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- Endesa is studying two initiatives for the recycling of electric vehicle batteries and wind turbine blades. It could also participate in a green hydrogen plant, which is included among the five projects backed.
- Cubillos del Sil could become a technological centre linked to the circular economy and a benchmark in sustainable mobility and social and health services.
The Evaluation Committee for tenders of initiatives of Endesa's Futur-e Plan for Compostilla (León) gives its unanimous support to five of the eight projects presented as binding proposals. The company has also announced its intention to be directly involved in three business plans: two of its own and a third which is included among the five initiatives backed. Compostilla could become a benchmark for sustainable mobility, social health services and the circular economy on a national scale.
This international tender to promote the establishment in Bierzo of companies that can mitigate the closure of its thermal generation activity is part of the Futur-e plan presented by Endesa to alleviate the effects of the closure, within its decarbonisation strategy. It also includes, among other actions, the development of 780 renewable megawatts (MW), the organisation of professional training courses for employees of contractors and other workers in the region, as well as the prioritisation of local employment in the plant's dismantling jobs.
The initiative arises out of Endesa's commitment to mitigate the consequences of the energy transition that Europe is carrying out, with the aim of achieving the decarbonisation of the economy by incorporating criteria related to social, economic and environmental sustainability. It is about creating value that is shared with all local agents so as to bring about a fair transition to new business models.
The decision on the five projects was adopted by the committee in a telematic meeting attended by Laura Martín, director of the Institute for Just Transition, of the Ministry of Ecological Transition; Alfonso Arroyo, General Director of Energy of the Junta de Castilla y León; Olegario Ramón, mayor of Ponferrada; Antonio Cuellas, mayor of Cubillos del Sil; Nuria González Rabanal and Victoriano Marcelo, experts appointed by the University of León; and Miguel Temboury and Juan Álvarez, directors of Endesa.
The approved initiatives are now moving into a new phase so that their promoters can acquire the facilities and the space they need on the surface area up to now occupied by the Cubillos del Sil power plant, which may be carried out as one integral project or as the sum of several of the projects presented.
The proposals are declared suitable but with conditions, which means they are compatible with the territory, are linked to the mobility sector and the provision of social and health services. Two of these initiatives are linked to the manufacture of industrial products and construction materials through the use of by-products from industrial processes and waste; and one is a hydrogen production plant with Endesa’s involvement as an industrial partner. The committee highlighted the sustainability and innovation characteristics of these projects that will attract economic activity and generate employment in the area.
The three projects that did not obtain the qualification of “suitable” were not, however, rejected by the evaluation committee. Given their characteristics, it is considered that they would be more suitable in other spaces in the area which are authorised for such purpose. All the participants comprising the technical committee are committed to providing these projects with support and follow-up to enable them to take their place in the region's economic fabric. Hence, they will continue to be monitored to ensure that they materialise.
Support from the European Recovery Fund
In the case of the green hydrogen production plant, Endesa expresses its willingness to collaborate with the promoting company by including this project among the one hundred that it has submitted nationwide in Spain to obtain financial support from the Recovery Fund. Endesa's involvement would specifically be to build the complex's photovoltaic plant and invest in the facilities that will produce green hydrogen (obtained from a renewable electricity supply).
However, Endesa's involvement goes further, according to company spokespersons at the request of the Ministry of Ecological Transition. Endesa is preparing, under the Recovery Fund, two projects for recycling plants for electric vehicle batteries and wind turbine blades, initiatives that require the support of public financing and the establishment of consortia to carry them out. Members of the Project Evaluation Committee of the Futur-e Plan appreciated Endesa's step forward in supporting its own industrial installations in El Bierzo.
Circular economy as the backbone
As a result, three of the business projects that Compostilla may house are included in the circular economy objectives, directly linked to Endesa's circular economy strategy, which is present in a comprehensive way throughout the Futur-e programme, starting with the dismantling project recently awarded to the Recifemetal group.
To carry out the comprehensive management of this dismantling, the obligation for the contractor to implement a Circular Dismantling Plan has been incorporated into the technical specifications. This establishes the priority of looking for a second life for the equipment, components and materials before any other management action, such as recovery as waste or ultimately its deposit in a landfill site. Likewise, in cases where the second life option is not viable, special emphasis is placed on the monitoring and traceability of the waste that is recovered.
The search for a second life for assets is not limited to the sale of second-hand equipment to a third party or its recovery as waste. We have also examined the important channel of reusing equipment in other plants throughout the Enel Group, as well as the management of a significant amount of donations that have been requested from Endesa by entities of a social or cultural nature.
Endesa, the leading electricity company in Spain
Endesa is the leading electricity company in Spain and the second largest in Portugal. It is also the second largest gas operator in the Spanish market. Its integrated business model ranges from generation to sales, while also providing, through Endesa X, value-added services aimed at decarbonising energy use in homes, companies, industries and Public Administrations. Endesa is firmly committed to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and, therefore, decisively promotes the development of renewable energies, the electrification of the economy and Corporate Social Responsibility. We also work in the latter area through the Endesa Foundation. We have some 10,000 employees. Endesa is a member of Enel, the biggest electricity group in Europe.