Ecoplanta: A project for municipal solid waste recovery

Block of waste

First circular methanol plant in Spain 

Repsol has been developing the Ecoplanta Molecular Recycling Solution (Ecoplanta) project for several years, together with Enerkem as technological leader. It would be the first plant in Spain for non-recyclable municipal solid waste recovery into circular methanol that would be used to manufacture new materials and advanced biofuels. It is planned to be located in El Morell (Tarragona).

The plant, which is expected to start operations in 2028, will process around 400,000 tonnes of non-recyclable urban solid waste per year, mainly from ecoparks (waste recovery and treatment plants) in nearby towns, which would be equivalent to the waste generated in a year by a population of 800,000 people, thus avoiding the use of virgin raw materials.

Around 240,000 tonnes of circular methanol will be produced from this waste, which serves as a raw material for the production of circular materials and advanced biofuels.

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

The process 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 or incineration plants.

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 solid 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 and innovative waste management partners, showing our commitment once more to the circular economy and reinforcing our commitment to recycle the equivalent of 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-materials



of circular methanol to produce circular materials and advanced biofuels



CO2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions



of start up

Circular benefits

  • We are reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills and incineration plants.
  • We are offering a 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 strengthening our commitment to the circular economy and advancing towards our ambition of becoming a net zero emissions company by 2050.
View of industrial facilities

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