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Fill up please! Why kerosene is much more than a fuel

Air traffic must be tightly synchronized. Every minute counts between arrival and departure of the plane. Predictability, reliability and perfect timing are key here. After all, no traveler wants to be kept waiting.

While the passengers are already sitting at the gate, their plane is being refueled. It’s a fast, clean and safe process: A lot of precision, production and logistics expertise go into these 30 minutes. By the time jet – as kerosene is called in the industry – is ready to fuel the plane, OMV has completed a vast number of production, transport and quality assurance tasks.

“Jet is a regulated product, so the product characteristics of jet from different suppliers do not vary. What really differentiates the products is the service package they come with,” explains Birgitt Leißer. She is responsible for customer service at OMV Aviation and coordinates the interfaces between refineries, airports and airline companies to ensure that OMV jet always precisely meets all airport and airline requirements. 

OMV’s Schwechat refinery is located only eight kilometers away from Vienna Airport. A pipeline delivers jet directly from the refinery to the airport – clean, fast and safe, completely eliminating traffic issues.Birgitt Leißer, OMV Refining & Marketing GmbH, International Aviation

From well to plane

Munich Airport consumes over 1.6 million tons of jet per year, Vienna Airport more than 700,000 tons, and Bucharest Airport close to 300,000 tons. OMV covers a major part of the demand at all three airports.

The reasons for this strong market share are literally obvious: “OMV’s Schwechat refinery, for example, is located only eight kilometers away from Vienna Airport. A pipeline delivers jet directly from the refinery to the airport fuel storage tanks – clean, fast and safe, completely eliminating traffic issues”, as Birgitt Leißer knows. The situation is similar at Munich Airport, which is connected to OMV’s Burghausen refinery by a 123 kilometer pipeline. And at Bucharest Airport, which is supplied from OMV’s Petrobrazi refinery by truck and rail, OMV Petrom staff even fuel the airplanes.

Regional resources for traveling the world

And there’s yet another fact that most passengers waiting at Vienna or Bucharest airport gates aren’t aware of: The kerosene for their plane is not only produced virtually next door at an OMV refinery – even part of the crude oil from which it is made comes from the region. In Romania, almost all the crude oil used in OMV’s Petrobrazi refinery is from OMV’s equity production. In OMV’s Schwechat refinery the percentage of equity oil is approximately 10 percent. In both countries the oilfields are directly connected to the refineries by pipeline, ensuring eco-friendly and highly efficient transport of the produced oil.

More jet for more mobility

Short transport routes, and reliable supply are decisive factors to ensure on-schedule lift offs. This is the reason, why so many airports and airlines buy their jet from OMV. “We know what they need, and we help them meet their time and logistics requirements. For example, we monitor jet quality seamlessly from the refinery to the plane. And of the jet we deliver, 70 percent is by pipeline. This is highly efficient, bringing jet to the airports without traffic and emissions. This obviously also reduces the risk of contamination during truck transport.” Logistic optimizations like these offer major benefits along the complete value chain, right down to the passengers.

There are just as many reasons for OMV to invest in aviation jet. While demand for conventional refinery products – like petrol or diesel – is expected to decline over the next decades, jet demand will continue to grow all over the globe. Birgitt Leißer quotes two reasons for this prediction: Even though plane engines are getting ever more efficient, the increasing number of flights worldwide still requires growing amounts of fuel. Also, in the medium term, there will hardly be any economically attractive alternatives to jet, which already today is a very efficient and powerful fuel.

OMV gets the refineries ready to meet this growing demand: Aviation fuel is one of the high-potential growth topics in refining, with the other being petrochemicals.

Environmental responsibility and CO2 reduction are two more topics that play an important role at the OMV aviation business: Already today, OMV is actively involved in the developing tomorrow’s aviation fuels: “In the future, jet could even be produced from algae oil. We have a research cooperation with aireg, the Aviation Initiative for Renewable Energy in Germany to investigate into this potential”, says Birgitt Leißer.

In the end, it’s all to meet the never-changing demand of all passengers: to get where they want to go, safely and reliably.

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