Cepsa ©
Cepsa ©

Spanish multinational oil and gas company Cepsa and Bio-Oils have started construction of a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)/hydro-treated vegetable oil (HVO) plant in Huelva, Spain.

The new US$1.07bn (€1bn) second generation (2G) biofuel plant at Cepsa’s La Rábida Energy Park facility in Palos de la Frontera would have two pre-treatment units and the capacity for flexible production of 500,000 tonnes/year of SAF and renewable diesel, Cepsa said on 23 February.

Due to become operational in 2026, Cepsa said the new plant would source most of its feedstock – organic waste such as agricultural residues or used cooking oils - through a global, long-term agreement with Bio-Oils’ parent company Apical.

The new plant – with existing facilities operated by Cepsa and Bio-Oils in Huelva – would form the second largest renewable fuel complex in Europe, with a total production capacity of 1M tonnes/year, Cepsa said. Once operational, the new 2G biofuels plant would be the largest SAF processing facility in southern Europe, the companies said.

“The global production of SAF is expected to triple in 2024, compared to 2023 levels, reaching 1.5M tonnes. Yet, the availability of sustainably available feedstock remains a challenge for many countries,” Apical executive director Pratheepan Karunagaran said.

“As we continue to expand Apical’s global footprint and capacities, the availability of waste and residue is set to grow in tandem, enabling value-added partnerships to be forged.”