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Innovation and New Technologies

As a pillar of a strong foundation, innovation drives transformation in all areas of business activity. Making good on the corporate purpose of “Reinventing essentials for sustainable living” requires ongoing investment in R&D.

OMV’s proprietary ReOil® thermal cracking technology was developed to meet the European Commission’s targets for the circular economy and to fulfill future packaging recycling quotas. The ReOil® pilot plant at the Schwechat refinery, which has a capacity of 100 kg/h, has been recycling post-consumer and post-industrial plastics into synthetic crude oil using a pyrolysis process since 2018. This synthetic crude is then processed mainly into monomers and other hydrocarbons in the Schwechat refinery. OMV and Borealis are pursuing the clear ambition of becoming a leading player in chemical and mechanical recycling technologies. In October 2023, OMV and Wood, a global leader in consulting and engineering solutions in energy and materials markets, signed a mutually exclusive collaboration agreement for the commercial licensing of OMV’s proprietary ReOil® technology, following a Memorandum of Understanding that was signed between the two parties in November 2022.

At Borealis, proprietary technologies such as Borstar® form the basis for material solutions that help the industry address urgent societal and environmental issues such as decarbonization, the green energy transition, and waste reduction. Its suite of technologies enables Borealis to continually expand its offer of advanced specialty polyolefins so as to capitalize on promising market opportunities in lucrative niche applications in sectors like renewable energy, mobility, health care, consumer packaging, and the circular economy.

In the renewable energy sector, Borealis’ specialty product Borlink™ has supported global cable company Nexans in harnessing the power of the North Sea for its DolWin6 project. With the successful commissioning of the project in September 2023, 90 km of HVDC cable, supplied and installed by Nexans using the new generation Borlink™ LS4258DC, now connect 900  of offshore wind power to land in a reliable and efficient way, with only minimal losses. Following the first commercial application in Europe, Borlink™ LS4258DC has proven itself as a grade suitable for the largest-scale industrial projects in green energy.

Together with Tratos, a leader in electrical, electronic, and fiber optic cable technology, Borealis has successfully developed the first energy cable using Bornewables™ materials, a portfolio of value-added polyolefin products manufactured with renewable feedstock. Developed to meet sustainability and energy efficiency criteria, Tratos’ Bornewables™ solution reduces CO2 emissions by 320 kg/km compared to fossil feedstock alternatives.

In the mobility sector, Borealis introduced and commercialized Daplen™ EG108AI, a specialty polypropylene compound intended for injection molding. This high-performance material was developed and validated according to leading material requirements and was successfully positioned in door panels and interior trims of new electrified passenger car models. It provides superior surface aesthetics and odor emissions while excellently balancing impact strength and stiffness.

Borealis also launched a new class of engineering polymer produced from renewably sourced feedstock: Stelora™ opens up an abundance of options for technically advanced applications requiring high heat resistance, such as in e-mobility and renewable energy generation. The introduction of the Bornewables™ line Queo™, a portfolio of polymers and elastomers based on renewable feedstock, took place in the same month.

The EverMinds™ platform founded in 2018 is one way in which Borealis is spearheading the circular economy transition. By encouraging collaboration among value chain partners and other stakeholders in the name of circularity, Borealis is facilitating the development of a broad range of eco-efficient applications across diverse industry sectors. In 2023, highlights included the development of a new monomaterial pouch for dry foodstuffs containing over 95% PP and fully compatible with mechanical recycling. Bornewables™ grades were used to enhance the circularity of BOPP film used in flexible packaging, while Bornewables™ PP for absorbent hygiene products were able to help improve the ecological footprint of nonwovens.

Innovation at Borealis is global in scope. Nearly 600 people are employed in one of three innovation hubs: the Innovation Headquarters in Linz (Austria) and the innovation centers in Porvoo (Finland) and Stenungsund (Sweden). Borealis also operates Borstar® pilot plants for PE in Porvoo, and for PP in both Porvoo and Schwechat (Austria). Catalyst manufacturing plants in Linz and Porvoo are augmented by a pilot facility in Porvoo.

Borealis continues to head the list of patent filers in Austria. In 2023, Borealis filed 128 new priority patent applications at the European Patent Office, the same number filed as in 2022. As of December 2023, the Borealis Group holds around 12,000 individual patents or patent applications, which are subsumed in approximately 1,500 patent families. The growing number of patents is proof positive of the Group’s dedication to Value Creation through Innovation.

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