The Prince of Asturias Opens the New Units at Repsol’s Bilbao Refinery
At over 1 billion euros, it is the largest industrial investment in the history of the Basque Country
-Prince Felipe officially opened the refinery’s new Coker unit, whose construction, including associated environmental programs, totalled 1.006 billion euros.
-The expansion of the refinery involves the creation of 100 jobs and guarantees the future of one of Spain’s largest refineries, employing 928 people and generating 6,200 indirect jobs.
-The new facilities increase the refinery’s conversion capacity and, together with the overhaul of the Cartagena unit, have helped to improve Spain’s balance of trade.
-Following the expansion, Petronor now has a processing capacity of 12 million tonnes a year, one of Spain’s largest. The refinery has eliminated the production of fuel oil and has increased the output of higher-demand products.
-Don Felipe said during his speech that the project “would not have been possible without the technological, financial and human commitment” of the partners, demonstrating Spain’s “strong bet on energy security and development"
-“The Petronor refinery is amongst the best in Europe, not only in distillation and conversion capacity, but because of the use of the latest technology in sustainability, safety and energy efficiency,” said Repsol Chairman Antonio Brufau.
His Royal Highness the Prince of Asturias has opened the new Coker unit at the Petronor refinery in Múskiz (Biscay), the largest industrial investment ever made in the Basque Country. Repsol Chairman, Antonio Brufau, Petronor Chairman Josu Jon Imaz, and the Chairman of Bilbao Bizkaia Kutxa, Mario Fernandez accompanied Don Felipe at the opening ceremony which was also attended by Industry Minister, José Manuel Soria, as well as other government authorities.
Following the expansion, Petronor now has the capacity to process 12 million tonnes per year, one of the largest in Spain. The refinery, which has benefitted from the largest industrial investment in the history of the Basque Country, employs 928 people and generates 6,200 indirect jobs. The expansion has also led to the creation of 100 new direct jobs.
The launch of the new Coker unit enables the refinery to eliminate the production of fuel oil and instead increase output of higher-demand products such as propane, butane, gasoline and diesel. The total investment in this project is over 1 billion euros.
The decision to invest in the expansion of the Bilbao refinery guarantees the future of the facility in a highly competitive business environment where the capacity to produce higher-value products is rewarded.
After revealing a commemorative plaque, the Prince of Asturias visited the refinery’s new units. In addition to the Coker unit, another important feature is the highly efficient cogeneration unit, which will reduce CO2 emissions and help achieve the aims of the Kyoto protocol. The cogeneration unit also enables Petronor to increase electricity production to 100 megawatts per hour, equivalent to 3.9% of the Basque Country’s output. As a result the refinery is now self-sufficient in electricity and will be able to distribute 15% of its power output to the electricity network.
During his speech, the Prince of Asturias said that “the Múskiz project would not have been possible without the technological, financial and human commitment of important organisations and many people. I want to congratulate Repsol and Kutxabank for their unwavering support for Petronor. There is no doubt of our country’s strong bet on energy security and development.”
Repsol Chairman Antonio Brufau said that the Petronor refinery “is amongst the best in Europe not only in distillation and conversion capacity, but because of the use of the latest technology in sustainability, safety and energy efficiency,” said at the refinery’s opening.
The refinery’s new scheme contemplates fuel savings of 99,000 tons a year and an annual 440,000-tons carbon dioxide emission reduction. The project also removes more than a million and a half tonnes of fuel oil with an associated reduction of sulphur dioxide emissions of 160,000 tons a year.
With the completion of the Cartagena and Petronor expansion projects, Repsol boasts some of the industry’s most modern assets and the company’s Downstream unit has brought its investment cycle to an end, becoming a net generator of cash for the Repsol Group.
The positive impact of this project, together with the expansion of the Cartagena industrial complex, resulted in a 231% increase in Repsol’s refining margin during 2012 as well as in higher output. By 2016, Repsol’s refining margin is expected to increase by 3 dollars per barrel in Spain. Both facilities place the company among the European businesses with the best production scheme, in addition to improving Spain’s balance of trade due to a reduction in automotive fuel imports.
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