Vienna-based OMV announced it will invest over 170 mullion to build Europe’s largest sorting plant to produce feedstock for chemical recycling. The facility will have a capacity of up to 260,000 tonnes per year and will be located in Walldürn, Germany. The start of production is expected for 2026.
The new sorting plant will be developed and operated by Germany-based waste sorter and plastics recycler Interzero, which already operates five sorting plants for lightweight packaging in Germany and sorts about a third of the country’s lightweight packaging, equivalent to over 800,000 metric tonnes per year. OMV will hold 89.9 percent of the shares in the joint venture whilst Interzero will own 10.1 per cent of the shares.
The facility will be the first of its kind to produce feedstock for OMV’s pyrolysis technology, ReOil, on a large industrial scale. The input for the sorting plant will consist of mixed plastics that cannot currently be mechanically recycled, especially those collected separately from the yellow bag and the yellow bin recycling system in Germany.
“Technology and innovation are at the heart of progress,” said Dr. Alfred Stern, CEO of OMV. “This is why we are investing and forming partnerships to develop innovative technologies and scale them up to an industrial level. Our stated strategic goal is to become a leading provider of solutions for sustainable fuels, chemicals, and materials, as well as to play a key role in the circular economy. This joint project with Interzero will provide feedstock for our ReOil technology, which in turn will transform it into high-quality sustainable raw materials for plastics production. In this way, we are making a significant contribution to the creation of a circular economy for plastics.”
The chairman of Interzero, Dr. Axel Schweitzer, said that Interzero’s sorting plants are fully automatic and do not require any manual sorting. ‘I am convinced that with the aid of chemical recycling, the recycling rate in Germany can and will increase significantly in the future’, he said.
OMV is currently building a new ReOil plant with a capacity of 16,000 tonnes per year at its Schwechat refinery in Austria. The company plans to extend its capacity to 200,000 tonnes per year by 2026.