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AustroCel Hallein supplies OMV with first shipment of advanced bioethanol

In Austria, independent pulp producer AustroCel Hallein GmbH has supplied the first delivery of advanced bioethanol to compatriot oil, gas, and petrochemicals company OMV AG from its new cellulosic ethanol plant at its Hallein pulp mill. The trial delivery marks the start of the long-term cooperation between OMV and AustroCel Hallein.

In Austria, independent pulp producer AustroCel Hallein GmbH has supplied the first delivery of advanced bioethanol to compatriot oil, gas, and petrochemicals company OMV AG from its new cellulosic ethanol plant at its Hallein pulp mill. The trial delivery marks the start of the long-term cooperation between OMV and AustroCel Hallein (photo courtesy AustroCel).

The new bioethanol plant has an annual capacity of up to 35 million litres, making it one of the world’s largest bioethanol plant based on wood. In the first year, AustroCel Hallein will already supply more than 1.5 million litres per month of second-generation bioethanol to OMV.

Austria’s first plant for the production of second-generation bioethanol is now up and running in Hallein and we have started our trailblazing cooperation with OMV. With our advanced biofuels, we are taking a responsible approach to resources and helping to reduce fossil fuel use. We will continue to pursue our long-term strategy of ‘Green AustroCel’, uniting sustainability and economic success, said Jörg Harbring, CEO of AustroCel Hallein.

Residues from pulp production

Bioethanol from Hallein will be produced exclusively from cellulose residues, making it exceptionally environmentally friendly as no food or animal feed is used in the process.

The bioethanol is extracted from the wood sugars leftover in cellulose production before being fermented and distilled. This sustainable basis means that the bioethanol from AustroCel Hallein falls under the category “advanced biofuels”, allowing it to be added to gasoline fuels in the future.

Substituting fossil fuels will save around 45 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually. This product will thereby help reduce the carbon intensity of the OMV product portfolio and aid in meeting OMV’s 2025 Sustainability Targets.

We are delighted to have found a reliable partner in AustroCel and are proud of the start of our cooperation that will allow us to secure the supply of biofuels in Austria for years to come. With the use of advanced, second-generation biofuels, OMV is making a valuable contribution to meeting international climate targets, said Thomas Gangl, OMV Executive Board member responsible for Refining & Petrochemical Operations.

AustroCel GmbH has invested around EUR 42 million in the new bioethanol plant on its compound in Hallein and created ten new jobs.

Despite the challenges of the current situation, we have succeeded in delivering the project on time and on budget while adhering to the highest safety standards throughout. This is an incredible achievement by our team and partners. The plant is ready and entered its trial operation successfully, reported Franz Dieterich, Head of Project Management at AustroCel.

The plant will operate at full capacity in January 2021, when regular deliveries of bioethanol to OMV begin.

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