Josu Jon Imaz presents Repsol’s progress on decarbonization projects in Bilbao
- Repsol CEO, Josu Jon Imazstated that “our The commitment to effective and sustainable decarbonization involves an initial investment of €103 million in new decarbonized industrial facilities that will generate quality jobs, industrial strength and competitiveness.”
- Emiliano Lopez Atxurrachairman of Petronor, announced the upcoming start of construction work on the synthetic fuel plant and the waste recovery project.
- The project will use state-of-the-art technologies, essential to reduce emissions related to the transport and recovery of waste.
The President of Petronor, Emiliano López Atxurra, announced today the next construction works of the new Bilbao decarbonization pole which will be composed of a synthetic fuels plant and an urban waste treatment project. At the event he was accompanied by the President of the Basque Regional Government, Iñigo Urkullu; Repsol CEO Josu Jon Imaz; the president of Kutxabank, Gregorio Villalabeitia; the deputy general of the province of Vizcaya, Unai Rementeria; and the Minister of Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment of the Regional Government of the Basque Country, Arantxa Tapia.
Josu Jon Imaz, CEO of Repsol, said that “the project will allow us to test the technologies that will be used together for the first time in the world here in Bilbao”.
Emiliano López Atxurra said: “With this project we unite the present, the past and the future, because this port is part of the history and the present of Petronor. Now it is also part of the future. C is an example of the technological neutrality that we defend as a guide for a sustainable and inclusive energy transition.
With the construction of these new factories, Repsol continues to make progress in its commitment to decarbonization to reach the goal of net zero emissions by 2050. The company’s strategy is fully aligned with the objectives set both by the European Union and the Spanish government. The Fit for 55 regulatory package, presented last year by the European Commission, supports the deployment of fuels with a low carbon footprint, produced either from waste or from non-biological sources, such as synthetic fuels, as is the case for these new plants presented by Imaz.
These are two major industrial projects that also demonstrate the importance of maintaining technological neutrality in the search for sustainable and complementary alternatives to achieve the decarbonization of the economy.
Repsol’s main partner in the synthetic fuels plant is Saudi Aramco. This is one of the reference projects of the Spanish multi-energy company in its industrial transformation strategy. The plant represents a cutting-edge technological challenge, as it is necessary to develop the technology to transform the CO2 and hydrogen into synthetic fuels with the same properties as traditional commercial fuels.
The Repsol Technology Lab is working on the development of this new fuel with a team of scientists from both companies to develop the technology path. The process consists of several steps which are at different levels of maturity and need to be integrated and scaled up in order to be implemented in the demonstration plant. To achieve the goals, Repsol and Saudi Aramco have also brought in the British company Johnson Matthey and the French company Axens as technology partners. The new technological solutions will be applied together for the first time at the synthetic fuels plant in Bilbao.
The project shows significant progress in the engineering phase, which is led by Repsol’s engineering team. The construction phase will begin soon and is expected to last two years. The plant will be one of the largest of its kind and represents an investment of 103 million euros. With an annual output of 2,100 tonnes, it will provide sustainable fuels for cars, trucks, ships and planes without the need for engine modifications. It is therefore a real option to decarbonize sectors such as aviation and heavy transport, where electrification is currently not an alternative.
To feed the plant, the CO2 captured at the Petronor refinery will be used and a 10 MW electrolyser will be installed to produce hydrogen with renewable energy. This installation, promoted by Repsol, its partner Petronor, the Basque regional energy agency EVE and Enagas, is one of the projects included in the Basque Hydrogen Corridor.
The circular economy to recover urban waste
The second decarbonization project focuses on the recovery of urban waste such as paper, cardboard, plastics and fabrics. These materials, after their useful life is over, still contain energy that can be used to make products needed by society, such as low-carbon fuels and other products for the petrochemical industry.
This gives a second life to waste that would otherwise end up in landfills, reducing its environmental footprint and contributing to the circular economy. The facility will transform this waste into oils or gases that will serve as a substitute for the raw materials that the Petronor refinery normally uses in its processes, further reducing its environmental footprint.
For Repsol, the circular economy is a key driver of its industrial transformation program by making it possible to manufacture products with high added value and a low carbon footprint from different types of waste. Repsol analyzes more than 40 types of waste and technologies to ensure the production of advanced biofuels and circular petrochemical materials. Other new plants the company has already announced include Ecoplanta, which will be located in Tarragona with an annual production of 240,000 tonnes of methanol for use in biofuels and circular materials.
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