The longstanding partnership between OMV and Borealis - the OMV Schwechat Refinery operates integrated petrochemical production facilities and has supplied Borealis with petrochemical feedstock since 1998 – is now being taken to the next level. The two companies are now jointly examining the feasibility of chemically recycling post-consumer plastics with the development of the OMV ReOil innovation project.
The synergy potential is considerable: Borealis, a major polyolefin producer, has acquired two recycling companies as part of its focus on developing a roadmap for the circular economy. OMV has been exploring the potential of post-consumer plastics since 2011 and is now working on scaling up the ReOil process.
"What this cooperation shows is that we move from mechanical to chemical recycling, to expand our tech portfolio to advance the circular economy of plastics – this is a strategic objective for us, hence we do invest in all our activities under the EverMinds umbrella,” said Borealis in correspondence with PNE.
The OMV Schwechat Refinery processes crude oil into high-quality feedstock for Borealis. Plastic waste is recycled into synthetic crude in the OMV ReOil pilot plant and reused in the refinery, providing a closed circle economy.
“Borealis is a perfect fit for us,” said Thomas Gangl, OMV senior vice president Refining & Petrochemicals.
Both companies strongly believe that post-consumer plastics are a valuable resource that should not be thrown away.
“Next to our existing solutions for mechanical recycling for plastics, this co-operation with OMV on chemical recycling of plastic waste to be used as a feedstock for polyolefins solutions is an important and concrete step for our circular economy strategy,” Thomas Van De Velde, Borealis senior vice president Hydrocarbons & Energy.”
The OMV ReOil pilot plant has been fully integrated into the refinery and has a processing capacity of up to 100 kilograms per hour, equivalent to 100 litres of synthetic crude. This crude is processed either into feedstock for the plastics industry or fuel and creates a resource-efficient circular economy. One more scale-up step of the plant is planned before reaching final industrial-scale capacity.