OMV and ALBA reach exclusive agreement on the construction of an innovative sorting plant


+++ Planning of an innovative state-of-the-art sorting plant by ALBA with a capacity of more than 200,000 t/year in Walldürn, Germany, to process mixed plastics into raw materials for OMV’s chemical recycling +++ Within the framework of the strategic partnership, both partners combine complementary strengths and capabilities to take a further step towards the goal of a world without waste +++ Final investment decision in 2022


Berlin/Vienna. OMV, the Vienna-based international integrated oil, gas and chemical company, and ALBA Recycling, a raw materials provider and leader in recycling and waste prevention solutions, announce they are in exclusive discussions to jointly build and operate an innovative sorting facility in Walldürn, Germany, to further sort mixed plastics for chemical recycling. A final investment decision is expected in 2022.


ALBA Recycling operates five sorting plants for lightweight packaging in Germany and sorts around one third of Germany’s lightweight packaging waste – over 800,000 t per year. ALBA Recycling thus currently has the largest recycling capacity in Germany and plants with high performance and a high recycling rate.


The cooperation ensures the supply of OMV with high-quality sustainable raw materials for chemical recycling by ALBA Recycling to close the loop for plastics. An innovative state-of-the-art sorting facility developed by ALBA Recycling will have the capacity to process over 200,000 tons of mixed waste plastics per year into suitable raw materials for the production of virgin polyolefins. This innovative sorting process enables the further recovery of polyolefins from a waste fraction that currently goes to incineration. This innovative sorting process was tested on an industrial scale, and the product was successfully processed as a feedstock in OMV’s ReOil® pilot plant.


Maximilian Grasserbauer, OMV Vice President Plastic to Plastic: “End-of-life plastics have a significant impact on the environment. Reducing this impact while maintaining the usefulness of plastics requires a shift to a more circular plastics system. Chemical recycling such as the ReOil® process is the ideal complement to established mechanical recycling processes. In ALBA we see a promising cooperation partner with many years of expertise in recycling used plastics, and with whom we would like to invest in the future. Into an innovative future that enables a more comprehensive circular economy for plastic waste.”


“We are pleased to be able to combine OMV’s sophisticated chemical recycling with our world-leading sorting technology, thereby taking the next step towards a circular economy and a world without waste,” says Dr. Axel Schweitzer, owner of ALBA Recycling. “Chemical recycling is not a competitor to mechanical recycling because mechanical recycling is the most efficient way to deal with mono fractions from the sorting process. However, chemical recycling is the only option for mixed plastic waste such as mixed and multilayer plastics. We urgently need to recycle this material as well to close the loop for our customers. OMV and ALBA Recycling will make mixed plastic waste, which is currently incinerated, an important source of raw materials to produce enough recycled material for sustainable production of goods and packaging.”


More than a decade ago, OMV was one of the first companies to develop a technology for the chemical recycling of used plastics. At the Schwechat refinery in Austria, the ReOil® pilot plant, which can process 100 kg of waste plastics into 100 liters of synthetic feedstock per hour, has been in operation since 2018. The pilot plant has been running for a total of 14,500 hours since its commissioning, enabling an improvement of the thermal cracking process and a further expansion of the ReOil® technology. OMV has made the final investment decision for an enlarged demo plant with a capacity of 16,000 tons per year, which is scheduled to come on stream in 2023. OMV’s goal is to build an economically viable large-scale plant by 2026.


Background information – OMV Aktiengesellschaft


OMV produces and markets oil and gas, as well as chemical products and solution concepts in a responsible manner and develops innovative solutions for a circular economy. With consolidated sales of EUR 36 billion and a workforce of around 22,400 in 2021, OMV is one of Austria’s largest listed industrial companies. In Exploration & Production, OMV has a strong base in Central and Eastern Europe and a balanced international portfolio with Middle East & Africa, North Sea and Asia Pacific as core regions. In 2021, average daily production was 486,000 boe/d with a focus on natural gas production. In Refining & Marketing, OMV operates three refineries in Europe and holds a 15% stake in ADNOC Refining and ADNOC Global Trading, with a total capacity of around 500,000 bbl/d. The company operates around 2,100 service stations in ten European countries. OMV has gas storage facilities in Austria as well as Germany. In 2021, OMV sold 196 TWh of natural gas. In Chemicals & Materials, OMV, through its subsidiary Borealis, is one of the world’s leading suppliers of advanced and circular polyolefin solutions and the European market leader in basic chemicals, plant nutrients and mechanical recycling of plastics. Together with its two major joint ventures – Borouge (with ADNOC, in the UAE and Singapore) and Baystar™ (with TotalEnergies, in the USA), Borealis provides products and services to customers around the world. Sustainability is an integral part of OMV’s corporate strategy. OMV supports the transition to a lower-carbon economy and has set measurable targets for CO2 intensity reduction and the introduction of new energy and petrochemical solutions.