OMV will build an innovative sorting plant developed by Interzero to produce feedstock for chemical recycling. In total, OMV will invest an amount of over EUR 170mn to build this state-of-the-art facility in Walldürn, southern Germany. OMV will hold 89.9 percent of the shares in the joint venture and 10.1 per cent of the shares will belong to Interzero, Europe’s leading provider of circular economy solutions.
Production start of the new plant is expected to take place in 2026. Around 120 new jobs will be created at the new site. The groundbreaking ceremony is already scheduled for November 20, 2023, with guests from politics expected to attend.
The sorting facility will be the first of its kind to produce feedstock for OMV’s chemical recycling on a large industrial scale. The ReOil® technology developed and patented by OMV is a chemical recycling innovation that converts plastic waste that cannot be mechanically recycled into pyrolysis oil – a valuable resource. The input for the sorting plant essentially involves mixed plastics that have not been recyclable until now, 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. 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,” Dr. Alfred Stern, CEO of OMV, said.
“With Interzero, we are pursuing our vision of a world without waste. Chemical recycling and mechanical recycling can complement each other and help us make this vision a reality. I am convinced that with the aid of chemical recycling, the recycling rate in Germany can and will increase significantly in the future. Our unique, fully automated sorting plant, which does not require any manual sorting, is an important step towards giving a second life to raw materials that were previously sent for incineration. Closing loops requires strong partners. Together we want to think long-term and take our pioneering Interzero expertise in the licensing of packaging, and in sorting in particular and combine it with OMV’s leading expertise in chemical recycling to close this raw material loop as well,” Dr. Axel Schweitzer, Chairman and owner of Interzero, added.
Interzero operates five sorting plants for lightweight packaging in Germany and sorts about a third of Germany’s lightweight packaging waste in the form of over 800,000 metric tonnes per year. This means that the company has the largest sorting capacity in Europe at present and is the technology leader.
The cooperation between OMV and Interzero will ensure the supply of sustainable and high-quality feedstock for OMV’s chemical recycling, helping to close the loop for plastics. The innovative, state-of-the-art sorting facility developed by Interzero will be capable of processing up to 260,000 tonnes of mixed waste plastics per year, providing the raw materials for the production of virgin polyolefins. This innovative sorting process will make it possible to recover a polyolefin-rich fraction from a waste stream that currently ends up in thermal recycling. In terms of the waste hierarchy, the focus is on waste plastics that are not suitable for mechanical recycling. This ensures that chemical recycling does not compete with mechanical recycling. The sorting process used in the new facility has already been tested on an industrial scale and the product has been successfully processed as feedstock in OMV’s ReOil® pilot plant.
A new ReOil® plant with a capacity of 16,000 tonnes per year is currently under construction at OMV’s Schwechat site in Austria. Like the existing pilot plant, the new plant will have International Sustainability and Carbon certification (ISCC PLUS), which ensures traceability throughout the supply chain and guarantees that the value chain meets all environmental and social standards. The ReOil® plant will meet the highest industrial safety standards and will be fully integrated within the petrochemical production units at the Schwechat refinery, allowing OMV to ensure optimal use of resources and maximum efficiency. The next step is the development of an industrial-scale ReOil® plant with a planned capacity of 200,000 tonnes per year.