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Investing in the future: OMV continues to expand petrochemicals business

  • First application worldwide of technology developed in collaboration with BASF for direct production of high-purity isobutene
  • EUR 64 mn investment announced: new ISO C4 unit for Burghausen Refinery
  • Integration into metathesis plant for maximum energy efficiency
  • New technology set to be licensed to third parties in future

OMV, the international, integrated oil and gas company headquartered in Vienna, has made the decision to invest EUR 64 mn in the construction of an ISO C4 plant – the building phase is now imminent: construction of the new plant will begin in summer 2019 at the Burghausen Refinery, with operations planned to start in September 2020. From this point onwards, high-purity isobutene will be produced in Burghausen using a brand new technology.

The idea behind the innovative method for heat integration came about through a collaboration by OMV and BASF and was jointly filed for a global patent by both companies. As a supplier of catalysts and licensor of petrochemicals technologies, BASF offers a catalyst system that intrinsically fulfils all process requirements. The new unit for the production of high-purity isobutene will be integrated into the existing metathesis plant at the OMV Burghausen Refinery, which is responsible for the energy-efficient manufacturing of propylene for the plastics industry. One major advantage here is the exceptional energy efficiency of the planned ISO C4 unit. The strategy developed by OMV for heat integration allows up to 80% of the heating energy required by the new process to be met by waste heat from existing facilities. The ISO C4 unit will have a production capacity of around 60,000 t/a.

Isobutene is part of the C4 hydrocarbons group and is produced from crude oil components by means of thermal cracking. The isobutene produced will complement the current OMV product portfolio and will be used for manufacturing glues, grease and other chemicals such as antioxidants, as well as in the production of vitamin C.

"The new ISO C4 unit is a further element that highlights OMV's talent for innovation. This exceptionally efficient and innovative technology has allowed us to raise the bar yet again in the petrochemicals sector following on from our metathesis plant that has been operational since 2007. In the medium to long term, the demand for fossil fuels will change, which will also affect the refining business. That is why the strategic focus of the OMV Downstream business lies in petrochemicals. We want to achieve long-term, sustainable growth and continue to strengthen our competitive position", said Thomas Gangl, OMV Executive Board member for Refining & Petrochemical Operations.

"With this seminal new technique for producing a key chemical, BASF is helping its customers to achieve more energy-efficient production. As the global market leader for process catalysts, we serve as a development partner for our customers and are proud to support OMV in becoming even more successful", said Detlef Ruff, Senior Vice President Process Catalysts at BASF.

Background information:

OMV Aktiengesellschaft
OMV produces and markets oil and gas, innovative energy and high-end petrochemical solutions – in a responsible way. With Group sales of EUR 23 bn and a workforce of more than 20,000 employees in 2018, OMV Aktiengesellschaft is one of Austria’s largest listed industrial companies. In Upstream, OMV has a strong base in Romania and Austria as part of the Central and Eastern Europe core region as well as a balanced international portfolio, with Russia, North Sea, Middle East and Africa as well as Asia-Pacific as further core regions. 2018 daily production stood at approximately 427,000 boe/d. In Downstream, OMV operates three refineries with a total annual processing capacity of 17.8 mn tons and more than 2,000 filling stations in ten countries. OMV runs gas storage facilities in Austria and Germany; its subsidiary Gas Connect Austria GmbH operates a gas pipeline network in Austria. In 2018, gas sales volumes amounted to around 114 TWh. Sustainability is an integral part of the corporate strategy. OMV is set to invest EUR 500 mn in innovative energy solutions by 2025.

OMV Deutschland GmbH
OMV Deutschland, headquartered in Burghausen, is an important supplier of petroleum products and petrochemicals-based substances in southern Germany. It is a 100% subsidiary of the OMV Group headquartered in Vienna, Austria. Its activities include the refinery, business customer and filling station business. OMV Deutschland currently runs around 280 filling stations, of which more than 220 are in Bavaria; this corresponds to a market share of nearly 10%. Additional filling stations are located in the German states of Baden-Württemberg and Hessen.
OMV´s tank farm in Feldkirchen, consisting of its own storage tanks and tanks operated on behalf of the Erdölbevorratungsverband (EBV), has guaranteed the supply of diesel and heating oil to the Greater Munich area and region since the early 1970s. Using kerosene from the Burghausen refinery, the Feldkirchen tank farm is Munich Airport's main supplier via a direct pipeline.
The refinery site in Burghausen is part of OMV's strategic refinery network and operates alongside the two other sites in Schwechat near Vienna and Petrobrazi in Romania. Burghausen has an annual processing capacity of around 3.8 million tonnes of crude oil. It produces middle distillates such as kerosene, diesel and heating oil. The focus of the refinery is not on producing gasoline, but concentrating instead on high-end petrochemical solutions – all of the naphtha is used in the production of petrochemicals-based substances, including ethylene, propylene and butadiene.

About BASF
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The approximately 122,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of around €63 billion in 2018. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. Further information at www.basf.com.


About BASF’s Catalysts Division
BASF’s Catalysts division is the world’s leading supplier of environmental and process catalysts. The group offers exceptional expertise in the development of technologies that protect the air we breathe, produce the fuels that power our world and ensure efficient production of a wide variety of chemicals, plastics and other products, including advanced battery materials. By leveraging our industry-leading R&D platforms, passion for innovation and deep knowledge of precious and base metals, BASF’s Catalysts division develops unique, proprietary solutions that drive customer success. Further information on BASF’s Catalysts division is available on the Internet at www.catalysts.basf.com.