OMV Petrom to Acquire 50% Stake in Respira Verde

Turning Used Cooking Oil into Biofuels

  • OMV Petrom takes an important step to ensure access to a reliable source of raw materials to produce biofuels
  • OMV Petrom Strategy 2030: Biofuels will account for more than 15% of the group’s production

OMV Petrom has signed an agreement to purchase 50% of the shares of the Romanian company ‘Respira Verde SRL’, a local leader in the collection of used cooking oil. The closing of the transaction is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2024, after fulfilment of certain conditions, including the clearance of the Competition Council and of the Commission for Screening of Foreign Direct Investments.

Used cooking oil is one of the main renewable feedstocks to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and biodiesel (hydrotreated vegetable oil – HVO[1]). The use of SAF and HVO within the transportation sector would considerably reduce carbon emissions. By using SAF, CO2 emissions from commercial flights are approximately 80% lower than conventional fuel.

“We are looking for the best solutions to reduce emissions, and biofuels offer an opportunity to decarbonise transportation. One of the targets of our 2030 strategy is for biofuels to account for more than 15% of total fuel production. Through this transaction, we take a first step towards ensuring our access to the raw material necessary to produce biofuels and open up the prospect of integrating the circular economy into our core activities,” Radu Caprau, member of OMV Petrom’s Executive Board, responsible for Refining and Marketing, said.

Founded 12 years ago, ‘Respira Verde’ collects up to 10,000 tons of used cooking oil per year from companies active in sectors such as hospitality (hotels, restaurants) and retail. The company has its own transport fleet, and it operates two main warehouses, in Bihor and Ialomita. It aims to expand its activity on other European markets in the near future.

“Through this transaction, we join OMV Petrom in its efforts to reduce emissions and produce sustainable fuels. We share the same goals regarding the used cooking oil market, and we believe that together we will increase the collection rate in Romania and the region,” Ionut Popsea, ‘Respira Verde’ cofounder, added.

OMV Petrom has taken important steps to increase the share of biofuels. In 2022, Petrobrazi became the first ISCC[2]– certified refinery in the country capable of producing SAF and HVO by co-processing biological feedstocks. OMV Petrom is considering expanding its production capacity to produce sustainable fuels from a wide range of residual feedstocks, such as used cooking oil.

[1] HVO – Hydrotreated vegetable oil is also known as renewable diesel, green diesel, or biodiesel. This is a low-carbon fuel, produced by processing renewable residual lipids.

[2] International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC-EU). This is a system recognized by the European Commission for the certification of sustainable materials that comply with the legal requirements of the Directive on the promotion of the use of Energy from Renewable Sources (RED).

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