OMV AG (Vienna, Austria) and Kommunalkredit Austria AG (Kommunalkredit) have announced a joint investment in the construction of Austria’s largest electrolysis plant in the OMV Schwechat Refinery. Total investment will be around EUR 25 million, with OMV and Kommunalkredit each bearing half the cost. The plant is expected to go live in the second half of 2023.
From this point, the 10 MW PEM (polymer electrolyte membrane) electrolysis unit will produce up to 1,500 metric tons of green hydrogen per year. The green hydrogen will be used to hydrogenate bio-based and fossil fuels, substituting grey hydrogen in the refinery. This would reduce OMV’s carbon footprint by up to 15,000 metric tons of fossil CO2 annually, and enables by using green hydrogen more than 17 million CO2 emission free bus or truck kilometers each year.
“By building Austria’s largest electrolysis plant in the OMV Schwechat Refinery, we are making another contribution to reducing CO2 and to meeting climate targets, whereby hydrogen is a key technology. We deliberately opted for green hydrogen production on an industrial scale as we see the potential it holds – for lower-carbon road use as well as for reducing CO2 emissions in industrial operations”, said Thomas Gangl, OMV Chief Downstream Operations Officer.
OMV laid out its ambitious climate targets back in July 2020. These include reaching net-zero emissions in operations (Scope 1 and 2) by 2050 or sooner. OMV will achieve net zero through energy-efficiency measures, new technologies such as carbon capture and storage or carbon capture and utilization, hydrogen, renewables (like the photovoltaic plant in Austria), and measures to optimize the portfolio. The successful and economic feasible implementation of these sustainable and innovative technologies will require an incentive system that extends beyond Austrian and European legislation.
Promoting the EU’s Green Deal, the energy transition and sustainable infrastructure and energy financing, Kommunalkredit is focused on advancing innovative technologies in its Austrian home market to address major challenges such as economic growth, job creation, and climate-protection measures.
“This project is a milestone in Austria’s industrial policy under the EU Green Deal. We take our responsibility towards society seriously, to contribute to measures that help to prevent climate change. As a member of the “European Clean Hydrogen Alliance”, we are backing our words with actions, supporting the construction of the electrolysis plant with green financing, and thereby making an important contribution, together with OMV, to the United Nations’ SDGs”, said Bernd Fislage, CEO of Kommunalkredit Austria AG.
The project is supported by the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund and is part of the Hydrogen Initiative Energy Model Region Austria Power & Gas (WIVA P&G).
by Mary Page Bailey
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