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Regular inspections at the Schwechat refinery

May 6, 2010 - 12:00 pm(CET)

  • Part of the OMV refinery in Schwechat will be shut down as planned from 13th May to the end of June 2010 in order to carry out a comprehensive routine safety inspection. 
  • Cleaning, inspection and preventive maintenance measures to be carried out within one-and-a-half months.
  • The safety of employees, partner companies and residents is of paramount importance.

From 13th May around half of the plants in the OMV refinery at Schwechat will be shut down for a period of one-and-a-half months. This will include the crude oil distillation plant 4, which forms the “heart” of the refinery. The objective of this routine shutdown is to undertake a thorough cleaning, inspection and maintenance of plant parts. The shutdown takes place every six years and is a legal requirement. The key priority during the shutdown is to ensure safety and that the respect of residents is given maximum consideration.

Highly efficient machinery with impressive output volumes is to be found at the extensive OMV site in Schwechat: the OMV refinery – which at 1.42 square kilometres is almost as large as 200 football fields – processes around 9 million tonnes of crude oil a year.

During the 6-week inspection of the refinery, the crude oil supply is halted and the plants are cleansed of hydrocarbon with the aid of steam and nitrogen. In the final stages, the plants are taken apart and cleaned. During this process the plant parts are thoroughly inspected and subjected to pressure tests, while any necessary repairs are carried out.

The scope of the inspection is considerable: within a six-week period, maintenance and inspection work is carried out on one turbine, three compressors, 12 process ovens, 30 columns, 376 heat exchangers, 341 containers, 2,100 mountings and 620 safety valves and pipelines are overhauled. In addition, the measuring and control equipment is given a service.

Two investment projects will also be implemented during the shutdown. The distillation columns for the processing of crude oil will be adapted and/or rebuilt. This will involve the renewal of around 1.8 km of pipeline and the processing of 290 tonnes of steel. A high-pressure steam distribution system will be replaced in heating and power station 1 (400 m of pipeline, 70 tonnes of steel).

The extensive preparations for this were already started two years ago. All measures are part of a plan that has been worked out to the smallest detail to ensure that the process runs smoothly and that optimum use is made of the planned time frame.

Around 1,800 additional skilled personnel will be working at the refinery from May to June. The OMV will also deal with numerous partner companies from Austria and Europe.

Safety is the number one priority 
As far back as 2008, the “2010+ safety initiative” was created for the planned shutdown to ensure that all work is safely carried out. The refinery staff and any partner companies were fully sensitised to safety aspects through an information campaign.

“Safe working and compliance with all safety requirements are the top priority during the shutdown,” said refinery director Gerhard Wagner. “At the same time we will ensure that we will have as little impact as possible on the neighbouring area.”

The implementation of additional personnel will lead to higher levels of traffic. As a result, a temporary car park will be built next to the A4 Ostautobahn motorway.

During the entire shutdown period, a “green phone line” will be available on a 24-hour basis to deal with any questions from residents. The number is 0043 664 9108787.

Background information:
OMV Aktiengesellschaft:

OMV Aktiengesellschaft is one of the largest listed industrial companies in Austria. In 2009, group turnover was EUR 17.92 billion and the total workforce was 34,676. OMV group is a leading energy group in the European growth belt. It is active in the area of refinery and marketing (R&M) in 12 countries, and provides exploration and production (E&P) services in 17 countries on four continents. The gas and power (G&P) division sells around 13.1 billion m³ of gas a year. G&P transports around 75 billion m³ of natural gas annually through its 2,000 km Austrian gas network. OMV’s Central European Gas Hub has an annual trading volume of 23 billion m³ and is therefore one of the most important gas hubs in Continental Europe.

OMV is the leading energy group in the European growth belt with oil and gas reserves of around 1.19 boe, a daily production of around 317,000 boe in 2009 and an annual refining capacity of around 26 million tonnes. OMV also operates around 2,433 petrol stations. The group’s share of the R&M market in the Danube region is therefore around 20%.

OMV has further expanded its leading position in the European growth belt through the acquisition of 41.58% of Petrol Ofisi, Turkey’s leading petroleum distribution company.

In June 2006 the group set up its own company called OMV Future Energy Fund to provide funding of more than EUR 100 million for renewable energy projects. With this move, OMV begins its transition from a pure crude oil and natural gas company into an energy company that also has renewable energy in its portfolio.

OMV has signed the UN Global Compact and actively supports the values it has committed to in its code of conduct. It assumes responsibility for people and the environment, particularly in socially and economically sensitive regions. The OMV continually takes into account economic, ecological and social aspects in all of its business activities. The company provides a regular sustainability report that is published at the same time as its annual report and thereby adheres to the internationally recognised reporting standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

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