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Innovation and New Technologies

OMV actively explores alternative feedstock, technologies, and fuels with the aim of developing a well-diversified, competitive future portfolio. Efforts and resources focus on chemical recycling for post-consumer plastic waste. Additional attention is given to the production of conventional and advanced biofuels, synthetic fuels, and green hydrogen as future fuels for the hard-to-electrify transportation segment, and as precursors for sustainable chemicals.

OMV has taken important steps in 2021 for reducing the carbon footprint of the fuels product portfolio by launching the new innovative fuels OMV EcoMotion Diesel and OMV EcoPerform Diesel for business customers. OMV EcoMotion Diesel contains up to 33% renewable components. Thanks to this high share of bio-components and carbon offsetting of the remaining share, this 100% carbon-neutral diesel is the first of its kind in Austria.

OMV has also taken steps to implement the Co-Processing technology in the Schwechat refinery. This technology enables OMV to process biogenic feedstocks (e.g., domestic rapeseed oil) together with fossil-based materials in an existing refinery hydrotreating plant during the fuel refining process. The final investment decision amounting to around EUR 200 mn for converting a refinery plant to produce 160,000 of biofuels per year was made in 2020. This will reduce OMV’s carbon footprint by up to 360,000 t by substituting fossil diesel. Operations are scheduled to begin by 2023.

OMV signed a supply contract with AustroCel Hallein to supply OMV with advanced bioethanol totaling up to 1.5 mn l per month starting in January 2021. This will reduce emissions by around 45,000 t of CO2 per year.

Unlike conventional biofuels, advanced fuels do not compete with food production. The amount that can be blended into the fuel pool is not capped, as is the case with waste-based fuels. The principal sources of advanced fuels include biomass fraction from mixed municipal or industrial waste, straw, animal manure, or residues from forestry and wood processing as well as waste streams. OMV is developing its own proprietary technology to convert one of these biomasses into advanced fuel. The next step is a pilot plant at the Schwechat refinery. OMV also collaborates with technology providers, industry partners, and academic institutions to produce advanced biofuels at scale.

While the above bio- and synthetic products will predominantly be sold as fuels initially due to a mandated market, they can also be used as chemical feedstock.

OMV and its partners working on the UpHy project intend to produce green hydrogen for use in both the mobility sector and the refining process. OMV is developing an electrolysis plant at the Schwechat refinery for this purpose, to be powered with renewable electricity, to produce zero-carbon hydrogen. The green hydrogen will initially be used for fuel hydrogenation. However, the ultimate goal is to develop commercial hydrogen fuel cells for transportation applications such as commercial buses and trucks. As a pioneer in hydrogen mobility, OMV operates five hydrogen filling stations in Austria. In 2020, OMV together with Daimler Trucks AG, IVECO, Shell, and the Volvo Group launched the H2Accelerate program. These partners are committed to creating the conditions necessary for a mass-market roll-out of hydrogen trucks in Europe. Fleets are expected to operate first in regional clusters and along European high-capacity corridors. Over time, the clusters are going to be interconnected into a pan-European network.

OMV opened its first filling station for heavy-duty trucks in Himberg in September 2021. This is another step toward the future of alternative fuels and sustainable mobility underpinned by the freedom provided by technological solutions.

During 2021, OMV continued installing photovoltaic panels on filling stations in multiple countries. They have now been installed on 170 filling stations with the aim of continuing this expansion in 2022. The panels reduce the carbon footprint of filling stations and improve the economic efficiency of operations.

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