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Spain: construction of the largest 2G biofuels plant in southern Europe begins

Spain: construction of the largest 2G biofuels plant in southern Europe begins

Cepsa and Bio-Oils laid the first stone this Friday of what will be the largest biofuels second generation (2G) from the south of Europe which, located in Palos de la Frontera (Huelva) (southwest), will involve an investment of US$ 1.3 billion and the creation of 2,000 direct and indirect jobs.

This facility, which will flexibly produce 500,000 tons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel (HVO) annually and is scheduled to be commissioned in 2026, will allow the joint venture formed by both companies to double its current production capacity. .

The project launch event was attended by the third vice president and minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, and the Andalusian president, Juanma Moreno; Cepsa CEO Maarten Wetselaar and RGE CEO Anderson Tanoto, which manages a group of natural resource-based manufacturing companies including Apical and Bio-Oils, and Apical CEO Pratheepan Karunagaran.

Essential to decarbonize

Minister Ribera specified that this project embodies the commitment of these companies to “the construction of essential infrastructure to decarbonize” in a context where everyone agrees that “The great challenge from the point of view of energy security is to manage the response to climate change well, to ensure adequate management of this transition of our energy model.”

“In recent years we have made a great effort to drastically reduce emissions, but sectors such as industry, air and maritime transport need to accelerate changes. The presence of renewable energies in the transport sector is today around 10% and it is a sector responsible for 30% of emissions in Spain”said.

After highlighting the need to also commit to decarbonization in sectors such as aerospace or tourism, he indicated that “There is much to do” because “It is not only enough to change the color of the molecules or electrons; The industries behind it, the services behind it, are, precisely, the great opportunity to reindustrialize and modernize our productive fabric.”

“We want attention to the industrial value chain to be present in the change process and we are going to dedicate more than US$ 812 million to it, in such a way that the manufacturing of capital goods that allows us to reach a successful conclusion is produced in Spain”he added.

Andalusia, ready

Andalusian President Moreno, for his part, highlighted that “before the real birth of a strategic and very important project” which shows that Andalusia and Spain lead “the energy transition from southern Europe”.

“This possibility of leading the industrial and energy revolution already underway represents a historic opportunity not only for Andalusia, but for Spain as a whole,” said.

The president of the Andalusian Regional Government made it clear to other investors beyond Cepsa, which he thanked for its commitment to the region, that “Andalusia is ready”to become “en large producer and distributor of clean energy on the continent” and play that role for which you are preparing “conscientiously to have those capabilities.”

For transport by land, sea and air

2G biofuels, produced from agricultural waste or used cooking oils, are an energy solution based on the circular economy that allows decarbonizing transport by land, sea and air, immediately, without the need to change current engines.

The new facility, which will be built with the latest technology for the production of renewable fuels, will have minimal environmental impact. It will not consume fresh water, but will only use recovered water.

Thanks to the consumption of renewable hydrogen, 100% renewable electricity and different heat recovery and energy efficiency systems, it will emit 75% less CO2 than a traditional biofuel plant and is designed to achieve net zero emissions in the medium term.

This is what Maarten Wetselaar highlighted for those who begin today “to materialize the first major milestone of the Positive Motion strategy with the construction of a strategic project for Spain and Andalusia” that will allow you to be “a European benchmark in the field of green molecules and will facilitate the immediate decarbonization of non-electrifiable sectors, such as air transport.”

For his part, Pratheepan Karunagaran pointed out that “Global SAF production is expected to triple in 2024, compared to 2023 levels, reaching 1.5 million tonnes.”

“However,” he added, “the availability of sustainable raw materials remains a challenge for many countries. “Our 2G biofuels plant with Cepsa, which will be the largest aviation fuel production facility in southern Europe, is an excellent example of how industry players can come together to foster the potential of SAF and increase its adoption in an affordable way.” .

Source: Gestion

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