OMV, the international, integrated oil and gas company based in Vienna, and VERBUND, Austria’s biggest generator of electricity and one of the biggest generators of electricity from hydropower in Europe, are intensifying their strategic cooperation for the energy future and signing memoranda of understanding.
Strategic collaboration since 2017
The strategic collaboration between the two companies started in 2017 with OMV’s acquisition of a 40% stake in the e-mobility provider SMARTRICS, in which VERBUND and Siemens also hold stakes of 40% and 20% respectively. Together, the refinery locations in Austria and Germany were evaluated with the aim of increasing the quality and security of supply. In the area of green hydrogen, OMV and VERBUND are currently cooperating on the project UpHy, which concerns the production of hydrogen for use in mobility and in the refinery process.
Supplying the OMV locations with renewable sources of energy
OMV and VERBUND subsequently agreed to further intensify their collaboration in a memorandum of understanding signed on 1 July 2019. The strategic collaboration focuses on the evaluation and implementation of electricity generation, storage and Power to X plants to increase in-house supplies to OMV locations, preferably with energy from renewable sources. International project opportunities are being examined in this regard in Europe (Austria, Germany and Romania), Russia as well as the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions.
First joint project: OMV and VERBUND are constructing the biggest open-air photovoltaics installation in Austria
Construction of Austria’s biggest open-air photovoltaics system is slated for the OMV locations in the Weinviertel/Lower Austria. The plant, which has a PV output of 16 MWp, supplies the location at Schönkirchen with around 9 MWp and Neusiedl an der Zaya with around 7 MWp. On an OMB site of around 200,000 m² and with a total of around 60,000 PV modules, the plant should supply approx. 18 GWh of electricity. This is roughly equal to the annual electricity consumption of 5,000 households and reduces CO2 emissions by around 12,000 tonnes per year. The plant is scheduled to be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Together, OMV and VERBUND are evaluating the possible construction of an electrolytic hydrogen production facility
In this method, electricity from renewable sources of energy is used to split water electrolytically. The green hydrogen this produces can be used for chemical production methods. OMV is primarily investigating the use of hydrogen for the hydrogenation of CO2 as a way to reduce CO2 emissions from industrial plants.
“Strategic partnerships are the basis for the implementation of international, innovative energy projects. Bundling the expertise of VERBUND and OMV in these projects makes sense and favours the environment and success. By operating the biggest PV plant and employing innovative project opportunities, we are making a sustainable contribution to the climate strategy,” says Rainer Seele, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of OMV.
“This strategic, long-term collaboration between Austria’s two biggest energy companies takes us one giant leap forwards towards the energy future and to realising our climate targets,” says Chairman of the Executive Board of VERBUND, Wolfgang Anzengruber. “Together, we have the power to implement renewable energy projects in grand style in Austria and abroad and to realign our energy system on the basis of the future technologies of Power2Gas and green hydrogen.”