The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing a EUR 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 (Region of Murcia). 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 this year and is scheduled for completion in the second half of 2023.

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 mobility segments, especially for those with no other alternative to decarbonise their activity, such as maritime, long-distance or aviation transport. They can reduce net CO2 emissions by between 70% and 90% compared with the traditional fuels they replace. The EIB financing will also support research programs for advanced biofuels technologies conducted at Repsol’s Technology Lab in Madrid.

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 tons per annum (tpa) of lipidic residues to produce up to 250,000 tpa of 2nd 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 programs 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 ground-breaking projects in support of a rapid, effective and just energy transition.”

Lowering EU dependency on fossil fuel imports

This innovative plant will contribute to developing low-carbon fuels to be used in hard-to-decarbonise and hard-to-electrify sectors. The project fully aligns with the European Green Deal and the Fit for 55 package and will support energy security by lowering EU dependency on fossil fuel imports. Repsol’s decarbonisation path earmarked EUR 6.5 billion for 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.

Repsol’s net zero emissions target

Repsol was the first company in its industry to commit to zero net emissions by 2050. It is implementing an ambitious decarbonisation strategy in alignment with the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Repsol’s roadmap includes emission reduction targets with a reduction in the Carbon Intensity Indicator of 15% by 2025, 28% by 2030 and 55% by 2040.

Longstanding relationship with Repsol

The Bank has a longstanding relationship with Repsol and has financed over ten projects since the first agreement in 1988, soon after Spain acceded to the European Economic Community.

Image source: Courtesy of Repsol

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