Ecoplanta signs the grant agreement with the European Commission under the Innovation Fund

Chemical News 01/04/2022

Ecoplanta, the project in which we joined Enerkem and Agbar through a joint venture, has signed its grant agreement with the European Commission during a formal ceremony in Brussels under the Innovation Fund Large Scale projects. 

Transforming waste into circular chemical ethanol at Ecoplanta

Ecoplanta, a non-recyclable waste solution project, has been recognized for its highly innovative technology and it stands out for its contribution to climate change mitigation, making it worthy of the European Commission's support among the over 300 projects submitted. The Innovation Fund call for large-scale projects was first launched last year by the Commission to support breakthrough technologies in the energy-intensive industries, renewables, energy storage, and carbon capture, use, and storage.

The Ecoplanta project, one of the seven at a European level and the only Spanish candidacy selected on this Innovation Fund call, aims to transform municipal solid waste (MSW) management by using non-recyclable materials rejected by sorting centers to produce circular chemicals and advanced biofuels. The Ecoplanta project was recognized for its gasification technology, specifically highlighted for its innovation, reduction of carbon emissions, and scalability.

Located in a petrochemical complex in El Morell, near the port of Tarragona in Spain, the plant will produce 240 kt/y of methanol and recover 70% of the carbon present in the non-recyclable materials. Based on the Innovation Fund methodology, the project will achieve a reduction of 3.4 Mt CO2eq of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over the first ten years of operation. Thus, the Ecoplanta project is aligned with the European Union’s decarbonization and climate change mitigation goals. 

High-level representatives attended the signature ceremony from all three Ecoplanta founding companies, Agbar, Repsol, and Enerkem. At the same time, Clara de la Torre, Deputy Director General DG Climate Action (CLIMA), and Dirk Beckers Director of the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), represented the European Commission.

Javier Sancho, Director of Repsol’s Industrial Complex in Tarragona, mentions: “At Repsol, we are extraordinarily pleased to welcome the support of the European Commission to the Ecoplanta's project. This support and Repsol’s experience in implementing major industrial projects, especially one so aligned to our decarbonization goal and our commitment to the circular economy as this one, will surely grant the success to this joint project”.

The ceremony also included speeches from a prominent representatives present during the event, Albert Castellanos, General Secretary for Business and Competitiveness, Generalitat de Catalunya and Genevieve Brisson, Quebec Representation in Belgium.