Repsol Joins Ecoplanta Waste-to-Chemicals Project

03.05.2021 - Spanish energy group Repsol is joining the Ecoplanta project that will build a waste-to-chemicals plant in Tarragona.

The joint venture, that also comprises Canadian technology firm Enerkem and Spanish water and waste management company Grupo Agbar, intends to establish a facility that will process about 400,000 t/y of non-recyclable municipal solid waste and produce 220,000 t/y of methanol. The methanol will be used as raw material to produce renewable plastics or advanced biofuels and will contribute to avoiding 200,000 t/y of CO2.

Repsol said the plant, which will use Enerkem’s proprietary gasification technology, will be the first of its kind in the Iberian Peninsula. It will be co-managed by Repsol and Agbar.

“We are proud to welcome Repsol as a partner to further support our Tarragona facility. Their strong expertise of the industry, coupled with that of Agbar, will enable us to feature the numerous benefits associated with our unique disruptive technology, transforming waste into renewable plastics or advanced biofuels,” said Enerkem’s CEO and chief financial officer Dominique Boies.

During the past decade, Enerkem has scaled up its technology from pilot- to commercial-scale with a full-scale demonstration plant operating in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. A new facility is currently being built in Varennes, Quebec, Canada, under a partnership with Shell, Suncor and Proman. This plant will convert more than 200,000 t/y of non-recyclable waste and wood waste into nearly 125 million liters per year of biofuels and renewable chemicals.

A final investment decision on the Spanish project is expected to be taken by the first quarter of 2022, with the plant projected to go into operation in 2025. Environmental approvals have already been granted.

Repsol added that the project is a further step toward its ambition to become a net-zero emissions company by 2050.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist