Anthony Master. Director of the Industrial Complex Repsol Cartagena
The new advanced biofuels plant that Repsol is building at its Cartagena plants is a clear example of its firm and determined commitment to accelerate the energy transition and achieve its goal of being a zero net emissions company by 2050. With this project, which is added in addition to other strategic actions, such as the construction of an electrolyser also in the Escombreras Valley and the sponsorship of the school competition ‘Esto es verde’, by LA VERDAD, Repsol becomes a fundamental player in the fight against large-scale climate change.
What motivates Repsol to pass on sustainable values to the student population?
– Over the past 20 years, Repsol has built a leadership position in the field of climate change. We were the first company in the industry to support the Kyoto Protocol and set the ambitious goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. We want to be an active part of the solution to climate change and for us education is key. In Cartagena we have a visitor center where students and citizens in general, organized in groups, can discover how we contribute to the challenges of the future of energy and the energy transition. Also, together with Fundación Repsol, we offer the digital platform Zinkers with educational content on energy, climate change, air quality and sustainable mobility, to help young people improve their environment.
Repsol aims to be a zero net emissions company by 2050. On which axes does your strategic plan revolve?
-We have spent many years implementing best practices and launching cutting edge projects to make our operations more sustainable. We are currently accelerating the energy transition through industrial transformation. Our guide is Repsol’s strategic plan for the 2021-2025 period. With energy efficiency, renewable hydrogen, the capture and use of CO2 and the circular economy as levers, we will offer society products with a low, zero and even negative CO2 footprint. This transformation is not a toast to the sun. It is a reality that we have already launched with projects such as the advanced biofuel plant we are building at our facilities in Cartagena.
What is this project based on and what does it mean for decarbonising mobility?
-This is a circular economy project. We will produce 250,000 tons of renewable fuels with waste from the agri-food industry or used cooking oil. Their use, especially in sectors that have no other alternative to decarbonise their activities, such as maritime transport, long-haul road transport or aviation, will allow us to reduce net CO2 emissions by 65% to 90% in compared to the traditional fuels they replace. With this project, in which we are investing 200 million euros, we are not only giving a second life to waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill, but we are also making available to society a biofuel that can be used without modifying the current engines, benefiting of the current infrastructure, using the technology available today and the current vehicle fleet.
Repsol, as an important link in the renewable hydrogen value chain, is committed to Cartagena with a new project. What industrial projection will it achieve in the Valle de Escombreras?
-Renewable hydrogen is one of the energy carriers of the future and its production and use, along with other energies, are essential to make progress in the energy transition. In Cartagena, we are taking steps in this direction and have planned the construction of an electrolyser that will produce 100 MW of renewable hydrogen in a first phase and contribute to the decarbonisation of the industries in the Valle de Escombreras. We estimate that its launch will avoid emissions of more than 167,000 tons of CO2 per year and that more than 1,000 jobs will be created during the construction phase. Repsol launches projects to deploy renewable hydrogen throughout the value chain. We will use it to decarbonise industrial processes, in our sector and others, such as cement or steel.
The refinery also emphasizes biodiversity and guarantees the conservation of both natural spaces and native species. Which projects have provided added value for the Murcia region?
-In collaboration with our Foundation, we have reforested about 20 hectares of forest in various environments in recent years. By extension, the most relevant action we have taken is on Mount La Atalaya, in Cartagena. The special thing about this project, besides planting species, is that people from the municipality who were unemployed were trained and hired for these jobs. With these types of projects we achieve two objectives, increase the biodiversity of our environment and contribute to the social and professional development of the unemployed. To this reforestation, we must add other actions that we have carried out in other areas of Cartagena, such as La Algameca and Cerro de los Moros, where today some 4,000 trees, shrubs and plants grow.
Repsol aligns with the 2030 Agenda. How does the company contribute to achieving those SDGs that most impact its operations?
-We have a global sustainability plan for the company and specific plans for each industrial center that we associate with the Sustainable Development Goals. Every year we do a reflection exercise in the industrial complex and we plan actions around six axes: climate change, environment, innovation and technology, safe business operations, people and ethics and transparency. In this sense, we are a company recognized by external agents. 40% of the company’s institutional stock is made up of ESG investors. These are those for which it is essential to meet certain environmental, social and governance criteria.
Source: La Verdad
I’m Wayne Wickman, a professional journalist and author for Today Times Live. My specialty is covering global news and current events, offering readers a unique perspective on the world’s most pressing issues. I’m passionate about storytelling and helping people stay informed on the goings-on of our planet.