Electricity companies not to cut off supply to people in need

December 5, 2013 04:08 PM | ACN

The Catalan Government wants energy companies not to cut off the domestic power supply to people in financial difficulties who are temporarily unable to pay their bills. The Catalan Ministry of Business and Employment aims to fight so-called ‘energy poverty’: people who are obliged to do without electricity or gas because they simply cannot afford the bills. In the current economic crisis, thousands of Catalan households (around 20%) are facing this problem, which means they cannot use the heating during winter or they have problems cooking meals. In order to achieve this objective, the Catalan Executive is looking at modifying Catalonia’s Consumption Code to include this initiative fighting ‘energy poverty’.

SEAT builds the world’s largest solar plant on a car factory

November 12, 2013 07:00 PM | ACN / Maria Belmez / Esther Romagosa

Car manufacturer SEAT, based in Martorell (Greater Barcelona), has set up 53,000 solar panels on the roof of its main factory and on top of parking spaces. The company has just completed the third stage of a €35 million project, which started in 2010, and occupies 10% of the 3 million square metres of its Martorell facilities. The solar panels occupy an extension equivalent to 40 soccer fields and can generate 15 million kWh of clean energy per year. This is equivalent to 25% of the energy needed to produce the Seat Leon or to the “annual consumption of 3,500 households”, said President Jürgen Stackmann. With this eco-friendly project Martorell is now the automation factory with the largest solar plant in the world. Furthermore, the panels were installed over existing facilities and do not occupy additional space.

Lleida University leads an international study on efficient thermal storage

November 7, 2013 10:13 PM | ACN

The University of Lleida (Western Catalonia) will be leading the INNOSTORAGE Project regarding efficient thermal storage. They will focus their study on improving energy-storing by using Phase Change Materials and their temperature changes. The project, which is financed by the European Commission, aims at reducing CO2 emissions and saving energy by finding new efficient energy-storing systems. Thanks to the Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES), INNOSTORAGE brings together searchers from Catalonia, France, Israel, the United-States, Australia, and New-Zealand.

Concern in the Ebro Delta over a series of small earthquakes allegedly due to a gas offshore platform

October 4, 2013 09:57 PM | ACN

A series of earthquakes measuring between 2 and 4.2 on the Richter scale have been affecting the coast of southernmost Catalonia and northernmost Valencia in the last few weeks but particularly since last weekend. All the evidence suggests that the Castor offshore gas reservoir is behind the earthquakes. In 2009, the Spanish Government approved the building of an underground gas reservoir located under the sea bed, some 20 kilometres offshore from the Ebro Delta and Vinarós, using the cavity in the rock from a former oil field. Madrid approved the project without an earthquake risk report, despite a formal petition from the Catalan Government. Now, geologists, the Spanish Industry Ministry and the company admit that the injection of gas into the rock could be triggering the earthquakes. Activities have been stopped and the Public Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the case.

Barcelona-based Gas Natural Fenosa signs a supply contract with Azerbaijan for the next 25 years

September 19, 2013 10:33 PM | ACN

The Catalan company has signed an agreement with the Shah Deniz consortium for a 25-year period. The Azerbaijani company will supply 1bcm of natural gas per year. The agreement is conditional on the final decision on the project investment, a step planned for later this year. The development of this project will open a new supply route to Europe through the ‘Southern Corridor’, which will allow Europe to access gas reserves in the Caspian Sea area. Barcelona-based Gas Natural Fenosa will receive the gas in facilities based in Italy, one end of the European gas pipeline passing through Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Albania, and crossing the Adriatic Sea. The Catalan company said that this supply will consolidate its presence and strengthen its gas supply business in Italy.

Gas Natural Fenosa to provide liquefied natural gas to South Korean company Kogas for the next two years

September 12, 2013 10:39 PM | ACN

Barcelona-based Gas Natural Fenosa (GNF) has signed a contract with the South Korean company Kogas to supply between 1 and 1.5 bcm for the next two years. This is the first deal that Catalan GNF has signed with Kogas, the largest gas operator in South Korea and the biggest importer of LNG in the world. Furthermore, in recent months, GNF has signed contracts with companies in both Japan and India, contributing to its increase in the Asian market, which has a high growth potential in the coming years.  International sales now represent 30% of the total portfolio of the Catalan energy company.

Barcelona-based Gas Natural Fenosa to stay in Panama for 15 more years through Edernet and Edechi

August 14, 2013 08:55 PM | ACN

The multinational energy company has confirmed it will continue operating in Panama for at least 15 more years through its subsidiary companies Edernet and Edechi, which control 65% of the country’s electricity market, supplying more than 500,000 clients. Gas Natural Fenosa owns 51% of both Edernet and Edechi, while the rest of the shares are controlled by Panama’s Government. The Catalan multinational entered Panama in 1998. According to Gas Natural Fenosa, it has invested more than €400 million to strengthen the electric power network of the Central American country and it foresees an additional investment of €230 million within the next 4 years.

Gas Natural Fenosa makes a €780 million profit during the fist half of 2013 and increases its MedGaz ownership

July 30, 2013 11:03 PM | ACN

Furthermore the Catalan multinational announced it was expanding its shares within the MedGaz pipeline to 14.9%, which is one of the five pipelines that transport Northern African gas to Europe. The natural gas company reported that its profit levels for the first half of this year have increased by 1.7% from 2012 to €780 million. The Catalan multinational company highlighted how this increase was the result of the international growth of the industry which counteracted the relative stagnation in the domestic market. Gas Natural Fenosa’s EBITDA was also up on last year and totalled €2.63 billion, representing an increase of 2.9% compared to the same period last year.

Gas Natural Fenosa earns €411 million in the first quarter of 2013, 1% more than a year ago

May 8, 2013 12:34 AM | CNA

The international business of the Catalan energy company has been the main driving force behind the profit increase in the January-March period, compared to a year ago. Gas Natural Fenosa’s EBITDA which come from its international business increased by 8.1% while that coming from the Spanish market dropped by 2%. International business represented 44.1% of Gas Natural Fenosa’s total consolidated turnover during the first three months of this year. The consolidated EBITDA reached €1.33 billion, 2.2% higher than that reached in the first quarter of 2012. The company’s debt levels reached 50.9%.

Gas Natural Fenosa increased its net profit by 8.8% in 2012, earning €1.44 billion

February 19, 2013 09:45 PM | CNA

The Catalan energy multinational’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) reached €5.08 billion, 9.4% more than in 2011, thanks to its international business, which grew by 22.6% and balanced out the stagnation in the Spanish market. In fact, Gas Natural Fenosa’s business in Spain now only accounts for 56.8% of its gross profits, while in 2011 this represented 61.5%. Furthermore, the firm’s financial debt decreased by 7.5% and now the company’s financial debt/EBITDA ration is 3.1. With these results, the Barcelona-based company has fulfilled the objectives of its strategic plan up until 2012.

Gas Natural Fenosa buys 10% of Medgaz submarine pipeline from Algerian company Sonatrach

February 13, 2013 08:41 PM | CNA / Clara Roig

Leading Catalan electric and natural gas company Gas Natural Fenosa has bought 10% of Medgaz, a submarine gas pipeline between Algeria and Europe that provides natural gas to the south of Europe. The pipeline has a capacity of transporting eight billion cubic meters per year and the acquisition has cost the Catalan company €61.9 million. Gas Natural Fenosa will use 10% of the transport capacity of the gas pipeline. The contract will last for 18 years.

Scottish multinational requests permission to look for gas and petrol on Catalan coast

January 29, 2013 09:01 PM | CNA / Laia Ros

A Scottish multinational has asked permission from the Spanish Ministry of Industry in order to look for hydrocarbons on the Catalan coast, in front of the Costa Brava and Maresme areas. This request has been made shortly after another company, Teredo Oils United, has been authorised to seek for fossil fuels in the Catalan counties of Ripollès, Garrotxa and Osona. Ecologist groups criticise the procedure due to their “serious impact on the marine ecosystems”. Allegations or other offers to carry out the project that can compete with the original one, may be presented over the next two months.

The world’s first plant combining biomass and solar thermal energy begins supplying power in Catalonia

December 13, 2012 11:27 PM | CNA

This pioneering energy plant, located in western Catalonia, will generate 22.5 megawatts of power, the equivalent of the electricity supply to 27,000 houses. The hybrid system combining solar thermal and biomass energy enables the production of electricity 24 hours a day, increasing the production capacity of the plant. It occupies 96 hectares and has 2,688 solar panels. In just 20 months, Abantia and Comse Emte have built the plant and put it to work. The €153 million project will prevent 24,500 tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.

Barcelona-based Gas Natural Fenosa signs an estimated €1 billion contract with Indian Gail

August 31, 2012 11:40 PM | CNA

The Catalan multinational company will provide Gail, the largest gas distributor in India, around 3 bcm of liquefied natural gas for three years. This quantity represents 10% of Spain’s annual gas consumption. Gas Natural Fenosa refused to disclose the value of the contract, but sources from the sector estimate it would be worth more than €1 billion. This would be the largest contract in Asia for this Barcelona-based company, which has a significant presence in South America.