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Update on the incident in the OMV Schwechat Refinery

  • New supply system established 
  • Inspection of affected units still ongoing

During the legally required water pressure test as part of the final work on the OMV Schwechat Refinery’s turnaround, significant damage occurred to the crude oil distillation unit on June 3, 2022, following a mechanical incident. This unit processes most of the crude oil into its various components, thereby preparing it for further processing in the refinery.

Immediately after the incident, a broad-based on-site task force was set up with the remit of investigating the incident and at the same time working on restoring operations.

In the first phase, a comprehensive inspection checklist is being ticked off, based on a broad selection of non-destructive testing methods. In addition, material samples are being taken and these are tested for defects in special testing laboratories. 

Parallel to this, work is already underway on a detailed repair concept, with the first step being to optimize material procurement. Based on this, the most suitable repair methods will be identified and a corresponding schedule drawn up. At present it is not yet possible to estimate the duration of the repair phase.
For the duration of the repairs, OMV has established a new supply system to supply the markets served by the OMV Schwechat Refinery. This system is based on three pillars:

1. OMV is using the capacities of the refinery network within the group to compensate for the loss of production in Schwechat in order to be able to temporarily supply the Schwechat site with feedstock and the Austrian market with larger product volumes.

2. The distillation capacities of a smaller available crude oil distillation unit are being maximized. In this way, all crude oil produced by OMV in Austria can continue to be processed without restriction. In addition, short-term adjustments are being examined to further increase the Schwechat Refinery’s existing production capacities. 

3. OMV will cooperate with partners and buy in products to make up for shortfalls. Work is currently underway with logistics partners to implement this new supply concept.

The release of fuel reserves by the Republic of Austria is a sensible measure that will secure supplies until the new supply system is fully in place.

Background information

OMV Aktiengesellschaft

With Group sales revenues of EUR 36 bn and a workforce of around 22,400 employees in 2021, OMV is amongst Austria’s largest listed industrial companies.

In Chemicals & Materials, OMV through its subsidiary Borealis, is one of the world’s leading providers of advanced and circular polyolefin solutions and a European market leader in base chemicals, fertilizers, and plastics recycling. Together with its two major joint ventures – Borouge (with ADNOC, in the UAE and Singapore) and Baystar™ (with TotalEnergies, in the USA) – Borealis supplies products and services to customers across the globe. OMV’s Refining & Marketing business produces and markets fuels as well as feedstock for the chemical industry, operates three refineries in Europe, and holds a 15% stake in a refining joint venture in the UAE. OMV operates around 2,100 filling stations in ten European countries. In addition, the activities include Gas & Power Eastern Europe where it also operates a gas-fired power plant in Romania. In Exploration & Production, OMV explores and produces oil and gas in the four core regions of Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, North Sea, and Asia-Pacific. Average daily production in 2021 included production from a joint venture in Russia and amounted to 486,000 boe/d with a focus on natural gas (~60%). As of March 1, 2022, Russian entities are no longer consolidated. Its activities include Gas Marketing Western Europe, where it also operates gas storage facilities in Austria and Germany. 

OMV intends to transition from an integrated oil, gas, and chemicals company to become a leading provider of innovative and sustainable fuels, chemicals, and materials, while taking a leading global role in the circular economy. By switching over to a low-carbon business, OMV is striving to achieve net zero in all three Scopes by 2050 at the latest.