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High-purity isobutene from Burghausen

Petrochemistry. EDL gets order for a new plant unit from OMV

View of the construction site of the new Iso C4 plant - ISBL

Work on the construction site is proceeding according to plan - cable conduits are being laid

The OMV Refinery in Burghausen entrusted EDL with the engineering and construction of a new ISO C4 unit having an annual production capacity of 60,000 t. As of autumn 2020 the unit worth EUR 64 million will produce high-purity isobutene directly. A technology jointly developed by OMV and BASF will be applied – worldwide for the first time.

Subject of the EPCM project is the construction of an ISO C4 unit to be integrated into the existing metathesis plant. In the new unit, isobutene will be produced in an isomerization reactor from the feedstock of the metathesis plant, separated in two columns and then stored in a buried storage tank. For loading rail tank cars, the existing loading station is modified.

The integration of the new unit into the metathesis plant producing propylene for the plastics industry makes an important contribution to energy efficiency since 80% of the heat required by the new process is covered by waste heat from existing facilities.

First part of the project completed ahead of schedule

The project has been divided into two stages. The first, already completed phase comprised the pre-TAR with preparatory measures, such as various tie-ins and piping connections for the installation of the new isomerization reactor. The associated engineering work was performed in close cooperation with the Pörner colleagues in Vienna and Grimma as well as the on-site team in Burghausen that took over the tie-in point planning, civil engineering as well as part of the construction supervision during the two-week shutdown of the metathesis plant in late March 2019.

EDL’s project manager Daniel Mohr is happy about the successful first phase: „Thanks to the previous good engineering and the excellent cooperation between OMV and EDL / Pörner, mechanical completion was reached one day ahead of the target date. The subsequent safety walk took place without any objections so that the plant could be handed over to the OMV team for commissioning on time.“

Starting signal for new unit

The starting signal for the second stage – the construction of the new unit - was given in summer 2019. The customer plans to commission the new unit in September 2020. The cooperation between the Pörner Group locations will be continued under EDL’s leadership in the second project phase as well.

„The new ISO C4 unit is a further element that highlights OMV’s talent for innovation. […] In the medium to long term, the demand for fossil fuels will change […]. That is why the strategic focus of the OMV downstream business is on petrochemicals. We want to achieve long-term, sustainable growth and continue to strengthen our competitive position“, said Thomas Gangl, OMV Executive Board member for Refining & Petrochemical. The Pörner Gruppe is pleased to accompany OMV in a professional manner on this way.


Isobutene is a volatile gas and belongs to the C4 hydrocarbon group. It is derived from crude oil components by thermal cracking. Isobutene is an important basic component used for the production of many essential chemical products, such as plastics, adhesives, lubricants and others in the petrochemical industry.

In brief:

  • EUR 64 million investment for new ISO C4 unit at the Burghausen Refinery
  • First application worldwide of a technology developed by OMV and BASF for direct production of high-purity isobutene
  • Integration into metathesis plant for maximum energy efficiency
  • Overall planning and implementation from one source by the Pörner Group under the management of EDL



Mag. Lydia Brandtner

Head of Marketing
Pörner Group
Tel.: +43 5 05899-718