Changes in demand have been the drivers of Cartagena’s transformation. Its former refinery scheme, with a high production of fuel oil and gasoline, was no longer competitive. With the new facilities, the refinery will focus its production capacity on obtaining medium distillates, i.e. diesel and kerosene.
“The reason is to respond to the national market’s shortage in diesel and kerosene. Our vehicle fleet runs on diesel, a product for which the country imports about one third of what it consumes” explains Luque. Following the extension, the refinery increases its capacity to produce these medium distillates by 4.5 million tonnes per year, helping to reduce Spanish imports of these fuels by 30%.
Spain’s process of converting its vehicle fleet to diesel is an ongoing trend. According to the latest data of the Spanish Road Transport Authority (DGT), in 2010 seven out of every ten registered vehicles ran on diesel, currently representing more than half the number of private vehicles on the roads. Twenty years ago, it was just 10%.
Also in response to this demand for medium distillates a new pipeline has been built, which runs for 360 kilometres between the refinery in Cartagena and Repsol’s industrial complex in Puertollano. The pipeline transports kerosene and diesel “to the market in Spain with the highest consumption and greatest shortage in these products, which is the centre of the country, increasing the efficiency of transporting a large