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Repsol and the EIB to finance advanced biofuels plant in Spain

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing a €120 million loan to Repsol to support the construction and operation of the first advanced biofuels production plant at the company's facilities in Cartagena, Murcia, Spain. The plant will produce second-generation and advanced biofuels from different types of waste primarily from the agri-food industry, such as used cooking oils, as part of the transition process towards a more circular economy. Construction work began in March 2022 and is scheduled for completion in 2H23.

While second-generation biofuels are derived from a broad range of biogenic residues including used cooking oils, certain animal fats and vegetable oils that cannot be used as food or are derived from crops that do not compete with food, advanced biofuels are produced specifically from a subset of biogenic feedstocks listed in Part A of Annex IX of the REDII directive.

These biofuels are a sustainable solution for all segments of mobility, especially for those that have no other alternative to decarbonise their activity, such as maritime, long-distance or aviation transport. They can reduce net carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by between 70 – 90% compared with the traditional fuels that they replace. The EIB financing will also support research programmes for advanced biofuels technologies conducted at Repsol's Technology Lab in Madrid, Spain.

The production plant will be located within the premises of Repsol’s industrial complex in Cartagena, Region of Murcia - an EU cohesion region. The plant will process 300 000 tpy of lipidic residues for the production of up to 250 000 tpy of second-generation or/and advanced biofuels for the transport sector.

Speaking at the signature event in Madrid, EIB Vice President, Ricardo Mourinho Félix, said: “The EIB is committed to financing green transformation, the use of alternative energy sources and innovative research programmes across Europe. The EIB loan contributes to Repsol’s strategy to transform its business model and to its decarbonisation strategy. We are pleased to be collaborating with companies such as Repsol which are taking steps towards decarbonising business activity and strengthening resilience to climate change.”

Commenting on the agreement, Repsol’s CFO, Antonio Lorenzo, said: “We are proud to be the first company in the sector to obtain this type of financing, which is a result of our commitment to execute groundbreaking projects in support of a rapid, effective and just energy transition.”

This innovative plant will contribute to the development of low-carbon fuels to be used in hard-to-decarbonise and hard-to-electrify sectors. The project is fully aligned with the European Green Deal and the Fit for 55 package, and will support energy security by lowering EU dependency from fossil fuel imports. Repsol’s decarbonisation path earmarked €6.5 billion to low-carbon initiatives in 2021 - 2025 (35% of total investment). EIB funding to support its green transformation is in line with the EIB contribution to the REPowerEU recently approved by the EIB’s Board of Directors.

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