Ecoplanta: A project for municipal solid waste recovery

Block of waste

First circular methanol plant in Spain 

Repsol, together with Enerkem (technological leader) and Agbar (world-renowned specialist in water and waste management), creates the joint venture Ecoplanta Molecular Recycling Solutions with the aim of building a plant in El Morell, Tarragona. It would be the first plant in Spain to transform non-recyclable municipal solid waste into circular methanol to be used in the manufacturing of new materials and advanced biofuels.

This plant, which is expected to be in operation by 2026, will process around 400,000 tonnes of non-recyclable municipal solid waste from "ecoparks" — waste recovery and treatment plants — from surrounding regions, which is equal to the trash generated by a population of 800,000 in a year. This recovery reduces the use of virgin raw materials.

The waste will be used to produce around 240,000 tonnes of renewable methanol, a compound that serves as a raw material for the production of circular chemical products and advanced biofuels.

State-of-the-art technology for processing non-recyclable municipal solid waste

The plant will be managed jointly with Enerkem (a company Repsol has a stake in) being the technological partner and owner of the gasification technology used.

The technology used will allow municipal solid waste to be transformed into high value-added products, achieving 3.4 Mt CO2eq of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions over the first ten years of operation, as well as giving a second life to the waste that would otherwise end up in the landfill.

Transforming waste into circular ethanol

Ecoplanta: The only Spanish project pre-selected for the European Innovation Fund 2021

This municipal solid waste recovery project has been pre-selected among more than 300 large-scale projects for its contribution to the fight against climate change. This selection demonstrates the European Union's support for promoters of highly innovative projects and its desire to help implement the technology. Specifically, the gasification technology was highlighted for its innovation, reduction in carbon emissions, and scalability.

Ecoplanta will strongly contribute to the improvement of material recovery rates in Spain and to the achievement of the EU's 2035 targets to reduce the volume of municipal urban waste currently going to landfills, thus becoming a lower-environmental-impact alternative to incineration.

According to Repsol's Executive Director of Chemicals, José Luis Bernal, "We are very pleased to join forces with relevant waste management and innovative technology partners, showing our commitment to circular economy and reinforcing our commitment to recycle 20% of our polyolefins production by 2030 and taking one more step toward net zero emissions by 2050."

Some figures



waste converted into new circular and bio-products



of circular methanol to produce circular materials and advanced biofuels



CO2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions over the first 10 years



of start up

Circular benefits

  • We are reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills and incineration plants.
  • We are offering a circular solution to non-recyclable municipal solid waste management in Tarragona and the surrounding areas.
  • We are providing our customers more sustainable and innovative solutions by introducing new circular methanol to the market to produce circular materials and advanced biofuels.
  • We are minimizing the consumption of virgin raw materials, thus strenghtening our commitment to the circular economy and advancing towards our ambition of becoming a net zero emissions company by 2050.
Plano detalle instalaciones industriales

Classification by key lines and value chain

Our circular economy projects are aligned with the key lines of our strategy and are present throughout our entire value chain, from obtaining raw materials to commercializing products and services. 

Classification by key lines and value chain