Naturgy, Enagas Y Fertiberia, in a consortium with Vestas and the danish fund Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) are developing a pioneering project for the production of hydrogen and green ammonia on a large scale in Spain, which could produce enough hydrogen to cover 30% of current demand of hydrogen in the country, they reported in a joint statement. It is expected that during the construction and installation of the first phase of the project, which is called Catalina I, more than 5,000 jobs will be created in Aragón and Valencia.
The project, advanced by El Periódico de Aragón, aims to connect the excellent renewable resources of Aragon with the centers of industrial consumption on the East coast of Spain through a sustainable infrastructure. Once fully implemented, the project will reach 5 GW (gigawatts) of wind and solar photovoltaic energy in Aragon that will supply a 2 GW electrolyzer.
The first phase of the project, Catalina I, is in an advanced stage of development and is expected to obtain all the necessary permits in the next two years, with construction starting at the end of 2023. Catalina I will have 1.7 GW of wind and photovoltaic solar energy connected to a 500 MW electrolyser that will produce 40,000 tons of green hydrogen per year. The project will connect Aragón and Valencia through a hydro pipeline that will transport this hydrogen to a newly built ammonia plant, which will produce 200,000 tons of green ammonia per year.
The green ammonia will be used for the production of sustainable fertilizers in the plant that Fertiberia has in Sagunto (Valencia), which will mean a great advance in the decarbonisation of the agricultural sector.
Green hydrogen will also be used to decarbonize other industrial processes and to inject it into the natural gas network. Catalina I has requested connection to the network in Andorra (Teruel), in the Mudéjar contest, where it will have a great impact on the socioeconomic development of the area. The consortium indicated that Catalina I will reduce CO2 emissions by one million tons per year and up to 2.5 million when the project is fully built, the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of almost 2 million homes.
In addition, he stressed that collaboration with local agents and local socioeconomic development “are priorities” for this project and that they “firmly believe in the value of Catalina as an engine of employment, development of R&D&i programs and the creation of new chains of value associated with the reactivation of the economy in the area”.
The ‘Catalina Project’ will constitute a major contribution to the Strategic Project for the Recovery and Economic Transformation (PERTE) of Renewable Energies, Renewable Hydrogen and Storage (ERHA), which aims to position Spain as a benchmark in the production of green hydrogen worldwide.
The members of the consortium have signed a collaboration agreement to carry out the project and the necessary final investment, as well as the percentage of participation of each of the members, will be confirmed during its development.