In 2021, Repsol will operate the first plant in the Iberian Peninsula that manufactures polymers with high resistance to impact. To produce these advanced materials, the company will adapt one of its units at its industrial complex in Tarragona, with a cost of 32 million euros between investments and other outlays.
This is a highly specialised product that contributes great added value to sectors such as the automotive because it is lighter than alternative materials and, particularly, because of its extraordinary impact resistance, resulting in greater vehicle safety.
Thanks to these characteristics, this type of polymers serves as a raw material for the manufacture of bumpers and various interior and exterior elements of vehicles which require a particular rigidity, such as door panels and instruments. This significantly increases the safety in the passenger compartment.
Furthermore, these materials are also useful for other types of applications such as the manufacture of suitcases, sports equipment, and the casing of large batteries, all of which can benefit from the particular characteristics of these polymers to improve their performance.
This new range of polymers has a lower density than other alternative materials, contributing to decreasing the total weight of the vehicles and, thus, reducing emissions and extending their autonomy. This project reinforces the role of Repsol as a key supplier for the automotive sector and as a company that is committed to the environment, within the framework of its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
In order to manufacture this new range of polymers, the company will install a second reactor at one of its polypropylene production units in the chemical area of its industrial complex in Tarragona.
This petrochemical complex, owned by Repsol is the most important of its kind in Spain. It produces several types of polymers that serve as raw materials for a wide range of everyday products.
With this new industrial enterprise, Repsol reinforces its commitment to the highly demanding automotive sector which is very technologically advanced and of great importance to Europe. Thanks to its innovative and technological capabilities, the company has collaborated with this sector for more than 25 years. Repsol manufactures and markets a wide variety of chemical products, ranging from basic petrochemicals to derivatives, including an extensive range of polyolefins, all of which are 100% recyclable. The company is dedicated to a chemical industry that is efficient in its processes and oriented towards the circular economy, with the aim of recycling the equivalent of 20% of its polyolefin production by 2030.
Petrochemical products, very present in our daily lives, play a major role in a low carbon intensity scenario. Furthermore, their properties help us improve energy efficiency as they allow the weight of materials to be reduced and, thus, contribute to lower consumption of energy in mobility and enable better insulation in homes and buildings.