The international, integrated oil, gas and chemicals company, OMV and Wood, a global consulting and engineering company in the energy and materials markets sector, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enter into a mutually exclusive collaboration agreement for the commercial licensing of OMV’s proprietary ReOil® technology. The two companies aim to agree on binding cooperation by mid-2023.
ReOil is a patented chemical recycling technology developed by OMV, which converts end-of-life plastic waste into pyrolysis oil (also known as bio-oil). End-of-life plastics are not suitable to be mechanically recycled and would otherwise be landfilled or sent to waste incineration.
The ReOil process operates under moderate pressure and normal refinery operating temperatures. The pyrolysis oil is then primarily used again to produce high-quality, sustainable plastics.
OMV was one of the first companies to develop a chemical recycling technology for used plastics more than a decade ago.
“We are delighted to enter into this collaboration with Wood and look forward to providing a licensing offer which will further enable global licensees to make use of future circular economy solutions. This is in line with OMV’s strategic vision to undergo a fundamental shift from a linear to a circular business approach”, said OMV’s Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO, Alfred Stern.
A ReOil pilot plant has been operating in the OMV refinery in Schwechat, Austria, since 2018 and has been processing end-of-life plastics for more than 17,000 hours to date. In December 2021, OMV took the final investment decision to build a 16,000 tonnes/year ReOil demo plant at the OMV site in Schwechat, which aims to start operation in 2023.
According to OMV’s press release, the demo plant, like the existing pilot plant, will have International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC PLUS), ensuring traceability along the supply chain and verification that the value chain meets environmental and social standards. The demo plant will comply with the highest industry safety standards and will be fully integrated within the petrochemical site at the Schwechat refinery, enabling OMV to guarantee the best use of resources and maximum efficiency.
By the end of 2026, OMV plans to further scale-up ReOil into a fully industrial-scale chemical recycling plant with a processing capacity of 200,000 t/year at the Schwechat refinery. The highly efficient and fully scalable technology displaces conventional feedstock for plastic production and can generate substantial greenhouse gas emission savings compared to plastic incineration, as concluded in a life cycle assessment conducted by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in 2022.
“Our collaboration with OMV is providing a solution that addresses a tangible need facing industrial sectors today,” commented Ken Gilmartin, Chief Executive Officer at Wood. “This technology allows end-of-life plastic waste to be reused and is a great example of how circular economy principles can help to create value and deliver a more sustainable future. We are delighted to work with OMV in supporting the licencing of this technology.”
OMV and Wood intend to bring the ReOil technology to the market together and explore the potential to integrate some of Wood’s other complementary technologies. The companies will do so by establishing a joint “technology and engineering delivery team”, which will support clients through the whole process of adopting and successfully implementing the technology at their sites – ReOil licenses will be provided with full asset life cycle support.