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OMV invested almost EUR 30 mn in refinery location in Schwechat to expand butadiene production

  • Significant global growth potential for butadiene as basic material for chemical industry
  • OMV invested almost EUR 30 mn in extending butadiene plant in Schwechat
  • Capacity of plant increased by 30% to 60,000 tons p.a.
  • Project completed in-time and below budget

As part of OMV’s Refining and Marketing strategy, the extended butadiene plant at the refinery in Schwechat started operating on May 2, 2014. OMV is therefore driving forward with its strategic approach of focusing increasingly on petrochemical production at its refinery sites. Parallel to the extension of the butadiene plant in Schwechat, a new butadiene facility is being constructed at the OMV refinery in Burghausen (Germany), which is expected to go into operation in the second quarter of 2015. Butadiene is a key material in the chemical industry and is mainly used in the automotive sector and for producing tires.

Manfred Leitner, OMV Executive Board member responsible for Refining and Marketing, emphasizes the strategic importance of the decision: "With the extended plant we are building on the synergies of the Schwechat refinery with regards to petrochemicals. We are creating additional earnings potential and further improving our competitive position."

Global change in the refinery sector means that petrochemical derivatives play an increasingly important role internationally, alongside traditional oil products such as diesel, heating oil and fuels. "This is why OMV continues to focus on petrochemicals in its refinery activities, and invests in producing materials for strategic growth markets", adds Manfred Leitner.

The upgrade of the plant in Schwechat using state-of-the-art technologies began in September 2013 and was completed on April 26, 2014. Regular operations began on May 2. This means the refinery has increased its butadiene capacity by 30%, and can now produce 60,000 tons of butadiene per year.

The extended plant can still be run by the same number of employees. Up to 90 people were employed in the run-up to the six-week standstill of the plant, while as many as 300 people worked there each day during the upgrade. 

Background Information:

OMV Aktiengesellschaft
With Group sales of EUR 42.42 bn and a workforce of around 27,000 employees in 2013, OMV Aktiengesellschaft is Austria’s largest listed industrial company. The Exploration and Production business segment has a strong base in Romania and Austria and a growing international portfolio. 2013 daily production stood at approx. 288,000 boe/d. In Gas and Power, OMV sold approximately 425 TWh of gas in 2013. OMV operates a gas pipeline network in Austria and gas storage facilities in Austria and Germany with a capacity of 2.6 bcm. In Refining and Marketing OMV has an annual refining capacity of 17.4 mn tonnes and as of the end of 2013 approximately 4,200 filling stations in 11 countries including Turkey.

Butadiene is a gaseous, unsaturated hydrocarbon that is produced in the petrochemicals section of the refinery as a by-product of ethylene steam in the cracking process. It is an important material for the plastics industry that is very difficult to substitute with other materials. The gas is primarily used in manufacturing tires. In combination with other materials it produces properties such as good traction under all weather conditions, higher mileage, lower tire noise, lighter weight and lower rolling resistance. These factors make a notable contribution to safety as well as reducing fuel consumption and cutting CO2 emissions in cars. Additionally, butadiene plays a key role in plastics processing for the automotive industry and in manufacturing high-quality rubber and latex products in the medical sector for example, but also in the textile, sport, toy and computer sectors.