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Video: OMV installs huge column at refinery

by Slavka Atanasova on Oct 7, 2015


The column being transported at night.
The column being transported at night.

On a regular day, the industrial port in Albern in south eastern Vienna is almost devoid of human presence safe for a few workers on site.

But that was certainly not the case one Wednesday afternoon when over a hundred people, locals, cameramen and journalists, flocked to the Danube bank to observe a remarkable industrial fleet.

Using a 216-wheel truck, OMV would transport and deploy a 25-meter long, 382-tonne cylindrical desulfurisation column in its famous Schwechat refinery.

According to the company’s website, “it’s only about once every ten years that equipment of this magnitude travels on Austrian roads.”

When transporting such a heavy load, the most important things are energy, time, and good planning, OMV says.

“We’ve been preparing this project since 2013,” commented Christian Jüttner, engineering manager at the Schwechat refinery.

“Transporting a column like this requires team work: tight curves are widened with metal plates, motorway closure notices are put up and bridges have to be reinforced – all of this needs to be planned in advance,” he added.

The column was manufactured by MAN in Deggendorf, Bavaria and then transported on the Danube river to Vienna, where it was waiting to continue its journey.

The trip would end at the OMV refinery in Schwechat, where the column will be installed and used to remove the sulphur from the starting products for diesel and kerosene and thus turn them into cleaner fuels with lower environmental impact.

The presence of sulphur in fuel does not only pollute the environment, it can also damage car engines.

The Schwechat refinery is one of Europe’s largest, and most complex inland refineries. It has a capacity of 9.6mn tonnes and covers around half of Austria’s demand for mineral oil products.

Schwechat supplies district heating to more than 42,000 households and to Vienna International Airport. A dedicated pipeline also runs to the airport and supplies the aircraft with kerosene. Neighboring countries also receive a range of products from Schwechat.

All fuels produced at the refinery have been sulphur-free since 2004.


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