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Repsol is building one of the world’s largest plants to manufacture synthetic fuels. It aims to help decarbonize the operations of its Petronor refinery, take a leadership role in the development of net zero emissions fuels, and support Spain’s technological and industrial development.
In collaboration with the Energy Agency of the Basque Government, the Bilbao plant will produce clean hydrogen with renewable energy, use it to power the capture of CO2 from the refinery and use that as a raw material to create net zero emission liquid fuels.
The main feature of these new synthetic fuels is that they are produced using water and CO2 as the only raw materials. They can be used as ‘drop-in’ fuels in the combustion engines that are currently installed in automobiles in Spain and the rest of the world, as well as in airplanes, trucks, and other machinery.
The facility in Bilbao, which will be fully operational within four years, will set a new benchmark in Europe thanks to the cutting-edge technology applied. The technology is being developed by the Repsol Technology Lab research centre, in collaboration with Aramco.
In the first phase, which will be scalable in a later commercial stage depending on the results obtained, 3.6 million litres of synthetic fuel will be produced per year, with net zero emissions of CO2 in the entire production cycle.
Petronor is the only refinery in the Iberian Peninsula and one of the few in Europe that has integrated the process of capture, storage and use of CO2 in its operations. It is expected, in addition, to be able to capture the CO2 directly from the air.
This initiative is part of Repsol’s strategy, announced in December 2019, to become a net zero emissions company by 2050, in accordance with the Paris Agreement, making it the first company in its sector to adopt this ambitious goal.
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OGCI Climate Investments invests in technologies and projects that capture store or use carbon dioxide in industrial processes and power generation.