MOSCOW (MRC) -- Spain's Repsol is seeking European pandemic recovery funds to support projects including new biofuel plants and 'green' hydrogen production made from renewable sources in a pivot away from oil and gas to supplying low-carbon energy, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.
Spain and Italy, due the biggest chunks of Europe's EUR750 billion (USD884 billion) lifeline in recognition of the damage the pandemic caused their economies, have invited companies to propose projects that could help wean their economies off carbon.
The company said on Friday that Repsol responded by putting forward 30 projects which it calculates will need total investment of EUR5.96 billion. They include a plant Repsol has agreed in partnership with oil giant Saudi Aramco to build in northern Spain, which will produce synthetic fuel for cars, trucks and aircraft using carbon dioxide captured from a nearby refinery, and hydrogen produced from electricity generated from renewables.
Another potential candidate is a refinery in southern Spain where Repsol aims to start producing advanced biofuels in 2023. Chief Executive Josu Jon Imaz told a livestreamed shareholder meeting that refineries in central and eastern Spain "are already getting prepared and producing these sustainable biofuels".
A planned extension to a hydroelectric plant in the northern region of Cantabria has also been included in the proposals. Repsol estimates adding a gigawatt of capacity to the Aguayo hydroelectric facility will cost around EUR700 million.
Oil and gas firms across Europe, including major groups BP, Total and Shell, have pledged to adapt their businesses in response to government and investor pressure to help reduce planet-warming carbon emissions.
As MRC reported earlier, Repsol's refinery at Puertollano in central Spain has carried out an upgrade of its olefins unit. The modernization was a part of planned maintenance of the cracker and chemical derivative plants at the end of 2020.
We remind that Spain’s Repsol shut down its cracker in Tarragona (Spain) for maintenance in the fourth quarter of 2019. The turnaround at this steam cracker, which produces 702,000 mt/year of ethylene and 372,000 mt/year of propylene, was pushed back from Q3 2019. The exact dates of maintenance works were not disclosed.
Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 241,030 tonnes in January 2021 versus 217,890 tonnes a year earlier. Only shipments of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 141,870 tonnes in January 2021 versus 123,520 tonnes a year earlier. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased.
Repsol S.A is an integrated Spanish oil and gas company with operations in 28 countries. The bulk of its assets are located in Spain.