Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) deepened its ties with OMV in late March during a visit to the emirate by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
On March 24, at an event attended by both Kurz and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, state-run ADNOC and Austrian oil major OMV signed two MoUs.
The first called for the evaluation of new petrochemicals projects "as a potential extension to their existing partnerships" and for the "exchange of knowledge and experience in refinery-petrochemicals integration and optimisation".
ADNOC is working on a plan to integrate existing and new refineries at the Ruwais downstream hub in the emirate’s Western Region with the nearby 4.5 million tpy Borouge olefins complex. The latter facility is a 60:40 JV between ADNOC and another Austrian company, Borealis.
The fourth phase expansion of the Borouge plant will involve the installation of Abu Dhabi’s first mixed-feedstock cracker that will process liquids from the refinery and fits into the emirate’s goal of raising petrochemicals capacity to 14.4 million tpy by 2025.
OMV and Borealis have co-operated in their domestic market for more than two decades, where they integrated refining and chemicals production at the Schwechat downstream hub, as well as at the Burghausen refinery in Germany.
The second MoU signed by ADNOC and OMV involves the use of the Austrian firm’s ReOil technology to create synthetic crude from waste plastic at Ruwais. The patented ReOil thermal-cracking technology can process 100 kg per hour of plastics into 100 litres of synthetic crude.
Borealis also has a key role in the development of Ruwais, with the company signed up to implement the Borouge 4 expansion project. It will see the installation of a 1.8 million tpy mixed-feedstock cracker and derivatives units with capacity to produce around 3.3 million tpy of olefins and aromatics.
ADNOC unveiled plans to create the US$45 billion downstream hub at Ruwais in May last year. The project will see output from the core refining and petrochemicals assets feeding a host of secondary industries that are being established in adjacent so-called Derivatives and Conversion Parks.