“The aim is to create a hydrogen ecosystem based on the Basque Country that will allow us to make progress in the decarbonisation of the energy, industry, housing and mobility sectors,” said José Ignacio Zudaire, project coordinator and director of Petronor’s Humanities, Organization, Institutional Relations and Economy Department.
The project will involve an investment of more than 1.3 billion euros by 2026, creating more than 1,340 direct and more than 6,700 indirect jobs.
“Hydrogen is an essential element in the energy transition and the fight against climate change, and it is necessary to have a strategic position in this area, which the Basque Country can and needs to take part in,” said Arantxa Tapia, Basque Government Minister for Economic Development, Sustainability and the Environment.
The Basque Hydrogen Corridor must be seen as the source of Repsol’s strategic decision to invest in projects that can help the Basque Country move forward in the energy transition, with the aim of becoming a zero-emission company by 2050. In addition, Petronor is committed to making the Basque Country a Hydrogen Hub, with a definitive focus on the green productive economy.
In this regard, Emiliano López Atxurra, President of Petronor, emphasized that “the Basque Country has always been a protagonist in the Spanish energy industry. Its technological and industrial strength has come from the courage of generations who were committed to innovation in sectors where energy was a key component. Petronor is a prime example of this. ” He also recalled that “we are the techno-industrial axis of an Atlantic Euroregion, with the challenge of gaining significant weight and prominence in the future European Energy Union. And, above all, we are the node that articulates the Atlantic axis and the Ebro axis in the European projection ”.
Today, a consortium of the Basque Hydrogen Corridor has been set up, with the participation of 78 entities: 8 organizations, 12 knowledge centers and business associations, and 58 companies. The comprehensive strategy underlying the project has brought together 34 projects across the entire value chain to help transform the production network and sustain the weight of the industry in our economy.
The Basque Hydrogen Corridor, formed today, will be developed in two phases; the first of these is underway and will be completed in 2026. The planned investment is 1.3 billion euros, which will produce 20,000 tons of renewable hydrogen per year, avoiding 1.5 million tons of CO2 emissions.
In the initial years, the aim of the investment will be to develop the production of renewable hydrogen, the infrastructure and the applications needed to expand the Basque Hydrogen Corridor.
On the one hand, it is worth noting that in the production of green hydrogen, an investment of 650 million euros will be made to achieve an installed capacity of 11 MW, through the construction of three facilities. The first of these, Petronor, will be launched in 2022 and will supply the Abanto Technology Park with a capacity of 2 MW. The second plant (Petronor, EVE and Enagasena) will be launched in the Port of Bilbao in 2024, with a capacity of 10 MW, and its production will be used to supply a plant for the production of synthetic fuels. The third plant, to be launched in 2025, will have 100 MW and will be used to decarbonise Petronor’s production process and cover the Corridor’s supply needs.
In addition, a hydrogen biogas plant will be created from solid urban waste.
It will also require € 250 million to boost the technological and industrial development and digitalisation of the entire value chain, and an investment of € 50 million to research hydrogen applications for the mobility, residential and industrial sectors.
In a video, Raúl Blanco, Secretary General of Industry and SMEs of the State Government, said that the Basque Hydrogen Corridor is a “memorable” initiative , “because energy and hydrogen are essential in this transformation we are experiencing”.