Repsol YPF SA and Acciona Energía have reached an agreement to invest more than €300 million (US$365 million) in the construction of up to six biodiesel plants in Spain, with a combined potential production capacity of more than 1 million metric tons per year (302 million gallons per year, or about 20,000 barrels per day). The companies expect the plants to come onstream during the first half of 2007 through the second half 2009.
The companies anticipate that the plants will encourage additional vegetable oil production in Spain, with between 200,000 and 300,000 hectares (772 to 1,158 square miles) of irrigated land eventually dedicated to growing biodiesel feedstocks.
Use of the combined plant output will prevent the addition of about 3 million tons of CO2 in 2010 that otherwise would be emitted through the combustion of petroleum diesel.
Repsol—one of the ten major private oil companies in the world and the largest private energy company in Latin America—and Acciona Energí—a leader in the renewables sector—have been working together since 2000 on biodiesel development as well as on the production of ethanol blends of gasoline.
In 2005, Acciona Energía put a 35-tonnes per year pilot biodiesel plant into service in Caparroso (Navarre)—a plant distinguished by its abilitiy to use different types of oils.
The company also recently brought the largest photovoltaic project in Spain online, and put €220 million into the construction of a solar thermal electric power plant in Nevada (USA), the largest such plant installed in the world in the last fifteen years.