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Press release

Naturgy and Enagás Renovable will receive funding from the European Commission’s Innovation Fund programme for the green hydrogen plant in La Robla.

5 de February de 2024


  • The renewable hydrogen project in La Robla (León) has been selected to receive €42 million in funding under the 3rd call for large-scale projects under the European Union’s Innovation Fund. 
  • The renewable hydrogen production plant is one of 13 projects selected by the European Commission under the category of electrification of industry and hydrogen.  
  • The project presented by Naturgy and Enagás Renovable has the collaboration of Fertiberia, the potential main consumer of the hydrogen produced in La Robla. 
  • The renewable hydrogen production plant will prevent the emission into the atmosphere of more than 430,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. 

The renewable hydrogen production plant in La Robla (León), promoted by Naturgy and Enagás Renovable, has been proposed by the European Commission to receive 42 million euros under the Innovation Fund, a programme aimed at the deployment of innovative technologies, processes and products that contribute to the European Union’s decarbonisation commitments. This financial support not only boosts the development of the project, but also validates its maturity, giving it a significant competitive advantage.

The European Commission has now extended a formal invitation to the promoters to formalise the Grant Agreement, marking the start of a collaboration, which will not only benefit La Robla, but will also contribute to the advancement of innovation and technology at national and European level. The project is one of 13 selected by the Commission in the line of electrification of industry and hydrogen. In total, the Commission has awarded funding to 41 innovative low-carbon projects in its various strands, out of a total of 239 applications. 

The Innovation Fund is one of the largest funding programmes for the development of innovative technologies aimed at reducing CO2 emissions in the European Union. The selected projects cover 14 countries alongside Spain, including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden, as well as Norway. All of them will be operational by 2030 and have the potential to avoid 221 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in their first decade of operation. 

The La Robla hydrogen production plant will have a production capacity of up to 280 MW and will be located on the site of the former Naturgy thermal power plant, whose definitive closure was authorised in 2020 and whose decommissioning will be completed in 2024. 

In addition, the development of the plant will be associated with the start-up of a photovoltaic solar generation project comprising several farms located in municipalities surrounding La Robla. 

The project will prevent the emission of more than 430,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere per year, contributing to the decarbonisation of industrial processes and the development of sustainable mobility. Specifically, renewable hydrogen will play a key role in the decarbonisation of Fertiberia’s industrial processes, which is positioned as the main potential consumer of the hydrogen produced in La Robla. Fertiberia also actively collaborated in the submission of the proposal to the Innovation Fund call for proposals, underlining its commitment to innovation and decarbonisation. 

The development of the project in La Robla will be coordinated and harmonised with the decarbonisation plans of the hydrogen consumers that the project will supply. It will also be aligned with the construction of the hydrogen transport infrastructure in the Spanish national context. This strategic synergy will ensure an efficient and effective implementation of the project, optimising the integration of hydrogen technology into the country’s energy matrix. 

Antón Martínez, CEO of Enagás Renovable, said: “This project reinforces our commitment to the energy transition and will support the decarbonisation of the region’s industries. The funding received is key to making this vision a reality and accelerating the shift towards more sustainable energy. 

Silvia Sanjoaquín, Naturgy’s New Business Director, highlighted: “Obtaining the financing is a major milestone for the La Robla hydrogen project and reinforces our commitment to decarbonisation through the development of renewable gases and to the economic reactivation of Just Transition areas”. 


One year on from the presentation of the project in La Robla 

The notification of the allocation of the aid by the European Commission comes almost a year after the presentation of the project in La Robla by the CEO of Enagás Renovable, Antón Martínez, and the Director of New Business at Naturgy, Silvia Sanjoaquín. 

The presentation ceremony was attended by the Secretary of State for Energy of the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, Sara Aagesen; the Government Delegate in Castilla y León, Virginia Barcones Sanz; the Mayor of La Robla, Santiago Dorado Cañón; the Director of the Institute for Just Transition, Laura Martín Murillo; the President of the Provincial Council of León, Eduardo Morán Pacios; the Director General of Energy and Mines of the Government of Castile and León, Alfonso Arroyo González; and the Government sub-delegate in León, Faustino Sánchez Samartino. 

At the event, the Secretary of State for Energy, Sara Aagesen, remarked that “the development of renewable hydrogen is a key tool in the just transition and this in turn constitutes a vector for reindustrialisation in this area”. 


Renewable hydrogen, the new ally for decarbonization 

Renewable hydrogen is mainly obtained through electrolysis, which consists of separating the hydrogen from the oxygen in water using renewable electricity. Most importantly, this process is powered entirely by renewable energy, so it does not generate any pollutant emissions into the atmosphere and is the cleanest and most sustainable hydrogen. 

Renewable hydrogen is a key sustainable solution for the decarbonisation of the economy, and is part of the solution to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 as set out in the European Green Pact. 

Renewable hydrogen is set to be a valuable energy vector for end uses where it is the most efficient solution in the decarbonisation process, such as hydrogen-intensive industry and high-temperature processes, long-distance heavy transport, maritime transport, rail transport and aviation. Moreover, its quality as an energy vector gives it great potential as an instrument for energy storage and sectoral integration.