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Innovation and New Technologies

OMV actively explores alternative feedstocks, technologies, and fuels with the aim of developing a well-diversified, competitive future portfolio. Additional attention is given to the production of conventional and advanced biofuels, synthetic fuels, and green hydrogen as precursors for sustainable feedstock for chemicals.

OMV is in the execution phase of the Co-Processing project at 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. This will reduce OMV’s carbon footprint by up to 360,000 by substituting fossil diesel. Operations are scheduled to begin in 2023. In 2022, OMV started pilot production of Sustainabile Aviation Fuel (SAF) from another co-processing route in Schwechat, and completed the first conversion runs of biogenic feedstock to ethylene in the refinery in Burghausen.

OMV secured a long-term contract with AustroCel Hallein to supply OMV with advanced bioethanol totalling 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.

OMV is assessing the potential production of advanced fuels made out of residue or waste streams. Unlike conventional biofuels, the use of advanced fuels is not capped. 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 currently constructing a pilot plant for the conversion of advanced glycerine to propanol. Commissioning is expected in the second half of 2023. OMV also collaborates with technology providers, industry partners, and academic institutions to assess the production of advanced biofuels and chemicals.

While the above mentioned 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 are working on the UpHy project with the intention of producing green hydrogen for use in both the mobility sector and the refining process. OMV is building an electrolysis plant at the Schwechat refinery for this purpose, to be powered with renewable electricity in order to produce zero-carbon hydrogen. The green hydrogen will initially be used for fuel hydrogenation, including biofuels and Sustainable Aviation Fuels.

OMV, together with partners including BASF and thyssenkrupp Uhde, has initiated the consortium Methanol-to-SAF (M2SAF). The aim of the M2SAF project is to develop a novel process technology to facilitate the selective production of SAF that can be used as a drop-in fuel up to 100%. This production process should generate only minimal additional CO2 emissions and should be easy to integrate into existing production plants. The starting point of the process is sustainably produced methanol from CO2 and green hydrogen. As part of the overall concept of renewable fuels, the M2SAF development project is being funded to the tune of EUR 3.1 mn by the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV). In addition to catalyst development, process development, plant integration, and the design of a demo plant, the project also includes techno-economic and environmental analysis, as well as related support for the certification and analysis of the new jet fuels.

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