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EDP to pour EUR 550m to revamp Spanish coal-fired plant into green H2 facility

Portuguese utility group EDP – Energias de Portugal SA (ELI:EDP) plans to invest over EUR 550 million (USD 649.7m) in a project to convert its Los Barrios coal-fired power plant in Cadiz province, southern Spain, into a green hydrogen production facility.

These plans were announced by the Los Barrios city hall on Tuesday, after the town’s mayor Miguel Alconchel held a work meeting with EDP officials to discuss the transformation of the plant and its surroundings in an effort the create the so-called Hydrogen Valley of the Gibraltar Bay.

The 570-MW Los Barrios plant is currently being shuttered, having received the approval from the Spanish government in March 2021 to start the process. Its operator Viesgo Produccion SL, part of the EDP group, has one year following the March resolution to close the plant, and then up to four years to dismantle it.

The coal-fired plant would be replaced with a green hydrogen production facility, some unspecified renewables and energy storage. The city hall mentions that an installation of a 255-MW lithium-ion battery storage system at the site is being considered for the transformation project.

The overall goal is to supply the green hydrogen to the nearby industrial sector in Campo de Gibraltar and export it by sea in the future.

“[T]his will be a pioneering project that places Los Barrios at the forefront of the ecological transition”, mayor Alconchel said of the initiative.

The Portuguese group is leading several initiatives in Spain aimed at revamping areas that depend for work on soon-to-be closed coal-fired power plants.

In the region of Asturias, where EDP has two plants marked for closure, the company will look to invest up to EUR 470 million to install renewables and put up infrastructure for the production of green hydrogen.

Even more money — above EUR 1 billion over the next ten years — is promised to the region of Galicia as it moves away from coal-based power production. EDP does not operate coal-fired plants there, but is willing to invest in new wind farms and green hydrogen initiatives in the region to help revitalise areas affected by the decarbonisation.

Text: AICEP – Portugal Global