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Elecnor and Consonni join Iberdrola in Europe’s largest green hydrogen project

Spain-headed power utility Iberdrola Group has announced that it has brought Basque companies Elecnor S.A., a global infrastructure developer, and Construcciones Electromecánicas S.A. (Consonni), a manufacturer of electrical switchboards on board what is reputedly Europe's largest green hydrogen project, to help decarbonize the fertilizer manufacturing process at the Fertiberia plant in Puertollano, Ciudad Real.

Iberdrola Group has selected Elecnor S.A. and Construcciones Electromecánicas S.A. (Consonni) to the Fertiberia green hydrogen project in Puertollano, Ciudad Real, Spain (image courtesy Iberdrola).

According to Iberdrola, these advances will also bring it close to achieving one of its objectives – the development of a value chain around green hydrogen to position Spain as a “European technological and industrial benchmark in a key energy vector for electrifying industry and heavy transport.”

Elecnor will be responsible for the electrical assembly of the Puertollano plant and will supply equipment such as electrical panels and cabinets, support, conduits, and luminaries. Consonni will manufacture medium-voltage equipment at its Bilbao plant.

The latter company is working with Iberdrola on another green hydrogen project to supply a containerized low-voltage electrical substation for the first-ever public hydrogen generation plan, which will supply green hydrogen to buses run by Transportes Municipales de Barcelona (TMB), in the Zona Franca de Barcelona.

Puertollano green hydrogen to be operational this year

The EUR 150 million green hydrogen plant project in Puertollano, announced in July 2020, is expected to become operational during 2021. It is set to become the largest industrial green hydrogen complex in Europe to date, producing hydrogen using 20 MW electrolysis systems, which also include a 100 MW photovoltaic (PV) facility and a 20 MWh Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery system.

During the tender process, Iberdrola was “impressed” by Elecnor’s capacity to engineer, manufacture, supply, and install electrical equipment and by Consonni’s ability to produce medium and low-voltage equipment, as well as the specialist knowledge of both companies’ human resources to enable them to execute these projects.

These contracts were awarded as part of Iberdrola’s strategy to enter into agreements with companies involved in promoting environmental, social, and governance (ESG) values.

Develop innovative domestic industrial value chains

According to Iberdrola, green hydrogen has massive potential as an energy vector for electrifying industrial processes and heavy transport in particular. It has also been identified as a key solution for decarbonizing the economy and developing innovative, high added value industrial chains in Spain and the EU.

Iberdrola has committed to Europe’s most ambitious green hydrogen project, in collaboration with Fertiberia, to develop 800 MW of green hydrogen in four phases, at the plants in Puertollano, Ciudad Real, and Palos de la Frontera, Huelva, by 2027.

The Fertiberia initiative represents a total investment of EUR 1.8 billion and will position Spain as an industrial leader in the green hydrogen sector and the first to have 100 percent green ammonia production for totally green fertilizers.

Opportunities for suppliers and employment

Iberdrola has presented 53 projects related to green hydrogen to the EU’s Next Generation programme, which will activate investments of EUR 2.5 billion euros to achieve an annual production of 60 000 tonnes.

Once fully commissioned, the plant will produce the equivalent of 20 percent of all national green hydrogen (installed capacity of 4 GW in 2030) and will guarantee that around 25 percent of the green hydrogen currently consumed in Spain is carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions-free.

The company expects that this and other hydrogen projects carried out by Iberdrola will encourage economic growth and employment, helping to create approximately 4 000 qualified jobs – 500 of them in local suppliers.

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