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Iberdrola and Foresa reveal renewable hydrogen for green methanol plans

Spain-headed power utility Iberdrola Group and compatriot chemical company Foresa, Industrias Quimicas del Noroeste S.A.U. (Foresa) have revealed plans to analyze the development of investments in renewable hydrogen for the industrial production of green methanol in Galicia. Both companies could tackle the construction of a 20 MW green hydrogen plant - expandable to 200 MW - as well as the installation of equipment to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from biomass combustion.

Iberdrola Group and Foresa, Industrias Quimicas del Noroeste S.A.U. (Foresa) have revealed plans to analyze the development of investments in renewable hydrogen for the industrial production of green methanol in Galicia, Spain. Both companies could tackle the construction of a 20 MW green hydrogen plant – expandable to 200 MW – as well as the installation of equipment to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from biomass combustion (image courtesy Iberdrola).

The green hydrogen and carbon capture and utilization (CCU) projects will be co-located at Foresa’s plants in Galicia, Spain, and the initial investment – which is eligible for Next Generation EU funds – would exceed EUR 82 million; an amount that could reach EUR 400 million if planned expansions are undertaken.

In the first phase, green methanol production of 10 000 tonnes per annum would be achieved, which could be scaled up tenfold to 100 000 tonnes per annum. The resulting green methanol would be used by Foresa in its chemical processes and would replace the imported fossil-derived methanol it currently uses for the production of wood glues and resins.

In this way, the project provides essential support to the forestry value chain – which is strategic for Galicia – achieving greatly reduced emissions in key chemical products. Furthermore, the possibility of increasing production and exporting surpluses to companies that also use this raw material in their industrial processes is also envisaged.

The development of a high-tech processing plant would reduce Galician imports of methanol, replacing them with sustainable local production, boost the local chemical, mechanical, metal, electrical, forestry, and auxiliary industries, and create jobs.

It would also contribute to the diversification and long-term development of the Galician industry. The investment initiative to decarbonize methanol and tackle its production in Spain would reinforce the region’s position as a technological benchmark in green hydrogen use and would represent an opportunity for the country, given that there is currently no domestic green methanol production and intensive demand.

The project together with Foresa is part of the 175 initiatives presented or in which Iberdrola participates in the Next Generation EU programme, which would mobilize investments of EUR 30 billion, involve more than 350 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Spain and generate more than 60 000 jobs.

These projects include 53 hydrogen-related initiatives, which would trigger investments of EUR 2.5 billion to achieve an annual production of 60 000 tonnes annually.

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