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Cepsa awards Técnicas Reunidas engineering contract for renewable diesel, SAF plant in Huelva, Spain

Photo: Cepsa

Cepsa announced April 25 that it has awarded Técnicas Reunidas a contract for the detailed engineering of what it is calling the largest second-generation biofuels plant in southern Europe.

Cepsa will start up the plant, together with Bio-Oils at the La Rábida Energy Park in Huelva, Spain, with an investment of up to 1 billion euros (USD$1.1 billion).

The new plant, which will use agricultural waste and used cooking oil as feedstock, will have two pretreatment units and a flexible production capacity of approximately 165 million gallons per year of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for use in air, sea and land transport.

Técnicas Reunidas will develop the facility's engineering, procurement- and construction-management support.

Specifically, the scope of the work awarded to Técnicas Reunidas includes the renewable fuels unit (RFU), the amine-regeneration unit (ARU), the acid-water unit (SWS), and the service-generation units, the interconnections, the storage-tank farm, and the ship and tanker loading and unloading facilities.

Técnicas Reunidas will assign a team of more than 180 expert professionals and will dedicate some 500,000 hours of highly qualified personnel to carry out all phases of the engineering and procurement services for equipment and materials for the project, with support for construction management at Cepsa’s request.

Emilia Arias, technology director of Técnicas Reunidas, emphasized that “with this contract, Técnicas Reunidas strengthens its position in the field of the circular economy. These services will contribute to the definition of this emblematic plant, with high technological content. This project is part of the strategy implemented by Técnicas Reunidas to increase the number of service contracts.”

José Manuel Martínez, Cepsa’s technology director, added, “We have entrusted this project to Técnicas Reunidas, experts in the engineering of large industrial projects such as the one we will undertake in Huelva, which will be the largest second-generation biofuel plant in southern Europe. At this facility, which will feature the latest available technology, we will flexibly produce 500,000 tons of renewable diesel and SAF to decarbonize aviation, maritime and land transport.”

The sustainable fuels developed in this new plant will reduce 1.5 million tons of CO2 per year, equivalent to 30 percent of emissions in the province of Huelva.

The use of biofuels can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90 percent compared to traditional fuels, making them a key element in enabling a fair energy transition and promoting the decarbonization of transportation, especially in sectors where electrification is complex, such as heavy road, air and maritime transportation.

Among other initiatives, Técnicas Reunidas has provided engineering services for a biomethanol plant in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and is participating in another similar project in Spain.

The construction of this new plant is in line with Cepsa’s goal of leading second-gen biofuels production in Spain and Portugal by 2030.

By 2030, the company will have an annual production capacity of 2.5 million tons of biofuels, of which 800,000 tons will be SAF, enough sustainable jet fuel to fly over the planet 2,000 times.

In its strategic plan, Cepsa has established a roadmap to cut its emissions that is among the most ambitious in its sector.

Specifically, in 2030, it will reduce its CO2 emissions (scopes 1 and 2) by 55 percent and its carbon-intensity index by 15 percent to 20 percent, to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.


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