OMV Builds Isobutene at Burghausen
Austrian oil and gas group OMV has announced its intention to invest €64 million in an isobutene plant at its Burghausen refinery in Germany.
The facility will use a new technology developed in partnership with BASF for the direct production of high-purity isobutene. Construction is slated to begin this summer with operations planned to go online in September 2020.
For maximum energy efficiency, the plant with a capacity of around 60,000 t/y will be integrated into the refinery’s metathesis unit, which produces propylene. OMV said the integration will provide up to 80% of the heating energy required by the new process to be met by waste heat from existing facilities.
“In the medium to long term, the demand for fossil fuels will change, which will also affect the refining business. That is why the strategic focus of the OMV downstream business lies in petrochemicals,” said Thomas Gangl, OMV executive board member for refining & petrochemical operations. “We want to achieve long-term, sustainable growth and continue to strengthen our competitive position.”
OMV said the plant will be the first worldwide application of the technology, which uses a BASF catalyst. The isobutene output will be used in the manufacture of glues, greases and other chemicals such as antioxidants as well as to make vitamin C.
The company eventually plans to make the technology available for licensing to third parties.