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Burghausen Refinery celebrates its 50th birthday

50 years of Burghausen Refinery: 2017 has been a time to look back on decades of immense innovation at the Bavarian refinery. But, as with every birthday, we are also looking forward to the years ahead!

Burghausen: A population of “just” 18,500 – and yet known far beyond its borders. The town in Upper Bavaria is even in the Guinness Book of Records. Because the Burghausen castle, built in the Middle Ages, has held the record as the “longest castle in the world” since 2009. Alongside its historic credentials, Burghausen is primarily known for one thing: the OMV Burghausen Refinery, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

A refinery rich in tradition

A glance at the history books shows that the roots of Burghausen Refinery date back to the early 1960s. At that time, the Marathon Oil Company built the refinery for the German market at the Burghausen site, receiving official approval to start operations on 18 October 1967. 20 years later, on 2 October 1987, OMV acquired the operating company “Deutsche Marathon Petroleum GmbH”, which finally went to “OMV Deutschland GmbH” in the 1990s. And the rest is, as they say, Bavarian-Austrian history.

Burghausen as an innovation driver

Continuous innovation and investments ensure that Burghausen has always remained a highly competitive location. In 1986 the refinery delivered jet fuel for the first time. Since it opened in 1992, Munich Airport, Germany’s second largest airport, has been connected directly by pipeline to the Burghausen Refinery. The benefits for both parties are plain to see: While the kerosene arrives at Munich Airport in a way that is reliable, environmentally sound and requiring limited effort or outlay, OMV has a secure sales channel. By the way, the amount of kerosene produced every year is sufficient for an Airbus A380-800, the world’s largest passenger aircraft, to circle the globe around 34,000 times.

But of course kerosene is not the only product in the portfolio of OMV Burghausen Refinery. Precursor products for a wide range of things we use every day are made in Burghausen. On average, the following products are manufactured from a single tonne of crude oil:

With our concentration on petrochemicals, coupled with our market focus and willingness to innovate, the Burghausen Refinery is well equipped. This is why we are taking a moment to celebrate what we have achieved so far – after all, this something we can all be proud of. We are successfully shaping our future on this solid basis.

Moving forward with petrochemicals

In addition to producing jet fuel, Burghausen Refinery has a very special focus on petrochemicals – the entire Naphta goes into the production of basic petrochemical products such as ethylene, propylene and butadiene for the plastics industry. It is impossible to imagine a life without the everyday items that come from these special refinery products. Kitchen appliances, cell phones, PC casings and keyboards, furniture and cars: Just some of the products used every day which would not exist without the precursors that come from the crude oil processed in the refinery.

Two expansion projects currently underway in Burghausen Refinery are even more forward-looking: Starting up Europe’s first metathesis plant in 2007, as well as opening our own butadiene plant in 2015 to supply the plastics, tire, and automotive industries. You could say that Burghausen Refinery has always been ahead of its time; today it is one of Germany’s top refineries. And this should hold true in future. The 2021 Turnaround, the next big project at Burghausen Refinery, is set to be a significant building block in the ongoing transformation process of becoming a “Refinery of the Future” with a focus on petrochemicals. Until that time comes, we will allow ourselves a moment’s pause in 2017 to celebrate what we have achieved.

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