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Cespa and Bio-Oils to build largest 2G biofuels plant in south Europe

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Picture of Meenal Datar

Meenal Datar

Membership specialist

Cepsa and Bio-Oils, Apical’s biofuels entity in Huelva, Spain, have created a joint venture to promote the production of second-generation biofuels (2G) through the construction of the largest plant in southern Europe.  

The facility, to be located at Cepsa’s La Rábida Energy Park in Palos de la Frontera (Huelva), will entail an investment of up to €1 billion, one of the largest private investments in the history of the southern Spanish region of Andalusia.

The new plant will secure the majority of its feedstock supply from organic waste, such as agricultural residue or used cooking oils, through a global, long-term agreement with Apical, Bio-Oils’ parent company, enabling it to address one of the key challenges facing the industry: access to feedstock.

Cepsa will contribute its technical expertise and experience in the development of large industrial projects and fuel production as well as its knowledge of the European market and the decarbonisation goals of its customers in the transport sector. Apical and Bio-Oils will ensure the supply of raw materials and contribute their expertise in biofuel production.

The new plant will create approximately 2,000 jobs through construction, operation and the surrounding economy. It will also include two pre-treatment units and the capacity for flexible annual production of 500,000 tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel for land, sea and air transportation. The plant is scheduled to begin operating in the first half of 2026.

The facility will be constructed with the latest technology, specifically created for the production of this type of biofuel. The plant is also being designed with digitalisation in mind, incorporating state-of-the-art technology. This includes the latest industry advances in artificial intelligence, internet of things (IoT), and data analysis to maximise process efficiency and ensure the highest standards of safety and environmental protection.

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

Maarten Wetselaar, CEO of Cepsa, says: ‘This alliance is a decisive step in our strategy to lead biofuels in Spain and Portugal and positions Andalusia as a European benchmark in sustainable energy production and circular economy. Second-generation biofuels are an immediate solution to support our customers’ energy as they can be used in conventional engines, while enabling local development and increased energy autonomy in Europe.’ 

 

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