Repsol’s industrial complex in A Coruña manufactures biofuel from used cooking oil

Press Release 20/10/2021 00:00
  • Repsol increases its capacity for production of renewable diesel from waste through the processing at its industrial complex in A Coruña of 500 tons of cooking oil of national origin.
  • The A Coruña Industrial Complex has a consolidated production of fuels with a low carbon footprint to which this new type of biofuel is added, promoting the circular economy to achieve the target of zero net emissions by 2050.
  • The use of hydrobiodiesel in vehicles reduces up to 90% of the CO2 emissions, compared to the use of mineral diesel. 

20 October 2021 - 10:30 CEST | PDF | 140.01 KB

Repsol increases its capacity for production of renewable diesel from waste through the processing of 500 tons of cooking oil of national origin as raw material for the manufacture of hydrobiodiesel.

The A Coruña Industrial Complex, located in northwestern Spain, has successfully carried out the manufacture of the first batch of this type of biofuel, applying used cooking oil that is mixed in the production process with vegetable oil (VO) and other components and processed in a desulfurization unit to be transformed into hydrobiodiesel.

This product is, thus, added to the industrial complex's already consolidated production of other fuels with a low carbon footprint. Bioethanol is used in the biogasoline process and vegetable oil is used as raw material in the manufacture of hydrobiodiesel. Fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) is also incorporated in our products.

With this new production of hydrobiodiesel, a further step is taken in the decarbonization of fuels for road transport by processing waste generated in Spain, given that the manufacture and use of this biofuel in a vehicle engine reduces up to 90% of the CO2 emissions, compared to the use of mineral diesel.

On July 14, the European Commission, as part of the Fit for 55 package, proposed new specific targets for the use of renewable energies in transport, including a 13% reduction in the carbon intensity of fuels by 2030. Low-emission fuels produced from waste are included in the list of sustainable fuels in the European Renewable Energy Directive, which encourages their use to achieve global targets.

In Spain, the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan recognizes that biofuels are currently the most widely available and used renewable technology for transport. For its part, the Climate Change and Energy Transition Law, passed last May, contains an article dedicated to “sustainable alternative fuels in transportation”, with special emphasis on biofuels and other fuels of non-biological origin, such as synthetic fuels or hydrogen.

Additionally, in certain sectors, such as heavy-duty transport and aviation, that currently cannot be electrified, biofuels will continue to be the fastest and most cost-efficient option for reducing emissions in the coming years.

The industrial transformation of the A Coruña Industrial Complex

The A Coruña industrial complex is in the midst of an industrial transformation to become a multi-energy hub capable of producing products with a low carbon footprint, such as biofuels made from waste. This focus on the circular economy is included in the 2021-2025 strategic plan, and it is one of Repsol's main lines of action to reach its target of zero net emissions by 2050.

In addition, this transformation process contemplates the production of renewable hydrogen from biogas, and modifications in units and implementation of new technologies to reduce CO2 emissions, which will also allow energy integration with the local environment.

Moreover, the new logistic facilities in Punta Langosteira will allow the management of new products and raw material traffic, helping to create the renewable energy hub that the A Coruña Green Port will represent.

Progress in decarbonization

On October 5, Repsol presented new decarbonization targets that will accelerate its transformation to become a net zero emissions company by 2050. It announced an increase in the company's renewable generation and emissions reduction targets, as well as an increase in investments in low-carbon solutions to accelerate the transformation.

Thus, the company increases its investments in the 2021-2025 period to €19.3 billion, allocating an additional €1 billion with respect to what was foreseen in the Strategic Plan, to increase its renewable electricity generation and its production of renewable hydrogen, as well as to promote other low-carbon initiatives.

Repsol aims to lead the energy transition, in line with the Paris Agreement, and thus limit the increase in global temperatures to well below 2ºC. Technological progress and the deployment of current and future projects allows the company to increase the ambition of its carbon intensity reduction targets. The new decarbonization pathway to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 establishes a reduction of the Carbon Intensity Indicator of 15% in 2025, 28% in 2030, and 55% in 2040, compared to the previous ones of 12%, 25%, and 50%, respectively.