Repsol, the Spanish multinational energy and petrochemical company, has announced that it has partnered with Naturgy, a multinational energy group, and Reganosa, the Spanish natural gas company, to develop a renewable hydrogen production centre in Galicia, Spain.
Renewable energy in Spain
The companies said that the project involves the installation of an electrolysis plant powered by 100% renewable energy on the grounds of the former Meirama thermal power plant in the municipality of Cerceda (A Coruña). With the promotion of this energy vector, the three companies reinforce their commitment to a fair energy transition, the statement asserted.
The renewable hydrogen plant will have an initial capacity of 30 megawatts (MW), scalable in different phases up to a total potential of 200MW. It will produce more than 4,000 tonnes of renewable hydrogen per year in the first phase and reach a total production of 30,000 tonnes per year, the companies said.
Renewable hydrogen is one of the pillars of Repsol's strategy to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, said Tomás Malango, the company's Hydrogen Director.
"This project is part of Repsol's renewable hydrogen strategy in Galicia and is a milestone in the transformation of the A Coruña refinery into a multi-energy hub that provides decarbonised products to society,” he added, explaining that the renewable hydrogen generated will be destined for industrial use to replace the conventional hydrogen currently used by the Repsol refinery in A Coruña.
Other industries, such as mobility will use the renewable hydrogen, and it will be injected into the gas grid to be mixed with natural gas. All these uses will reduce the area’s carbon footprint and demonstrate the feasibility of mass production of renewable hydrogen and its distribution to the end consumer, he added.
The director of New Business of Naturgy, Silvia Sanjoaquín, said: "This project will accelerate the introduction of hydrogen in sectors such as energy, industry and transport, in addition to having a great impact on the local economy, in a fair transition site such as Meirama".
The project’s innovation appears in all stages of the value chain, he pointed out. Starting with the production plant itself, the renewable hydrogen produced has its uses in industry, with injection into the gas grid, in commercialisation through Guarantees of Origin (GoOs), and in its use for sustainable mobility. It is a project that contemplates multiple demands, Sanjoaquín asserted.
In the context of decarbonisation and energy transition, renewable hydrogen is a key pillar in the industrial transformation of Repsol's A Coruña refinery to manufacture products with low, zero or even negative carbon footprint, such as renewable fuels and different components for healthcare, textile or food packaging sectors, among others.
In this way, the project will demonstrate the feasibility of using renewable hydrogen to decarbonise industry and reuse existing facilities in an area affected by the closure of a thermal power plant.
Fulfilling sustainable development goals
In addition, this project will promote stable employment and high-quality training for professionals, the statement said. It added that the project will lead to a high level of job creation and bring benefits in the social sphere, thus contributing to the fulfilment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The general manager of Reganosa, Emilio Bruquetas, emphasised that: "15 years ago we provided Galicia with a key infrastructure for the arrival of gas, and the competitiveness of our industry improved substantially.
“Now, under the leadership of the Xunta de Galicia and surrounded by the best partners, we are participating in the configuration of a new energy ecosystem. The Galicia of the future, which is already in the making, will be green, digital, and inclusive, and we are proud to be able to foster this transformation that we all long for,” he asserted.
The project approach validates and promotes a model that is aligned with the Hydrogen Roadmap approved by the Ministry for Ecological Transition, the European Green Deal, the RePo-werEU, and the National Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC), which promote the development of renewable gases, the statement said.
The initiative also fits with the Law of Administrative Simplification and Support for the Economic Reactivation of Galicia, the Galician Climate Change and Energy Strategy 2050, and the Galician Energy Agenda 2030, it continued.
This hydrogen hub is part of the strategic energy initiatives promoted by the Xunta de Galicia within the framework of the EU Next Generation programme and the national Recovery and Resilience Plan.
Its objective is to promote economic growth, employment generation and the development of a competitive, sustainable and circular business fabric, the statement concluded.