Net Zero Emissions Spain to Soon Launch its First Advanced Biofuels Plant

Source: Press release

Repsol has already begun construction work for developing the first advanced biofuels plant in Spain. The company will be investing 221 million dollars in this project which is expected to supply 250,000 tons per year of advanced biofuels.

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The expansion of the facilities at the Cartagena refinery will generate around 1,000 jobs in the different phases of the project.
The expansion of the facilities at the Cartagena refinery will generate around 1,000 jobs in the different phases of the project.
(Source: Repsol)

Madrid/Spain – Repsol's Chairman, Antonio Brufau, recently attended the presentation of the beginning of the construction works of the first advanced biofuels plant in Spain at the company’s Cartagena refinery. At the event, he was accompanied by the Director of the industrial complex, Antonio Mestre; and by the President of the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia, Fernando López Miras; the Delegate of the national Government in the Region of Murcia, José Vélez; the Mayoress of Cartagena, Noelia Arroyo; and other representatives of the regional and local authorities and business entities. After learning about the details of the project, they went inside the refinery to visit the area where the hydrotreatment plant will be installed.

Repsol, in alignment with its ambition to become a net zero emissions company by 2050, will invest 221 million dollars in this project that will enable the supply of 250,000 tons per year of advanced biofuels, such as biodiesel, biojet, bionaphtha, and biopropane to be used in planes, trucks or cars without the need for modifications of the existing engines. These eco-fuels will be produced from residues and their use will help reduce 900,000 tons of CO2 per year.

The Chairman of Repsol assured that "with this project, Cartagena is going to consolidate itself as a supply center of fundamental products for the present and for the future, and an example of Repsol's commitment to sustainable mobility." Antonio Brufau stressed the importance of committing to technological neutrality to be able to advance towards the goal of achieving zero net emissions by 2050. He called on public administrations to create "an enabling, facilitating, flexible, and non-exclusive regulation" that will permit the development of future projects, since only in this way " will we be protecting our economy, industry, and employment".

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Regarding the project, the Director of the refinery of Repsol in Cartagena, Antonio Mestre, highlighted that the new plant "is a tangible example of circular economy that will allow us to offer sustainable mobility solutions to all sectors of society, and it is a very important step in the transformation of the industrial complex as a multi-energy hub."

Repsol has been incorporating biofuels into its automotive fuels for more than two decades. Now the company is taking one step more and, using the circular economy as a tool, will be producing advanced biofuels from different types of waste from the agri-food industry and others, such as used cooking oils.

These advanced biofuels are a sustainable solution for all segments of mobility, especially for those that have no other alternative to decarbonize their activity, such as maritime, long-distance or aviation transport. They can reduce net CO2 emissions by 65 % to 85 % compared to the traditional fuels they replace.

The project is being developed in four different areas covering a surface area of 41,500 m2. Three of these will be located inside the refinery and correspond to the hydrotreating unit, the hydrogen production unit, and the biofuel storage tank area. The fourth area will be located in the facilities of the Port Authority of Cartagena where Repsol operates. This area will be equipped with the necessary infrastructures for the storage of 300,000 tons of different types of waste that will arrive by sea and the subsequent supply to domestic or export markets.

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After the previous work of dismantling the disused facilities inside the refinery to house the new units - including the removal of 53,000 m3 of land - work is currently focused on civil works. Specifically, work has already begun on the construction of the tanks that will store the advanced biofuels. In the areas where the hydrotreatment and hydrogen plants will be located, civil works related to the installation of concrete structures and the placement of racks for the pipelines through which the raw materials and the advanced biofuels will be transported are already underway.

The expansion of the facilities at the Cartagena refinery to allow the building of the new advanced biofuels plant, equipped with state-of-the-art technology, will generate around 1,000 jobs in the different phases of the project and the involvement of 240 auxiliary companies, of which 21 % will be local, 25 % regional, 42 % national, and 12 % international.

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At present, more than 25 contracting companies and approximately 300 people are already working inside the refinery. This figure will increase to an average of 600 employees, and the peak is expected to be reached next autumn with some 800 direct and indirect workers.

Since the project was launched, Repsol has spent more than 80 million dollars on the preliminary engineering work, commissioning of equipment, and auxiliary company labor.

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