OMV, the international, integrated oil, gas and chemicals company headquartered in Vienna, has taken the final investment decision to build a chemical recycling demo plant, based on its proprietary ReOil technology. With this, OMV is taking the next step toward an industrial-scale plant planned for 2026.
The patented chemical recycling technology, developed by OMV, converts plastic waste into synthetic feedstock, under moderate pressure and normal refinery operating temperatures, which is then primarily used to produce again high-quality plastics.
OMV was among the first companies to develop a chemical recycling technology for used plastics more than a decade ago. A ReOil pilot plant has been operating in the Schwechat refinery since 2018, capable of processing 100 kilograms of used plastics into 100 litres of synthetic feedstock per hour. The pilot plant has been running for a total of 13,000 hours since its commissioning and thus enabled an improvement in the thermal cracking process and supported the further scale-up of the ReOil technology.
The current investment covers the construction of a ReOil demo plant with a design capacity of 16,000 tonnes/year at the OMV site in Schwechat, Austria. Production startup is planned for early 2023. The demo plant will turn plastic waste that is not fit to be mechanically recycled and would otherwise be sent to waste incineration into a valuable resource. The feedstock will be sourced in Austria, in close cooperation with local waste management companies, and will consist mainly of polyolefins. Examples of such plastic waste include food packaging, plastic cups, lids from takeaway coffee and confectionery packaging.
“The ReOil pilot plant has shown that we are on the right track with our in-house developed technology and with our efforts in this field,” said Alfred Stern, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board of OMV Aktiengesellschaft. “We are confident that chemical recycling can complement the available mechanical recycling technologies and that it represents a sustainable and profitable solution. With the decision to build a demo plant, we are now taking the next step toward a circular economy and thus toward reducing our CO2 emissions.”
The plant will be fully integrated within the petrochemical site at the Schwechat refinery, enabling OMV to guarantee the best use of resources, maximum efficiency, and the highest industrial safety standards, while creating around 50 new jobs. It represents an important step toward developing ReOil into a commercially viable, industrial-scale chemical recycling technology with a processing capacity of up to 200,000 tonnes/year by 2026.