Spanish energy company Cepsa Bioenergia has resumed production at the former Abengoa biodiesel plant in San Roque, Spain, after 18 months without activity.

After purchasing the plant last February for €8M (US$9.5M), Cepsa had been working on the upgrading the plant to bring it back up to production capacity, El Estrecho Digital wrote on 29 August.

In June, the facility – with a capacity of 200,000 tonnes of fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) and 25,000 tonnes of glycerine – received its first vegetable oil delivery since its original closure by Abengoa.

Carlos Olivares, head of biofuels at Cepsa, praised “the great effort made, both by various areas of the company and by the local auxiliary companies involved in the whole process and, fundamentally, by the staff of the plant that has worked intensely in these months to bring the plant back online”.

“This has allowed us to achieve the fast integration of this new unit into the production chain of San Roque and its startup in the shortest possible time,” he added.

Restarting production had proceeded on time, as Cepsa estimated back in March that it would have the plant up and running still during 2017.

The San Roque plant was originally established by Spanish biofuels giant Abengoa, but production was stopped in 2015 due to the company’s financial issues and eventual bankruptcy.

The plant was among the last European biofuel assets Abengoa was forced to sell as part of its bankruptcy settlement.