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OMV Petrom to invest $805 million at Petrobrazi refinery in Romania to produce renewable diesel, SAF

The Petrobrazi refinery in Romania will produce more than 80 million gallons of renewable diesel and SAF per year in 2028 after OMV Petrom completes its $805 million project. (Photo: OMV Petrom)

OMV Petrom, the largest integrated energy producer in Southeast Europe, announced June 11 that it will invest approximately 750 million euros (USD$805 million) at Petrobrazi to transform the refinery into the first major producer of sustainable fuels in the region.


The company has made the final-investment decision to build a renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) facility along with two facilities for green hydrogen, which will be used in the production of biofuels.


The investment for the renewable diesel and SAF production unit amounts to 560 million euros (USD$601 million).  


The plant will have a production capacity of 250,000 tons (approximately 83 million gallons) per year of renewable diesel and SAF as well as byproducts like bionaphtha and bio-LPG, which are used in the chemical industry.


The high flexibility of the installation allows adjusting the products mix according to market demand and the available feedstock mix.


The plant will have an annual consumption of around 11,000 tons of hydrogen, most of which will be provided by the two new green-hydrogen production units.


The investment for the two green-hydrogen units is estimated at approximately 190 million euros (USD$204 million), of which up to 50 million euros (USD$53.7 million) is from European funds, through the National Plan for Recovery and Resilience.


OMV Petrom and the ministry of energy signed the financing contracts at the beginning of this year.


The two units will have a total capacity of 55 megawatts, with a total annual production of green hydrogen estimated at around 8,000 tons.


Integrating green hydrogen into sustainable fuels such as SAF and renewable diesel will result in at least a 70 percent reduction in CO2 emissions compared to conventional fuels.


The project is expected to be complete in 2028.


In order to ensure access to a safe source of raw materials to produce biofuels, OMV Petrom has acquired a 50 percent stake in Respiră Verde, a leader in the collection of used cooking oil in Romania.


Respiră Verde collects up to 10,000 tons of used edible oil per year from economic agents in fields such as the hospitality industry and retail.


“We are moving forward with our transformation, in addition to our new renewable power projects, today we have taken a decisive step towards decarbonizing transport in Romania,” said Christina Verchere, the CEO of OMV Petrom. “In total, by 2030, we’re committing 11 billion euros (USD$11.8 billion) to transform the company for a lower-carbon future, both in Romania and the region.”


Radu Căprău, an OMV Petrom executive board member responsible for refining and marketing, added, “Together with electromobility, biofuels are the answer to low-carbon transport, and we expect a gradual increase in demand for these products. Thanks to the investments we announced today, we will be able to replace imports with biofuels produced here in Romania. For our customers, this means product certainty and less carbon emissions. We want to continue to be our customers’ first choice in the future by offering them the products they need.”


Petrobrazi was the first refinery in Romania certified to produce SAF and renewable diesel through the coprocessing of biological raw materials, which it started in July 2022.


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