The President of the Xunta de Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, met today in Santiago de Compostela with Repsol CEO Josu Jon Imaz. Also present at the meeting were the Spanish Deputy Vice-President and Minister of Economy, Business, and Innovation, Francisco Conde López; the Managing Director of Energy Planning and Natural Resources for the Xunta de Galicia, Paula Uría; and on behalf of Repsol, the Executive Managing Direcotr of Energy Transition, Sustainability, and Technology, Luis Cabra, and the Director of the A Coruña Industrial Complex, Natalia Barreiro.
Repsol's future projects in Galicia, within the framework of the 2021–2025 Strategic Plan presented last November by the multi-energy company, and the Next Generation funds were discussed at the meeting. Repsol has invested more than 130 million euros in the A Coruña refinery in the last two years to implement a variety of initiatives focusing on energy transition and industrial transformation, as part of its plan to reach the target of net zero emissions by 2050.
Both Núñez Feijóo and Imaz emphasized the importance of both public-private cooperation and with the industry, as this exerts a great driving force on the economy and employment in Galicia. It is estimated that energy companies contribute around 3.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of this Autonomous Region. Repsol creates more than 5,000 jobs in the region (direct, indirect, and induced) and its main industrial center, the A Coruña refinery, accounts for around 69% of its port traffic.
The President of the Regional Government used the meeting to inform Repsol of the projects the Galician government is developing in order to apply for European funds. Among the major initiatives is the Galician Transformation Center, which is open to bids from companies.
Currently, Repsol is making one of the largest investments by an industrial corporation in Galicia. It involves a project to transfer crude oil traffic to the Punta Langosteira Outer Port, which has a budget of 126 million euros. Work is slated to begin this month to build the pipeline that will link the A Coruña refinery to the Outer Port, which will be part of the offshore work on the new pier, whis is now in the final stages.
The European funds present an opportunity to implement cutting-edge projects and galvanize the development of technologies that will prove key in decarbonizing the economy and driving digitalization. In this context, Repsol presented projects mainly related to the circular economy and digitization during today's meeting.
One of the most noteworthy projects involves the production of renewable hydrogen from biogas obtained from urban waste. This renewable hydrogen would be incorporated into the manufacturing process of liquid fuels, replacing the one that is generated from natural gas, while reinforcing the processes of circular economy and renewable generation, as well as recycling.
The meeting also covered the possible implementation of new technologies in the current A Coruña refinery units to increase the production capacity of advanced biofuels from sustainable raw materials and waste from households and the local agri-food industry.
Repsol is committed to the circular economy as one of the pillars for transforming its industrial complexes into multi-energy hubs capable of using waste of various types and converting it in to carbon-neutral products. In this way, not only is waste management improved by reducing the amount that goes to landfills, the waste is also transformed into high value-added products that can be used as a low-carbon fuel.
Another nitiatives being studied consists in taking advantage of residual heat sources in the A Coruña refinery to heat the water for some nearby urban centers, which would lead to energy savings and, therefore, reduce emissions.
In regard to digitalization, measures are being discussed to increase the operating efficiency and safety of industrial processes by automating certain tasks, real-time assessment and connectivity, and using advanced analytics to improve value chain integration.
The goal of all these potential measures is to strengthen the competitiveness of industry in Galicia and drive the business sector, especially among small and medium suppliers, and in particular those around the A Coruña refinery.
In addition to the A Coruña Industrial Complex, Repsol has a network of over 260 gas stations in Galicia, supplies fuel to 72 ports and the three major regional airports (Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, and Vigo), and has 300 butane and propane sales points and 21 distribution agencies, in addition to other company activities.