Madrid–Iberdrola and Fertiberia have promoted their alliance in green hydrogen with a plan to develop projects for 800 megawatts (MW) of this technology, whose total investment would amount to 1,800 million euros in the next seven years, linked, yes, to attracting European funds for recovery.
Specifically, the projects, announced this Wednesday by the presidents of Iberdrola, Ignacio Sánchez Galán, and Fertiberia, Javier Goñi, would cover, if fully developed, 20% of the national objective -which foresees 4 gigawatts (GW) of power at 2030-, would contribute to the creation of a local H2 industry and generate 4,000 jobs, through 500 local suppliers.
The initiative will start with the start-up of the largest green hydrogen complex for industrial use in Europe, which will be operational in just one year in Puertollano after an investment of 150 million euros, and for which Iberdrola has already submitted the request for This first project has access to aid from the European ‘Innovation Fund’.
The project put on the table by both groups could be completed, by attracting these funds from Europe, with a plan to multiply the capacity of this first plant by 40 with the development of three other projects between 2023 and 2027, at the Fertiberia plants in Puertollano (Ciudad Real) and Palos de la Frontera (Huelva).
“To get out of this crisis, concrete initiatives are needed, which allow progress in the much-needed green recovery,” explained Galán, who expressed his desire that this project “receive the necessary national and European aid to start it up and, thus, position Spain and Europe as the spearhead of a new essential technology for decarbonisation, leading the way towards full competitiveness “.
BET ON THE GREEN AMMONIA.
The president of the energy group stressed that it is a great plan with which both companies “take a step forward” and that can make Spain “the first country with 100% production of ammonia for completely green fertilizers.”
The project arises from an alliance, “which makes all our capacities available to this unprecedented transformation process,” said the energy company executive, underlining that the union “is not based on mere intentions, but on concrete facts.”
“Once again, we are once again pioneers in the implementation of a new clean technology, green hydrogen, and we do it together with the best partner, Fertiberia,” said Galán.
For his part, Goñi considered that the alliance with Iberdrola makes Fertiberia “the first firm in the sector to feed its large plants with green hydrogen, thanks to local renewable sources that will also supply our electricity consumption needs”.
With this “strategic and decisive” step, fertilizers with high environmental efficacy and efficiency will be manufactured, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as required by the future Common Agricultural Policy, added Goñi, who also valued the importance of the projects for their Puertollano and Palos de la Frontera plants and the commitment it represents to make green ammonia an energy vector and, even, to be able to sell to other countries.
“More than 50% of our income already comes from products with high added value, a percentage that in 2023 will exceed 60%,” said Goñi, for whom the agreement with “a European champion” of energy such as Iberdrola “helps to promote the Spain brand as an international symbol of innovation and technological leadership “.
The plan would reach 800 MW of electrolysis and achieve that around 25% of the hydrogen currently consumed in Spain does not generate CO2 emissions. “Our green hydrogen plan is a project linked to green investment, which avoids the emission of more than 400,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, helping to achieve climate neutrality,” added Galán.
CREATION OF ALMOST 4,000 QUALIFIED JOBS.
In addition, these projects would contribute to the development of the entire value chain, creating almost those 4,000 qualified jobs -2,000 of them already in 2023-, through 500 local suppliers, especially “in territories that significantly face the challenge. demographic, in this case in the communities of Castilla-La Mancha and Andalusia, “added Galán.
In addition, the investment would contribute to advance in the technological maturity of green hydrogen, in line with the Roadmap launched by the Government, which foresees the investment of about 8.9 billion euros in the next decade, and to turn it into a solution for decarbonization efficient in the medium term, both in the industry that uses it as a raw material, and for processes difficult to electrify, such as heavy transport.