OMV starts up co-processing plant at Schwechat refinery

June 10, 2024
OMV has commissioned a new co-processing plant for production of renewable diesel blending components at its refining complex in Schwechat, Austria.

OMV Aktiengesellschaft, Vienna, has commissioned a new co-processing plant for production of renewable diesel blending components at its 9.6-million tonne/year (tpy) integrated refining complex in Schwechat, Austria.

Completed at an overall investment of about €200 million, the new co-processing plant will have flexibility to process up to 160,000 tpy of liquid biomass—including waste-based and advanced feedstocks such as used cooking oil and liquid from nut shells—into high-quality renewable hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) components used to produce OMV’s proprietary more sustainable, low-carbon MaxxMotion diesel, the operator said on June 10.

Produced from renewable feedstocks that do not compete with food and feed production, the plant’s output of HVO blending component fully complies with the European Union’s (EU) requirements for increased production of sustainable fuel components, as well as ISCC System GmbH’s International Sustainability Carbon Certification (ISCC), including ISCC EU and ISCC Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) PLUS co-processing certifications, OMV said.

Alongside enabling Schwechat’s production of MaxxMotion diesel to customers in Austria, the Czech Republic, and Hungary during 2024, OMV said the refinery’s new co-processing plant will help the operator to reduce its CO2 emissions by up to 360,000 tpy, or the equivalent of removing 38,000 vehicles from the road.

Addition of the new plant at Schwechat comes as part of OMV’s larger transformation plan for the refinery in line with the global transition to net-zero operations by 2050.

“In line with our Strategy 2030, we are investing in transforming the OMV refinery in Schwechat. The new plant highlights OMV’s innovative capabilities as one of the first companies in Europe to deploy co-processing on an industrial scale. It also allows us to support the trend towards more sustainable mobility at high levels of quality and performance across our [filling station] network,” said Martijn van Koten, OMV’s executive vice-president of fuels and feedstock.

Startup of the new co-processing plant follows field trials conducted at the site in 2016-17, using rapeseed oil, according to OMV’s 2023 sustainability report.

Approved for construction in December 2020, the refinery’s new plant was to start with a mix of vegetable oils (e.g., rapeseed and sunflower oils) and in the future include other waste, residue, or advanced streams such as UCO or cashew nutshell liquid by 2025, the operator said.

About the Author

Robert Brelsford | Downstream Editor

Robert Brelsford joined Oil & Gas Journal in October 2013 as downstream technology editor after 8 years as a crude oil price and news reporter on spot crude transactions at the US Gulf Coast, West Coast, Canadian, and Latin American markets. He holds a BA (2000) in English from Rice University and an MS (2003) in education and social policy from Northwestern University.