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    Endesa to replace As Pontes coal with a 1,300 megawatt wind power development plan

    September 19, 2022 - CE Noticias Financieras


      Endesa has released a statement a few minutes ago detailing that it has submitted a "social and economic development plan" to the Ministry for Ecological Transition, the Xunta de Galicia and the Council of As Pontes (a municipality in A Coruña in whose thermal power plant and until very recently has been burning coal to generate electricity). The plan in question declares as a fundamental objective the replacement of the 1,400 megawatts (MW) of coal at As Pontes with 1,300 MW of renewable energy, and will also include a plan for dismantling the plant, the installation of new industrial projects on the site of the thermal power plant, the logistical boost to the terminal at the port of Ferrol and an ambitious training plan for the people in the area.

      The company assures that "all Endesa employees will be relocated in other areas of the company, in the dismantling, in the future plans or will take advantage of voluntary departure plans". In this sense, Endesa is grateful for the enormous effort being made and the flexibility to operate and maintain the facilities these last months, together with the auxiliary companies.

      Seven lines of action

      Specifically, the company has been detailing to the institutions the seven lines of action it will work on after the closure. First, the dismantling of the plant, which will take an estimated 4 years. As part of this, a training plan will be implemented to train the more than 130 people who will participate in these tasks, giving priority to local employment and to the plant's own workers. The bidding process is ready and is only pending the effective receipt of the closure resolution.

      The second line of action of the plan for the future is the commitment that, as soon as the closure order is obtained, Endesa will implement training plans prioritizing, "as long as they meet the requirements", the workers of the area, the workers of the auxiliary companies and female employment.

      The company assures that it wants to reproduce in this way the initiative it took both in El Bierzo and in Andorra (Teruel), "where more than 500 people have been trained to work both in the dismantling of the thermal power plants and in the construction and maintenance of Endesa's renewable energy plants".

      Thirdly, this dismantling will run parallel to the processing of new renewable projects to convert the plant's capacity into new clean power. To this end, 1,300 MW of wind projects will be built, which will create up to 2,300 jobs during the construction phase, and a further 274 direct jobs during the estimated 25-year useful life of the wind farms.

      According to the company, the electricity produced by these farms will support Sentury Tire's industrial projects, as well as an important PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) with Alcoa. To make this a reality, Endesa has already requested the Xunta de Galicia the strategic and structuring nature of these wind projects in accordance with the Galician wind energy law for priority processing.

      New industrial developments

      The fourth axis has to do precisely with the promotion of these new industrial developments on the land linked to the plant. Specifically, the company first detailed the project with the tire manufacturer Sentury Tire, which contemplates the transfer of 26 hectares of land in As Pontes for the construction of an intelligent tire factory. The start-up of the plant will require an investment of 477 million euros and will create 750 direct jobs.

      Endesa has also announced that it will invest a further 229 million euros to build 191 megawatts of wind power to supply the factory with electricity via PPA.

      According to the company, this factory will not only be a source of employment, but also an economic vector for the area, "by multiplying the traffic of the terminal that Endesa manages in the outer port of Ferrol" (Endesa's activity in the port has traditionally been very intense, since the international coal that the company ended up burning in the As Pontes thermal power plant used to pass through Ferrol).

      Endesa expects "a very relevant effect on the increase of port activity in Ferrol, both for the export of processed products and for the import of raw materials". The factory will generate an annual movement of 65,000 containers, multiplying the terminal's traffic by three.

      In addition, Endesa has reached an agreement with Ence which provides for the transfer of 45 hectares of land from the former coal park where this company (Ence) will invest 355 million euros for a "bioplant for the recovery, development and production of recycled natural fibers from recovered paper and cardboard".

      The development of this initiative will allow the creation of 150 direct jobs and 400 indirect jobs. This factory -the company assures- will also be "an important economic lever for the region of Ferrolterra and A Mariña and the wood production sector".

      The third project to support the Galician industrial sector is the PPA (power purchase agreement) with Alcoa focused on the "supply of electricity at a competitive price for 10 years from 816 MW of wind energy, of which 611 MW are planned in the area of As Pontes". This pre-agreement of PPA (long-term bilateral power purchase agreement) would open the door - Endesa ventures - for Alcoa to resume aluminum production after the stoppage due to the increase in energy prices.

      Logistics activity and green hydrogen production

      The fifth axis is the new logistics role that Endesa is already implementing, "and will further strengthen thanks to these industrial projects, at the Ferrol outer harbor terminal". Endesa has compensated for the drop in coal traffic destined for the As Pontes thermal power plant at its terminal in the outer port of Ferrol with the transformation of this enclave into a multi-client bulk terminal (transport and storage of bulk cargoes: grain, minerals, others).

      This - Endesa reports - has made it possible to recover the volume of activity at the facility and has been one of the keys for the Port Authority of Ferrol-San Cibrao to have signed a first half of 2022 with a traffic growth of 18.4%.

      Sixth, As Pontes will also have green hydrogen generation facilities, thanks to the project promoted by Endesa of up to 100 MW of electrolyzer that will be supplied with the wind projects in the area that already have the right of connection.

      Seventh, the company also plans to create a strategic wind maintenance logistics center for Spain in As Pontes. This new infrastructure will support the operation and maintenance of Endesa's 120 wind farms in Spain. This project will create 57 direct jobs. In addition, next to this center will be created another one dedicated to wind circularity operations that will support Endesa's wind farm repowering plan and will also house safety and training tasks.

      According to the companies, all these future plans in Galicia, "with expected developments of 2,682 million euros", could generate 1,361 jobs, "all subject to the required authorizations".


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