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OMV and ALBA enter exclusive agreement to build an innovative sorting plant

  • Innovative, state-of-the-art plant design by ALBA for a 200,000+ t/pa sorting plant in Walldürn, Germany, to process mixed plastic waste into feedstock for OMV chemical recycling operations 
  • The strategic partnership combines the complementary strengths and capabilities of both parties aiming at another step towards a world without waste
  • Final investment decision is expected in 2022

OMV, the international, integrated oil, gas and chemicals company, headquartered in Vienna, and ALBA Recycling, the raw materials provider and leader in recycling and zero waste solutions, announce that they have started exclusive discussions to jointly build and operate an innovative sorting plant in Walldürn, Germany, for the further sorting of mixed plastic waste for chemical recycling. A final investment decision is expected in 2022.

ALBA Recycling operates five sorting plants in Germany for lightweight packaging and sorts roughly one third of Germany’s lightweight packaging waste – over 800,000 t per year. ALBA Recycling thereby has Germany’s biggest sorting capacity at present combined with high output quality and high recycling rates. 

The collaboration will secure the delivery of high-quality suitable feedstock for chemical recycling from ALBA Recycling to OMV to help close the loop for plastics. An innovative state-of-the-art sorting plant designed by ALBA Recycling will have the capacity to process 200,000+ t per year of post-consumer mixed waste into suitable feedstock for the production of virgin polyolefins. This innovative sorting process facilitates the further extraction of polyolefins from a waste fraction that currently requires incineration. This innovative sorting process has been tested at industrial scale and the output has been successfully processed as feedstock in OMV’s ReOil® pilot plant. 

Maximilian Grasserbauer, OMV Vice President Plastic to Plastic: “Used plastics have a significant impact on the environment and climate. Reducing such impacts while retaining the usefulness of plastics requires a shift towards a more circular plastics system. Chemical recycling like the ReOil® process is the ideal addition to well-established mechanical recycling methods. In ALBA, we see a very promising cooperation partner who has many years of expertise in recycling used plastics and with whom we would like to invest in the future. In an innovative future that enables a bigger circular economy for plastic waste”.

“We are delighted to combine the sophisticated chemical recycling of OMV with our world-leading sorting technology to take the next step in the circular economy for a world without waste”, said Dr. Axel Schweitzer, owner of ALBA Recycling. “Chemical recycling is not a rival for mechanical recycling as mechanical recycling is the most efficient way to deal with mono-fractions from the sorting process. But chemical recycling is the only solution for mixed plastic waste like composite and multilayer plastics. We urgently need to recycle this material as well to close the loop for our customers. OMV and ALBA Recycling will turn this mixed plastic waste, which is incinerated today, into an important source to produce enough recycling material for the sustainable production of goods and packaging.”

OMV was among the first companies to develop a technology for the chemical recycling of used plastics more than a decade ago. A ReOil® pilot plant has been operating in the Schwechat Refinery in Austria since 2018, capable of turning 100 kg of used plastics into 100 liters of synthetic feedstock per hour. The pilot plant has been running for a total of 14,500 hours since its commissioning, enabling an improvement in the thermal cracking process and supporting the further scale up of the ReOil® technology. OMV has taken the final investment decision for a scaled-up demo plant with a capacity of 16,000 t per year, set to start operations in 2023. Ultimately, OMV’s goal is to establish a commercially viable, industrial-scale plant by 2026.

Background information

OMV Aktiengesellschaft
OMV produces and markets oil and gas, as well as chemical products and solutions in a responsible way and develops innovative solutions for a circular economy. With Group sales revenues of EUR 36 bn and a workforce of around 22,400 employees 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 as well as a balanced international portfolio, with Middle East & Africa, the North Sea and Asia-Pacific as core regions. Daily average production was 486,000 boe/d in 2021 with an emphasis on natural gas. In Refining & Marketing, OMV operates three refineries in Europe and owns a 15% share in ADNOC Refining and ADNOC Global Trading, with a total processing capacity of around 500,000 bbl/d. Furthermore, OMV operates about 2,100 filling stations in ten European countries and runs gas storage facilities in Austria and Germany. In 2021, total natural gas sales volumes amounted to 196 TWh. In Chemicals & Materials, OMV, through its subsidiary Borealis, is one of the world’s leading providers of advanced and circular polyolefin solutions and a European market leader in base chemicals, fertilizers and the mechanical recycling of plastics. The company supplies services and products to customers around the globe through Borealis and its two important joint ventures: Borouge (with ADNOC, based in UAE and Singapore) and Baystar™ (with TotalEnergies, based in the US). 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 reducing carbon intensity as well as for the implementation of new energy and petrochemical solutions.

ALBA Recycling GmbH
ALBA Recycling GmbH, the European leader for plastic recycling and part of the environmental services provider Interseroh, develops, builds and operates plants for the recycling of used packaging. These are unique plants for sorting packaging from the collection of the Yellow Bin/Yellow Bag as well as recyclables bin at various locations in Germany. The plants are considered the most modern and advanced in Europe with the highest recycling rates. In addition, next to sorting, ALBA is a leader in the field of mechanical recycling and compounding. ALBA Recycling GmbH operates a recycling plant for plastics in Eisenhüttenstadt, where the recyclates Recythen and Procyclen are manufactured using Interseroh’s award-winning production process “Recycled-Resource”. ALBA recycles over 40.000 tonnes of polyethylene and polypropylene, applying knowledge from Interseroh’s own competence centre for recycling plastics in Maribor, Slovenia. The products from Eisenhüttenstadt are used for multiple applications, including design products.

Henning Krumrey
Head of Corporate Communication & Political Relations
Phone: +49 30 35182-5050 or +49 151 14659008
Henning.Krumrey@albagroup.de