Second-generation (2G) biofuels are a key part of our Positive Motion strategy to go beyond Net Zero and be Net Positive by 2050.
First-generation (1G) biofuels come from agricultural crops such as sugar cane, beetroot, or molasses; cereals such as wheat, barley, or corn; or oils such as rapeseed or soybean.
Second-generation (2G) biofuels are made from organic waste such as used cooking oils; agricultural or livestock waste; or forest biomass, among others.
Biofuels, due to their renewable nature, generate significantly lower net CO2 emissions during their life cycle than traditional fossil fuels (up to 90% less). They come from biomass that has absorbed CO2 from the atmosphere during its growth.
They are chemically analogous to the fossil fuels used in today's engines, which allows their total or partial substitution without the need for modifications in the distribution system or in the engines. As an alternative to oil and gas, they help to diversify our energy sources and contribute to increasing security of supply and energy independence in Spain and Europe.
Their capacity for direct substitution contributes to rapid decarbonization in all sectors where they are applied, especially in those with complex electrification, such as aviation, heavy land transport or maritime transport.
Biofuels are a sustainable and proven solution that can be implemented immediately, without the need for modifications to vehicle, ship and aircraft engines, distribution or logistics systems.
2G biofuels promote the circular economy by using waste for their production that would otherwise be discarded or end up in landfills, turning it into a sustainable energy solution.
SAF (sustainable aviation fuel). The most common type is HEFA (Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids), which is obtained from vegetable oil or fat. It is the sustainable substitute for traditional kerosene used in aviation and reduces the airline industry's carbon footprint. Currently, the maximum percentage of SAF approved by technical standards and regulatory agencies is 50%.
We are one of the main producers and suppliers of aviation fuels in Spain, and we want to continue to be one of them in a more sustainable way. To this end, we have formed partnerships with different airlines to accelerate the decarbonization of aviation through the research and production of SAF, such as Iberia, Iberia Express, Binter, Vueling, Air Nostrum, Tui, Etihad, Wizz Air and Volotea.
Renewable diesel can replace all or part of the traditional diesel used for road and sea transport. Depending on the production process, there are two types of renewable diesel: HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oils) or FAME (Fatty Acid Methyl Ester).
Bioethanol is obtained by fermenting plant-derived sugars, such as sugar cane or sugar beet. It is used, mixed with gasoline in different percentages, as a component of biofuels for road transport.
In Spain, biofuels have been used for years in road transport, in diesel and gasoline engines, mixed with conventional fuels. Currently, the legal obligation to incorporate biofuels in road transport is 10.5%.
We have successfully conducted the first test in Spain of second-generation biofuels. The results have demonstrated optimal operation and performance of the ship's engines and confirmed our readiness to offer these second-generation biofuels to our customers in the maritime sector.
Biogas, produced from agricultural waste, sewage, and urban waste. It is used, mainly in the form of biomethane or bioLPG, in the decarbonization of some industrial processes to replace natural gas derived from fossil fuels or propane. As a bioautogas, it can also be used as a substitute for traditional autogas in the
vehicles that use this type of fuel.
A journey is already underway to meet the objectives of the Positive Motion strategy
We have set ambitious goals, such as leading the manufacture of 2G biofuels in Spain and Portugal. And have in 2030 an annual production capacity of 2.5 million tons of biofuels, of which 800,000 tons will be from SAF, an amount of sustainable aviation fuel sufficient to fly over the planet 2,000 times.
Another objective in our 2030 strategy is to drive emissions reduction from heavy transport (sea, air, and road) by producing green molecules, mainly biofuels and green hydrogen.
“Green molecules are essential for the decarbonization of complex sectors, such as heavy transport, aviation and shipping, and Cepsa has a competitive advantage thanks to its many years of experience in the production and handling of this energy source.”
Maarten Wetselaar - CEO of Cepsa
To that end, in 2022, we’ll start producing second-generation (2G) biofuels at our La Rábida Energy Park in Palos de la Frontera (Huelva), an important milestone in our company's transformation towards a more sustainable energy model.
In 2023, we announced the construction in Huelva of the largest second-generation biofuels plant in southern Europe. A plant that we will build together with Bio-Oils and will have a production capacity of 500,000 tons per year of SAF and renewable diesel. The project represents an investment of up to 1 billion euros, one of the largest private investments in the history of Andalusia, and will generate close to 2,000 jobs during its construction and operation phase (direct and indirect).
This will be the future 2G biofuel plant in the La Rábida energy park (Huelva).
The development and use of biofuels 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).
Its production is aligned with the set of measurements Fit for 55 of the European Commission, which includes a legislative initiative called ‘RefuelEU Aviation’, that intends to boost the supply and demand for biofuels aviation in the European Union, reaching a use of 2% in 2025, 6% in 2030 and 70% in 2050.