Chemical Recycling : OMV and ALBA to build an innovative sorting plant

Chemische Recycling Anlage Raffinerie Schwechat, ReOil
© OMV Solutions GmbH

OMV, the international, integrated oil, gas and chemicals company, headquartered in Vienna, and ALBA Recycling, the raw materials provider and leader in recycling and zero waste solutions, announce that they have started exclusive discussions to jointly build and operate an innovative sorting plant in Walldürn, Germany, for the further sorting of mixed plastic waste for chemical recycling. A final investment decision is expected in 2022.

ALBA Recycling operates five sorting plants in Germany for lightweight packaging and sorts roughly one third of Germany’s lightweight packaging waste – over 800,000 t per year. ALBA Recycling thereby has Germany’s biggest sorting capacity at present combined with high output quality and high recycling rates.

The collaboration will secure the delivery of high-quality suitable feedstock for chemical recycling from ALBA Recycling to OMV to help close the loop for plastics. An innovative state-of-the-art sorting plant designed by ALBA Recycling will have the capacity to process 200,000+ t per year of post-consumer mixed waste into suitable feedstock for the production of virgin polyolefins. This innovative sorting process facilitates the further extraction of polyolefins from a waste fraction that currently requires incineration. This innovative sorting process has been tested at industrial scale and the output has been successfully processed as feedstock in OMV’s ReOil® pilot plant.

OMV was among the first companies to develop a technology for the chemical recycling of used plastics more than a decade ago. A ReOil® pilot plant has been operating in the Schwechat Refinery in Austria since 2018, capable of turning 100 kg of used plastics into 100 liters of synthetic feedstock per hour. The pilot plant has been running for a total of 14,500 hours since its commissioning, enabling an improvement in the thermal cracking process and supporting the further scale up of the ReOil® technology. OMV has taken the final investment decision for a scaled-up demo plant with a capacity of 16,000 t per year, set to start operations in 2023. Ultimately, OMV’s goal is to establish a commercially viable, industrial-scale plant by 2026.