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Sorting plant for chemical recycling: OMV and Interzero establish joint venture

Sorting plant for chemical recycling: OMV and Interzero establish joint venture

OMV, the integrated energy, fuel and raw materials as well as chemicals and materials company headquartered in Vienna, announces the final investment decision for the construction of an innovative sorting system developed by Interzero* for the production of raw materials for chemical recycling.

In total, OMV will invest more than €170 million in the construction of this ultra-modern facility in Waldoorn, southern Germany. OMV will own 89.9 percent of the shares in the joint venture and 10.1 percent of the shares will be owned by Interzero, a leading provider of circular solutions in Europe. Production of the new system is scheduled to begin in 2026. A total of about 120 new jobs will be created at the new site. The groundbreaking ceremony is already scheduled for November 20, 2023, with political guests.

The screening plant will be the first of its kind to produce OMV chemical recycling raw materials on a large-scale industrial scale. OMV-developed and patented ReOil technology is a chemical recycling innovation that mechanically converts non-recyclable plastic waste into pyrolysis oil. The input materials to the sorting system are mainly mixed plastics that have not yet been recycled, mainly from the separate yellow bag and yellow bin collection in Germany.

Interzero operates five lightweight packaging sorting plants in Germany and sorts about a third of Germany’s lightweight packaging waste at more than 800,000 tons per year. This means that the company currently has the largest sorting capacity in Europe and is a technology leader.

The collaboration between OMV and Interzero aims to ensure that OMV is supplied with sustainable, high-quality raw materials for chemical recycling “in order to close the plastics loop”. The innovative, state-of-the-art sorting facility developed by Interzero will have the capacity to process up to 260,000 tons of mixed plastic waste per year, thus providing raw materials for the production of virgin polyolefins.

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The sorting process allows recovery of the polyolefin-rich portion of the waste stream that currently ends up in thermal recycling. Regarding the waste hierarchy, the focus is on the plastics used here, which are not suitable for mechanical recycling. This ensures that chemical recycling does not compete with mechanical recycling. The screening process used in the new screening plant has already been tested on an industrial scale, and the product has been successfully processed as raw material at OMV’s ReOil pilot plant.

A new ReOil plant with a capacity of 16,000 tons per year is currently being built at the OMV Schwechat site. As with the existing pilot plant, the new plant will also receive the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC PLUS), which ensures traceability across the entire supply chain and ensures that the value chain meets all environmental and social standards. According to the information, the ReOil plant “will meet the highest industrial safety standards and will be fully integrated into the petrochemical area of ​​the Schwechat refinery, allowing OMV to ensure optimal use of resources and maximum efficiency.” The next step is to develop an industrial-scale ReOil plant with a planned capacity of 200 thousand tons per year.

Source: OMV

*Still operating as Alba Recycling at sorting sites.