessary to continue reliable product deliveries to customers.
Alongside securing temporary supplies of downstream feedstock and products from other OMV refineries and cooperating with partners and logistics affiliates to purchase products to replace supply shortfalls during repairs on Schwechat’s main CDU, OMV also maximized distillation capacity of a smaller available CDU covering about 20% of the site’s pre-incident capacity (OGJ Online, June 10, 2022).
The Austrian federal government also released fuel from the country’s strategic oil reserves to help supply product to the market during the refinery’s outage.