April 25, 2023

Cepsa awards Técnicas Reunidas the engineering contract for its second-generation biofuels plant in Huelva

  • It is the largest 2G biofuel plant in southern Europe
  • The facility will produce 500,000 tons of renewable diesel and SAF (sustainable aviation fuel) annually in a flexible manner to contribute to the decarbonization of air, maritime and land transport, enabling a CO2 emissions reduction of up to 90% compared to the use of traditional fuels
  • Técnicas Reunidas will develop the engineering, procurement management and construction management support for the plant, assigning a team of more than 180 expert professionals and dedicating some 500,000 hours of highly qualified personnel to the project
  • Cepsa aims to become the leading supplier of 2G biofuels in Spain and Portugal. By 2030, Cepsa will have an annual production capacity of 2.5 million tons of biofuels

Cepsa has awarded Técnicas Reunidas the contract for the detailed engineering of the largest second-generation (2G) biofuels plant in southern Europe, which Cepsa will start up together with Bio-Oils, with an investment of up to 1 billion euros, at the La Rábida Energy Park in Huelva.

The new plant, which will use agricultural waste and used cooking oils as feedstock, will have two pretreatment units and a flexible production capacity of 500,000 tons of renewable diesel and SAF (sustainable aviation fuel) for use in air, sea, and land transport.

Técnicas Reunidas will develop the facility’s engineering, procurement management, and construction management support. Specifically, the scope of the work awarded to Técnicas Reunidas includes the renewable fuels unit (RFU), the amine regeneration unit (ARU), the acid water unit (SWS), and the service generation units, the interconnections, the storage tank farm, and the ship and tanker loading and unloading facilities. 

Técnicas Reunidas will assign a team of more than 180 expert professionals and will dedicate some 500,000 hours of highly qualified personnel to carry out all phases of the engineering and procurement services for equipment and materials for the project, with support for construction management at Cepsa’s request. 

Emilia Arias, Technology Director of Técnicas Reunidas, emphasized that “with this contract, Técnicas Reunidas strengthens its position in the field of the circular economy. These services will contribute to the definition of this emblematic plant, with high technological content. This project is part of the strategy implemented by Técnicas Reunidas to increase the number of service contracts.”

José Manuel Martínez, Cepsa’s Technology Director, said: “We have entrusted this project to Técnicas Reunidas, experts in the engineering of large industrial projects such as the one we will undertake in Huelva, which will be the largest 2G biofuel plant in southern Europe. At this facility, which will feature the latest available technology, we will flexibly produce 500,000 tons of renewable diesel and SAF to decarbonize aviation, maritime, and land transport.”

The sustainable fuels developed in this new plant will reduce 1.5 million tons of CO2 per year, equivalent to 30% of emissions in the province of Huelva. The use of biofuels can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90% compared to traditional fuels, making them a key element in enabling a fair energy transition and promoting the decarbonization of transportation, especially in sectors where electrification is complex, such as heavy road, air and maritime transportation.

Commitment to sustainable energy

Among other initiatives, Técnicas Reunidas has provided engineering services for a biomethanol plant in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and is participating in another similar project in Spain.

The construction of this new plant is in line with Cepsa’s goal of leading 2G biofuels production in Spain and Portugal by 2030. By 2030, the company will have an annual production capacity of 2.5 million tons of biofuels, of which 800,000 tons will be SAF, enough sustainable jet fuel to fly over the planet 2,000 times.

In its strategic plan, Cepsa has established a roadmap to cut its emissions that is among the most ambitious in its sector. Specifically, in 2030, it will reduce its CO2 emissions (Scope 1 and 2) by 55% and its carbon intensity index by 15-20%, to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Cepsa wants to go beyond net zero and have a positive impact, adding value in the communities where it operates by enabling its customers and other stakeholders to move forward in the right direction.

Creating this installation contributes to several of the 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 7 (Affordable and clean energy), SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth), SDG 12 (Responsible consumption and production), and SDG 13 (Climate action).

Técnicas Reunidas

The Spanish company Técnicas Reunidas is one of the most important companies in its sector on an international scale and is present in 25 countries with a track record totaling more than 1,000 industrial plants throughout its more than 60 years of experience.

Técnicas Reunidas’ activity is primarily focused on implementing engineering projects, designing and constructing industrial plants to produce clean fuels, natural gas, and chemical products, and solutions linked to the energy transition, circular economy, and decarbonization (renewable hydrogen, biofuels, waste recovery, CO2 capture and storage, etc.).

Its more than 7,500 employees, mostly highly qualified engineers, make its headquarters in Spain a center of engineering excellence.


Cepsa is a leading international company committed to sustainable mobility and energy with strong technical expertise after more than 90 years of activity. The Company also has a world-leading Chemicals business with increasingly sustainable operations.

In 2022, Cepsa presented its new strategic plan for 2030, Positive Motion, projecting its ambition to be a leader in sustainable mobility, biofuels, and green hydrogen in Spain and Portugal and a key benchmark in the Energy Transition.

The Company places customers at the heart of its activity and will work with them to advance their decarbonization goals. ESG criteria inspire everything Cepsa does as it advances toward its Net Positive objective. This decade, it will reduce its Scope 1 and 2 CO2 emissions by 55% and the carbon intensity index of its products by 15-20%, with the goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

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