To curdle this project, the operation of the facilities would require the creation of between 350 and 650 jobs between direct and indirect, to a large extent with highly qualified professional profiles. To these would be added the jobs generated during the construction of the facilities, for which LNG9 has the technical support of the Gijón engineering TSK.
The place where this energy complex is being set up is in the port lands of the Aboño esplanade, which for decades have been used to collect coal. It is an esplanade that was fully occupied with concessions until last January. On that date Ebhisa renounced 100,000 of the 130,000 square meters that it had in concession there, due to the decrease in traffic at the mineral terminal due to the closure of the Asturias, León and Palencia thermal power plants, which makes this space unnecessary for its activity.
The project, of which the Principality, the Port Authority and business circles of Gijón are aware, began to take shape in 2018, through LNG9 and in 2019 the company Asturias Electric SL was created in Spain as a company to carry the project.
Now, the ball is on the roof of the Ministry for Ecological Transition, where the gas group has presented allegations to Red Eléctrica’s planning proposal for the period 2021 to 2026, in order to complete the construction of high-capacity electrical installations, in special the so-called central ring of Asturias. He sees it as necessary to be able to distribute the energy generated in a gas power plant whose 1,600 megawatts exceed by 74% the combined power of the two groups of EDP’s coal-fired power plant in Aboño, totaling 921.7 megawatts. The electrical installations that LNG9 demands to complete should already be operational in 2020, according to the latest official planning.
The Singaporean firm LNG9 proposes a combined cycle, which exceeds by 74% the electrical power of EDP’s coal-fired power plant in Aboño, and the production of 40,000 tons of hydrogen
The approval of the Ecological Transition to the project is also key for LNG9 to take the next step, which would be to request a connection point from Red Eléctrica Española to evacuate the energy. The reason is that Red Eléctrica to initiate this procedure requires the company to previously deposit a guarantee of 64 million euros (40,000 euros per megawatt), of which 20% would not be recovered by the company if it cannot develop its project for not having obtained the necessary permits. The management of licenses and permits has been entrusted by the company to the law firm Medina Cuadros Abogados.
In addition to electricity generation, the production of hydrogen from gas and the capture of CO2, the project promoted by LNG9 also includes the distribution of liquefied natural gas from its facilities in Aboño.
The Singapore company that promotes this project, founded and directed by Swapan Kataria, has José María Buisac from Spain as vice president for the eurozone and José Ricardo Ruiz as its representative in Asturias. Along with El Musel, LNG9 is promoting another similar project, with a 2.4 gigawatt power plant in the Scottish port of Grangemouth; and regasification plants in India and Vietnam. The company is part of a business group that includes natural gas supplier Crown LNG Norway and marketer Katoil and is associated with shipping companies to transport liquefied gas to its facilities in Asia and Europe.
Sources consulted maintain that the project “will facilitate the supply of uniform electricity, abundant and at a very competitive price, taking into account what is required by the Asturian electrointensive industry and consumption in general”, mitigating the risk of potential relocation of industries that require large consumption ” of high amounts of electricity and hydrogen at a good price ”. The same sources highlight that the project will also enhance the viability of the El Musel regasification plant “with a high occupancy of its facilities.”
In a European context in which renewable energies are being promoted, the role of natural gas is that of a transition energy until renewable energy is sufficiently developed, something for which the combined cycles that other electricity companies have are already being used. in Spain. Regarding the generation of hydrogen, it is currently produced from natural gas in a profitable way, something pending to be achieved with that produced from renewable sources, which is the so-called green hydrogen. Hydrogen generated from fossil fuels is called gray hydrogen, but if CO2 is captured, avoiding its emissions into the atmosphere, as proposed in this project, it is called blue hydrogen. The project could also promote, in this sense, the future development of carbon storage in Asturias.
- The project. Build a 1.6 gigawatt gas plant and a plant to produce 40,000 tons of hydrogen per year, with CO2 capture, on land freed from coal on the Aboño esplanade.
- Posts. The planned investment in the project is around 2,000 million euros and would mean the creation of between 350 and 650 jobs for the operation of the facilities, plus those generated in the work.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.