The As Pontes generation plant is located in the north of the province of A Coruña, in the municipality of As Pontes de García Rodríguez. It has been in operation since 1976, and it is the largest thermal power plant in Spain, with 1,469 MW installed Over the years this plant has undergone three major reforms, to adapt to current regulations on environmental matters.
The last of the modernisations, which had been partially completed when it was cancelled due to the economic non-feasibility of the plant, required an investment of €270 million in systems to reduce emissions to the atmosphere.
We are accompanying the closure of the As Pontes power plant, established by the Government, with a social-economic development plan for the region that we have already presented to the Ministry of Ecological Transition, as well as to the Regional Government of Galicia and the Council of As Pontes. With this plan our aim is to demonstrate our commitment to a fair energy transition process and the creation of value in As Pontes and the surrounding area.
The essential aim of this plan is to replace the 1,400 megawatts (MW) of coal-fired production at As Pontes with 1,300 MW of renewable energy and it will also include a plan to dismantle the plant, to install new industrial projects on the site occupied by the plant, to promote logistical installations in the terminal of the port of Ferrol and to organise an ambitious training plan for the people from the surrounding area.
All Endesa's employees will also be relocated to other areas of the company, for dismantling, for future plans or they may opt for one of the voluntary redundancy plans.
Our plan for the future of As Pontes consists of 7 lines of action:
1. The dismantling of the plant that will take approximately 4 years. This will include a training plan for more than 130 people who will participate in these tasks, giving priority to local employment, and those who actually worked at the plant.
2. Training plans giving priority, provided they meet the requirements, to workers from the local area, workers in auxiliary companies and employment for women.
3. Processing of new renewable projects to convert the capacity of the plant into new clean power. This will involve the construction of 1,300 MW of wind projects which will create up to 2,300 jobs during the construction phase, and another 274 direct jobs during the estimated 25 years of useful life of the wind farms.
4. New industrial developments on the land related to the plant. These will include the construction of a smart tyre factory for the manufacturer Sentury Tire, which will mean the creation of 750 direct jobs. Endesa will invest a further €229 million to construct 191 megawatts of wind power to supply the factory by means of a PPA.
This factory will not only be a source of employment, but also an economic vector for the area by greatly increasing traffic in the terminal that we managed in the outer port of Ferrol.
Another project involves the transfer of 45 hectares of land from the old coal-fired plant to Ence, where it will invest €355 million in a bio plant for the recovery, development and production of recycled natural fibres from recovered paper and cardboard. The development of this initiative will enable the creation of 150 direct and 400 indirect jobs.
The third project is a pre-agreement for a PPA with Alcoa focussing on the supply of electricity at a competitive price for 10 years from 816 MW of wind power, of which 611 are envisaged in the As Pontes area. This PPA would enable Alcoa to resume aluminium production after the downturn resulting from the increase in energy prices.
5. New logistics role at the terminal for the outer port of Ferrol. We have compensated for the decline in coal traffic to the As Pontes thermal power plant at our terminal in the outer port of Ferrol with the transformation of this installation into a multi-client bulk terminal (transport and storage of bulk cargoes: Grain, minerals, etc.).
6. Green hydrogen generation installations, as a result of a project promoted by Endesa for an electrolyser of up to 100 MW that will be powered by wind projects in the area that already have the right of connection.
7. Creation of a strategic wind maintenance logistics centre for Spain in As Pontes. This new infrastructure will support the operation and maintenance of Endesa's 120 wind farms in Spain. This project involves the creation of 57 direct jobs. Another infrastructure will be created that will be used for wind-farm circularity operations to support a plan to strengthen Endesa's wind farms and will also involve security, safety and training actions.