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OMV Schwechat Refinery is in full operation

Following the incident in June 2022 at the OMV Schwechat Refinery, it is now running at full capacity again. The alternative supply system, which was used to make up for the production restrictions of the Schwechat Refinery during the repairs, will be maintained as an additional source of supply for as long as necessary. This will allow reliable supply to the markets in addition to stocks being replenished more quickly.

During the legally required water pressure test as part of the final works on the turnaround of the OMV Schwechat Refinery, damage occurred to the outer skin on the main column of the crude oil distillation unit on June 3, 2022. A task force was put in place immediately and entrusted with restoring the facility and instantly setting up an alternative supply system to supply the markets served by the OMV Schwechat Refinery. 


In addition to the 800-strong OMV workforce at the Schwechat site, up to 320 other experts from various partner companies in Austria as well as Europe were deployed to carry out the repair and to guarantee and optimize the partial operation of the refinery.

The affected column is 50 meters high with an average diameter of 8 meters. Extensive dismantling and preparatory work began immediately after the incident along with ordering of materials and prefabrication for the repairs. The 100-ton column head was detached and lifted by a 70-meter-high crane to speed up the dismantling and repair process. A total of 200 metric tons of steel were processed into replacement parts and assembled and replaced in less than 16 weeks.
At the end of September, the legally required water pressure test on the main column of the crude distillation unit was successfully completed. After that, the precisely prepared commissioning process was implemented step by step. Following the successful maximization of throughput in all downstream units, the OMV Schwechat Refinery is now running at full capacity again.

Alternative supply system to be maintained 

The alternative supply system, which largely offset the production restrictions at the Schwechat Refinery during the repair, will be maintained as an additional source of supply for as long as necessary. OMV will continue to reliable supply the markets will in addition replenish the stocks quickly.
“Thanks to the flexibility, the support, the extraordinary commitment of all parties involved, the repair was completed without incident and the markets served by the OMV Schwechat Refinery continued to receive reliable supplies”, said Alfred Stern, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of OMV. “I would also like to thank the Austrian Federal Government and the members of the National Council as well as the relevant authorities and ministries in Slovakia and Hungary who helped to bridge bottlenecks and keep supply stable by releasing some of the mandatory emergency reserves”. 

Scaffold in main column of crude distillation unit to allow access for laser cleaning, testing companies and repair work | Credit: OMV / editorial use free of charge  (JPG, 673,7 KB)

Lifting of the column head during the dismantling work | OMV / editorial use free of charge  (JPG, 2,3 MB)

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 1,800 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.