OMV and VERBUND intensify strategic energy cooperation
OMV, the international, integrated oil and gas company headquartered in Vienna, and VERBUND, Austria’s leading electricity company and one of the largest hydropower producers in Europe, have intensified their strategic cooperation for the future of energy and signed memoranda of understanding (MoU) to this effect.
Strategic partners since 2017
The strategic cooperation between the two companies began in 2017 when OMV acquired a 40% stake in the e-mobility provider SMATRICS, in which VERBUND holds 40% and Siemens 20%. A joint evaluation was undertaken at the refineries sites in Austria and Germany with the goal of improving the quality and security of supply. In the field of green hydrogen, OMV and VERBUND are currently collaborating on the project UpHy, involving the production of hydrogen for use in the mobility sector and in the refining process.
Powering OMV sites with renewable energy
The next step has been marked by a MoU committing to further intensive cooperation, signed by OMV and VERBUND on July 1, 2019. The focus of the strategic partnership is on evaluating and implementing power generation, power storage and Power-to-X facilities, in order to promote self-sufficiency at OMV sites, preferably with energy from renewable sources. Additional international project opportunities are currently being assessed in Europe (Austria, Germany and Romania), the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Russia.
First joint project: OMV and VERBUND to build Austria’s largest photovoltaic plant
Austria’s largest ground-mounted solar park is set to be built at OMV sites in Weinviertel, Lower Austria. The power facility will have a PV capacity of 16 MWp, divided between the Schönkirchen site with around 9 MWp and Neusiedl an der Zaya accounting for around 7 MWp. The plant will cover an approx. 200,000 m² plot owned by OMV, whereby a total of around 60,000 PV modules should allow the solar park to deliver around 18 GWh of power. This represents the annual power consumption of about 5,500 households and will lead to savings of some 12,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. The plant is set to start operating in the fourth quarter of 2020.
OMV and VERBUND evaluating option to build electrolytic hydrogen production facility
This technology takes power from renewables and uses it to split water via electrolysis. The green hydrogen that is produced by this process can be used for chemical production processes. OMV is primarily researching the use of hydrogen to hydrogenate CO2, in order to reduce carbon emissions from industrial facilities.
“Strategic partnerships are the basis for realizing international, innovative energy projects. Bundling the expertise of VERBUND and OMV makes sense, benefits the environment and increases the chance of success. By operating the largest PV system and exploring innovative project opportunities, we are making a sustainable contribution to the climate strategy”, said Rainer Seele, Chairman of the Executive Board and Chief Executive Officer of OMV.
“This strategic, long-term cooperation between Austria’s two biggest energy companies brings us a huge step forward towards the energy future and towards realizing our climate targets”, said Chairman of the VERBUND Executive Board, Wolfgang Anzengruber. “Together we have the power to implement renewable energy projects on a massive scale in Austria and internationally and to reshape our energy system on the basis of the forward-looking technologies Power2Gas and green hydrogen”.
VERBUND is Austria’s leading electricity company and one of the largest hydropower producers in Europe. The Group generates around 95 percent of its electricity from renewable energy, predominantly hydropower. VERBUND trades electricity in twelve countries and in 2018 generated annual revenue of approximately EUR 2.8 billion with around 2,700 employees. Along with its subsidiaries and partners, VERBUND’s activities range from the generation of electricity to transport and international trading and sales. VERBUND has been quoted on the Vienna Stock Exchange since 1988; 51 percent of its share capital is held by the Republic of Austria. Additional information: www.verbund.com
OMV produces and markets oil and gas, innovative energy and high-end petrochemical solutions – in a responsible way. With Group sales of EUR 23 bn and a workforce of more than 20,000 employees in 2018, OMV Aktiengesellschaft is one of Austria’s largest listed industrial companies. In Upstream, OMV has a strong base in Romania and Austria as part of the Central and Eastern Europe core region as well as a balanced international portfolio, with Russia, North Sea, Middle East and Africa as well as Asia-Pacific as further core regions. 2018 daily production stood at approximately 427,000 boe/d. In Downstream, OMV operates three refineries with a total annual processing capacity of 17.8 mn tons and more than 2,000 filling stations in ten countries. OMV runs gas storage facilities in Austria and Germany; its subsidiary Gas Connect Austria GmbH operates a gas pipeline network in Austria. In 2018, gas sales volumes amounted to around 114 TWh. Sustainability is an integral part of the corporate strategy. OMV is set to invest EUR 500 mn in innovative energy solutions by 2025.