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ACCIONA opens a biodiesel plant in the Port of Bilbao with an annual production capacity of 200,000 tonnes

03/31/2009

It is the second plant of its type owned by the company and represents an investment of 25 million euros.

The biodiesel produced in the facility accounts for 27% of the target figure for the introduction of biodiesel in Spain in 2009.

This production will avoid the emission of almost 500,000 tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere and the import of 1.3 barrels of oil per year.

It is the second plant of its type owned by the company and represents an investment of 25 million euros.

The biodiesel produced in the facility accounts for 27% of the target figure for the introduction of biodiesel in Spain in 2009.

This production will avoid the emission of almost 500,000 tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere and the import of 1.3 barrels of oil per year.

Biodiesel plant in the Port of Bilbao ACCIONA Biocombustibles has put a biodiesel plant into service in the Port of Bilbao, with an investment of 25 million euros. It is the second such facility owned by the company in Spain and will produce 200,000 tonnes of biodiesel a year, making a 27% contribution to the target figure for the penetration of biodiesel in Spain for 2009.

The plant is located at Zierbena on a site in the port of Bilbao belonging to the agribusiness and food company Bunge, which has a 20% stake in the capital of the development company. It will produce biodiesel from previously refined first-use vegetable oils (soya, rapeseed or palm), mainly from Bunge’s seed crushing plant.

The biodiesel produced annually in the Bilbao plant will avoid the emission of 496,000 metric tons of CO2 per year from conventional diesel fuel in transport. This represents a cleaning effect on the atmosphere equivalent to the photosynthesis of 25 million trees. This level of production will also avoid the need to import the equivalent of 1.3 million barrels of oil a year.

The project has led to the creation of 36 direct jobs, 24 of them in the plant itself.

The Bilbao biodiesel plant is the second installed by ACCIONA after its 70,000-metric ton facility at Caparroso (region of Navarra, northern Spain), operational since 2005.

Objectives in biofuels

The facility’s production will contribute to fulfilling the objectives set by the Spanish Administration to encourage the penetration of biofuels in the market.

Last January 1st legislation on the obligatory nature of the use of biofuels in transport came into effect. It establishes that 3.4% of the overall energy content of gasoline and diesel fuel sold in Spain for transport in 2009 should come from biofuels, and 5.83% in 2010 (in the first semester of 2008 the percentage was 1.47%).

The legislation sets a minimum objective of 2.5% for 2009. This applies to both biodiesel in relation to conventional diesel, and bioethanol in relation to gasoline, and the difference can be made up to a total of 3.4% with any of the two biofuels. For 2010 the minimum objective for each biofuel increases to 3.9% and the overall figure to 5.83%.

In the specific case of biodiesel, and in the light of overall fuel consumption figures for transport in Spain, this means that a minimum of 740,000 metric tons of biodiesel should be incorporated into the system in 2009 and 1,070,000 mt in 2010. The production from this facility will, therefore, represent 27% and 17% of these targets respectively.

In addition to the boost that the establishment of compulsory quotas will mean, the same legislation (Ministerial Order ITC/2877/2008 dated 9th October 2008) lays down that biofuels imported into the European Union that have been previously blended with fossil fuels will not count for the purposes of complying with the abovementioned objectives. This should reduce the level of imports of biodiesel from the USA, which benefit from dual tax exemption –at source and at destination– and are seriously damaging the Spanish industry.

ACCIONA, leader in renewable energy sources, infrastructures and services

ACCIONA Energy is a world leader in the renewables sector. In wind power, at the end of 2008 it had put more than 6,000 MW in wind parks located in 14 countries, of which 4,566 MW are owned by the company. It also produces wind turbines using in-house technology. It owns the biggest solar thermal electric plant installed in the world in the last 18 years (64 MW) and the photovoltaic plant with the highest capacity (45.8 MWp). It operates three biomass plants (33 MW) and 19 small hydro power stations (59 MW). It produces biodiesel from first-use vegetable oils and bioethanol from wine surplus alcohol.

It belongs to the ACCIONA Group, one of the main Spanish corporations with activities in more than thirty countries on the five continents in the fields of infrastructures, power, hydro and services. It earned 9.353 billion euros in the first nine months of 2008. ACCIONA’s workforce numbers over 41,000 people and the group is quoted on the selective IBEX-35 (ANA.MC) index.

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