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OMV Petrom to build two green hydrogen production projects at Petrobrazi refinery

OMV Petrom, the largest integrated energy producer in South-eastern Europe, signed two financing contracts through the NRRP for the construction of two production facilities for green hydrogen with a total capacity of 55 MW at the Petrobrazi refinery. The contracts were signed with the Romanian Ministry of Energy for a maximum funding amount of €50 million; the total investment is approximately €140 million.

The National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) is a funding facility supported by the European Commission.

The funding was obtained following the reopening, in July 2023, of the competitive call for projects supporting investments in green hydrogen, initially launched in 2022.

Through our Strategy 2030, we committed to support the energy transition in Romania and the region, with investments of around €11 billion by the end of this decade, of which approximately 35% will support low- and zero-carbon projects. We have made great strides in renewables and electro-mobility projects, and with this project we are adding hydrogen to our portfolio of low carbon projects.

—Christina Verchere, OMV Petrom CEO

The projects consist of building two water electrolysis plants of 35 MW and 20 MW at the Petrobrazi refinery. The entire production process will be powered by renewable energy, therefore carbon-free, allowing the hydrogen obtained to be classified as green hydrogen.

The annual amount of green hydrogen to be produced by the two projects has been estimated at approximately 8 kilotons.

Integrating green hydrogen into the production process of green fuels, such as sustainable aviation fuel and biodiesel, will lead to a CO2 emission reduction of minimum 70% compared to conventional fuels.

The projects are currently in the engineering phase aiming to reach final investment decision in 2024.

OMV Petrom has an annual Group hydrocarbon production of approximately 41 million boe in 2023. The Group has a refining capacity of 4.5 million tons annually and operates an 860 MW high-efficiency gas-fired power plant. The Group is present on the oil products retail market in Romania and neighboring countries through approximately 780 filling stations under two brands: OMV and Petrom.

Romanian shareholders hold more than 43% of OMV Petrom shares (of which the Romanian state, through the Ministry of Energy, holds 20.7%, and 22.5% are owned by pension funds in Romania, to which are added almost 500,000 individual investors and other Romanian entities). OMV Aktiengesellschaft, one of the largest listed industrial companies in Austria, holds a 51.2% stake in OMV Petrom, and the remaining 5.6% are held by other foreign investors. Of the total shares of OMV Petrom, 28.1% represents the free float on the Bucharest Stock Exchange.



One of the exciting things about green hydrogen production by electrolyis is that it means that oxygen is a by-product.

That is usually simply outgassed to the atmosphere, but in the case of for instance an Ikea project in the Baltic sea where the water is usually de-oxygenatic resulting in dead zones is to simply be released into the sea, meaning that oxygen levels will increase and hopefully plankton and equatic life.

I don't know about the coast of Roumania specifically where this facility is to be located, but the Black sea in general is certainly oxygen deficient.

Lets hope that we can have the gumption to utilise this free oxygen resource!

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