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13 March 2023
press release

Austria: Schoenherr advises OMV on establishment of a geothermal energy joint venture with Wien Energie

Schoenherr advised OMV on the establishment of a geothermal energy joint venture with Wien Energie, the largest regional energy provider in Austria.

Within the framework of the joint venture, OMV and Wien Energie plan to jointly tap, develop and utilise deep geothermal energy in the Greater Vienna area. Based on further exploration of the Vienna Basin and tapping of the existing potential, deep geothermal plants are to be developed, constructed and operated. The establishment of the joint venture is still subject to the necessary regulatory approvals.

"We are pleased that we were able to support OMV in this important low-carbon project and thus contribute to the energy transition," said Alexander Popp, who led the Schoenherr team on this project.

Both companies bring extensive experience and technical skills in their areas of expertise. Wien Energie operates numerous heat generation plants and one of the largest district heating networks in Europe. By 2040, the company aims to make district heating generation completely carbon neutral. Geothermal energy plays a decisive role in this. In cooperation with partners such as OMV, Wien Energie has been researching the potential in the Vienna region for many years and plans to build the first deep geothermal plant in Aspern as soon as 2026.

As a globally active group, OMV brings decades of experience in the fields of geology and geophysics as well as drilling and production technology. With more than 60 years of exploration and production in the Weinviertel region (Lower Austria), OMV has unique knowledge of the existing geological formations, which will benefit the joint venture. The use of deep geothermal energy is a stated goal of OMV's Strategy 2030 to provide low-CO2 forms of energy in the future.

The Schoenherr team was led by Alexander Popp (partner) and consisted of Alfred Amann (attorney at law, m&a), Julia Cuder (associate, m&a), Franz Urlesberger (partner, antitrust law), Anna Reumann (associate, antitrust law), Bernd Rajal (partner, regulatory), Nina Zafoschnig (attorney at law, regulatory), Teresa Waidmann (counsel, employment law), Johannes Stalzer (counsel, public procurement), Felix Schneider (attorney at law, public procurement), Marco Thorbauer (partner, tax law) and Tobias Hayden (associate, tax law).

The OMV legal team was comprised of Marion Kaisinger (head of department E&P legal, inhouse team lead), Johanna Freudensprung (sr. counsel contracts & projects), Kristina Kryvonos (counsel corporate law) and Susanne Mikulec (advisor E&P legal, regulatory).

Wien Energie was advised by Schima Mayer Starlinger Rechtsanwälte: Christian Mayer (Team Lead; competition and cartel law, corporate/m&a), Stephan Schmalzl (corporate/m&a), Moritz Am Ende (regulatory), Markus Dax (real estate law), Lena Kersch (competition and cartel law, corporate/m&a), Sarah Wolfgruber (corporate/m&a), Matthias Gangl (corporate/m&a).


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