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EUR 230 mn investment in butadiene production

May 7, 2013 - 12 am (CET)

  • OMV to invest around EUR 230 mn in new butadiene plant for the Burghausen refinery in Germany and upgrading of the existing plant in Schwechat, Austria
  • OMV is progressing with plant modernization and once again increasing synergies within its refinery network
  • Butadiene is key material for plastics industry and holds significant growth potential

OMV has taken a strategic investment decision for butadiene production at its two refinery sites, Burghausen (Germany) and Schwechat (Austria) as part of its Refining & Marketing strategy. Around EUR 230 mn has been earmarked for building a new butadiene plant in the Burghausen refinery’s petrochemical part and upgrading the existing plant in Schwechat. Butadiene is a key material for the plastics industry and is mainly used in the automotive sector and for producing tires. Demand for butadiene is experiencing significant growth worldwide. OMV is thereby making another early move in expanding the refinery market and driving forward the ongoing optimization and integration of its multiple refineries.

Manfred Leitner, OMV Executive Board member responsible for Refining and Marketing, emphasizes the strategic importance of this decision: “We are investing in these facilities in order to build on the synergies from our sites in Burghausen and Schwechat as regards petrochemicals. By optimizing our production portfolio we gain a significant additional increase in earnings potential and can improve our competitive position long-term”. 

Global change in the refinery sector means that, in addition to classic oil products such as diesel, heating oil and fuels, Europe will see petrochemical oil derivatives taking on a more important role. “This is why OMV’s refining focus continues to involve petrochemicals and the investment in producing essential materials for the emerging growth markets”, continues Leitner. “OMV has been producing butadiene in Schwechat for decades. We are convinced that we can exploit economies of scale and synergies between the two refineries as regards the planned extension and new construction at the butadiene plants at our Schwechat and Burghausen sites. In future these two sites will enable OMV to cover around six percent of total butadiene production in Europe.”

The extended butadiene plant in Schwechat is expected to start operations in June 2014, while the operational start of the new construction in Burghausen is planned for the second quarter 2015.

Butadiene – a key material for the plastics industry
Butadiene is an unsaturated, gaseous hydrocarbon produced in the petrochemicals section of the refinery as a byproduct of the C4 generated by a cracking process in the production of ethylene. It is an important material for the plastics industry which is very difficult to substitute with other materials. The gas is primarily used in the production of automobile tires. In combination with other materials it exhibits properties such as good traction in any weather conditions, higher mileage, lower tire noise, lighter weight, and lower rolling resistance. These factors make an important contribution to safety, reducing fuel consumption and cutting a vehicle’s CO2 emissions. Furthermore, butadiene plays a key role in plastics processing for the automotive industry and manufacturing high-quality rubber and latex products, for example in the medical sector. 

Background information:

OMV Aktiengesellschaft
With Group sales of EUR 42.65 bn and a workforce of around 29,000 employees in 2012, OMV Aktiengesellschaft is Austria’s largest listed industrial company. In Exploration and Production, OMV is active in two core countries Romania and Austria and holds a balanced international portfolio. OMV had proven oil and gas reserves of approximately 1.12 bn boe as of year-end 2012 and a production of around 303,000 boe/d in 2012. In Gas and Power, OMV sold approximately 437 TWh of gas in 2012. In Austria, OMV operates a 2,000 km long gas pipeline network with a marketed capacity of around 103 bcm in 2012. With a trading volume of around 528 TWh, OMV’s gas trading platform, the Central European Gas Hub, is amongst the most important hubs in Continental Europe. In Refining and Marketing, OMV has an annual refining capacity of 22 mn t and as of the end of 2012 approximately 4,400 filling stations in 13 countries including Turkey. OMV further strengthened its position through the ownership of a 97% stake in Petrol Ofisi, Turkey’s leading company in the retail and commercial business.

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