Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners announces partnership with Enagás, Naturgy, Fertiberia and Vestas to build a project for the large-scale production of green hydrogen and ammonia in Spain

  • The Catalina project has the potential to create 5,000 jobs and avoid the emission of one million tons of CO2 per year.

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners develops the first phase of Project Catalina in partnership with Enagás, Naturgy, Fertiberia and Vestas. Project Catalina is a pioneering green hydrogen and green ammonia GW-scale project that aims to bring the abundant renewable resources of Aragon to the industrial consumption points on the Spanish Eastern coast through energy efficient and environmentally friendly infrastructure. Project Catalina intends to develop 5GW of combined wind and solar in Aragon (Spain) and produce green hydrogen through a 2GW electrolyser. Once fully implemented, Catalina will produce enough green hydrogen to supply 30% of Spain’s current hydrogen demand.

Catalina Phase I is currently in an advanced development stage and is expected to be fully developed and permitted in less than two years. Construction is planned to start at the end of 2023. The project will consist of 1.7GW of wind and solar energy facilities as well as a 500MW electrolyser capable of producing over 40,000 tons of green hydrogen per year. It will connect Aragón and Valencia via a pipeline transporting green hydrogen to supply a newly built, state-of-the-art green ammonia plant with annual capacity of 200,000 tons. Green ammonia will be further upgraded into green and sustainable fertilisers within Fertiberia’s existing assets at Sagunto (Valencia), a breakthrough in the decarbonisation of the agriculture industry. The hydrogen produced will also be used for the decarbonisation of other industrial processes and blending into the natural gas grid. Catalina Phase I is applying for grid connection in Andorra (Teruel), at the Mudejar auction, where it will have a large socioeconomic impact in local Municipalities.

Catalina will bring emissions reductions of 1 million tons of CO2e per year in its first phase, and up to 2.5 million tons per year when it reaches full implementation, a reduction during full implementation equivalent to the annual electricity use of nearly 2 million Spanish households.

Project Catalina will make a significant contribution to Spain’s Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PERTE) on Renewable Energy, Renewable Hydrogen and Storage (ERHA), aimed at positioning Spain as a technology leader in the production and management of green hydrogen.

Engaging with local stakeholders and promoting local socio-economic development is a priority for Catalina. The Catalina consortium members firmly believe in Catalina’s significant contribution to sustainable job creation, R&D, and the promotion of new local value chains, all of which will contribute to boosting the local economy. During construction and installation, Catalina Phase I is expected to create up to 5,000 jobs.

Consortium members have signed a letter of intent committing to work together to realize the Project. The investment required for the project as well as the specific participation of each partner will be approved in due course.

Søren Toftgard, partner at CIP said ”I am very proud to announce Project Catalina, a pioneering initiative in Europe for the large-scale production of green hydrogen and green ammonia. Spain, and in particular Aragon, offers good conditions for the development of this technology due to its excellent solar and wind resource, the political backing as well as the proximity to demand centers. We look forward to continue working with our partners to bring this project to life”.

Marcelino Oreja, CEO of Enagás, pointed out that “This Project to develop green hydrogen in Spain is the result of a common understanding of these international sector leading partners. It reflects our aim to contribute to decarbonization, in a way that is compatible with promoting a competitive industry and job creation, as well as extending the energy transition to all territories, leaving no one behind”.

Jorge Barredo, Managing Director of Renewable Energy, New Business and Innovation at Naturgy said  “This new project will be a boost to one of the investment lines of our Strategic Plan and will be added to the other projects we have underway in Spain. At Naturgy we want to be protagonists of the energy transition and hydrogen is one of the essential vectors to achieve a decarbonized economy; that’s why we want to cover the entire value chain, from its production to the final use, and our gas infrastructure is a clear ally to transport it to the consumer sectors”.

Javier Goñi, CEO of Grupo Fertiberia, said “Our participation in Project Catalina allows us to maintain our leadership position in the decarbonisation of the crop nutrition sector in Europe. The green ammonia generated by this consortium will be used as feedstock to produce green fertilisers at the Grupo Fertiberia’s plant in Sagunto, next to industrial uses of this highly efficient carbon free molecule. Sagunto will thus become the Group’s third plant to use a renewable feedstock, after Puertollano and Palos de la Frontera, and will be 100% decarbonized, demonstrating our company’s firm commitment to the ecological transition in the agricultural sector”.

As a global leader in sustainable energy solutions, Vestas is proud to take part in such a significant and innovative project. We expect Catalina to showcase the huge socioeconomical impact that green power-to-x projects can have not only on the decarbonization of our societies but also in terms of economic growth and employment”, says Vestas vice-president Development EMEA & LATAM, Íñigo Sabater.

Consortium members

CIP is the world’s largest dedicated fund manager within greenfield renewable energy infrastructure investments. CIP manages eight funds, with approximately EUR 16 billion under management from approximately 100 international institutional investors from Europe, Asia, Australia and North America and multi-lateral organizations. Catalina will form part of CIP’s Energy Transition Fund, which focuses on power-to-x and other next generation renewable technologies in order to facilitate the decarbonization of hard-to-abate sectors such as agriculture and transportation. CIP is active in Aragon today with the Monegros onshore wind farm in operation (487.5MW) and several other projects under development.

Enagás is a Transmission System Operator (TSO) with 50 years’ experience in the development, operation and maintenance of energy infrastructure, and carries out its activities in eight countries: Spain, the United States, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Albania, Greece and Italy. The company has over 12,000 kilometers of gas pipelines, three strategic storage facilities and eight regasification terminals. In Spain, it is the leading natural gas transmission company and the Technical Manager of the Gas System. Enagás promotes 55 projects in Spain in the field of renewable gases and decarbonisation (34 green hydrogen projects and 21 biomethane projects) together with more than 60 partners, and has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2040 and is firmly committed to the decarbonisation process. The company is a global leader in its sector in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), according to the latest revision of this indicator, is included in the S&P ESG Index and has received the highest rating in the CDP Climate Change Ranking, as well as numerous other distinctions.

Naturgy is a multinational energy group present in the electricity and gas business, engaged in the generation, distribution and marketing of energy and services employing 9,300 people globally. Operating in over 20 countries with over 15.3GW of installed capacity, it supplies gas and electricity to 16 million customers Naturgy is currently developing a portfolio of green hydrogen projects internationally and in Spain with the aim to provide a long-term value to its customers with sustainable solutions from the environmental and social commitment perspective.

Grupo Fertiberia, with more than 1,500 employees and 13 industrial activity centres distributed throughout the entire Iberian Peninsula and France, is a leader in the EU crop nutrition sector, where it develops, produces and markets innovative agronomic solutions that enhance the agricultural sector’s competitiveness and support the ecological transition of a sector that is vital to the European economy. It is also one of the world’s leading operators in the ammonia market and it produces environmental solutions for the industry and other sectors.

Vestas is the energy industry’s global partner on sustainable energy solutions. The company designs, manufactures, installs, and services wind turbines across the globe. With +145 GW of wind turbines in 85 countries, Vestas has installed more wind power than anyone else. Through our industry-leading smart data capabilities and +123 GW of wind turbines under service, we use data to interpret, forecast, and exploit wind resources and deliver best-in-class wind power solutions. Together with our customers, Vestas’ more than 29,000 employees are bringing the world sustainable energy solutions to power a bright future.