07 May 2013 12:18 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--OMV is to invest €230m ($303m) in building a new butadiene (BD) plant in Germany and upgrading an existing plant in Austria, the Austrian oil, gas and petrochemicals group said on Tuesday.
Significant growth in worldwide demand for BD, mainly used in the manufacturing of tyres, has led OMV to commit to a new plant at its Burghausen refinery and petrochemical site in Germany and the upgrade of its current plant at the Schwechat refinery and petrochemical site in Austria, it added.
Manfred Leitner, the OMV executive board member responsible for refining and marketing, said: “We are investing in these facilities in order to build on the synergies from our sites in Burghausen and Schwechat as regards petrochemicals. By optimising our production portfolio we gain a significant additional increase in earnings potential and can improve our competitive position long-term”.
Global change in the refinery sector means that in addition to classic oil products such as diesel, heating oil and fuels, Europe will see petrochemical oil derivatives taking on a more important role, OMV said.
“This is why OMV’s refining focus continues to involve petrochemicals and the investment in producing essential materials for the emerging growth markets,” Leitner said.
“OMV has been producing butadiene in Schwechat for decades. We are convinced that we can exploit economies of scale and synergies between the two refineries as regards the planned extension and new construction at the butadiene plants at our Schwechat and Burghausen sites,” he added.
Once the investments at the two sites were completed, OMV would account for approximately 6% of BD production in Europe, Leitner estimated.
The extended plant in Schwechat was expected to start operations in June 2014, while the operational start of the new construction in Burghausen was planned for the second quarter of 2015, OMV said.
BD is an unsaturated, gaseous hydrocarbon produced as a byproduct of the C4 generated by a cracking process in the production of ethylene.
In combination with other materials, BD in tyres exhibits properties such as good traction in any weather conditions, higher mileage, lower tyre noise, lighter weight, and lower rolling resistance, OMV said.
These factors make an important contribution to safety, reducing fuel consumption and cutting a vehicle’s CO2 emissions, it added.
BD also plays a key role in plastics processing for the automotive industry and in the manufacturing of high-quality rubber and latex products, for example in the medical sector, the company noted.
($1 = €0.76)
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