Iberdrola and Foresa advance in their alliance to lead green methanol production in Spain

  • The first of the projects, Green UMIA, will be located in Pontevedra and will lead to a reduction of 58,000 tonnes of CO2 in its first 10 years of operation
  • It will also strengthen the decarbonisation and sustainability of the timber value chain, which is strategic for the region
  • With an investment of more than 40 million euros, Green UMIA has been declared a Priority Business Initiative by the Regional Government of Galicia

Iberdrola and Foresa take a step forward to lead the production of green methanol in Spain. Both companies, in their commitment to promote a sustainable energy transition, have joined forces to act as a key agent in the transformation of the industrial fabric of our country.

To this end, they are promoting renewable methanol projects, which will be the first step in a profound decarbonisation process in Galicia based on the replacement of grey methanol with renewable methanol.

The first of the projects they are working on is Green UMIA, a project located in the town of Caldas de Reis (Pontevedra) that will reduce 58,000 tons of CO2 during its first 10 years of operation, as a result of the production of 2,900 tn/year of renewable methanol per year, which will be used by Foresa itself to incorporate them into a wide variety of industries. The Green UMIA project will involve an investment of over €40 million and will generate up to 900 total jobs (direct, indirect and induced) during the construction phase and 265 jobs (direct, indirect and induced) during the operation phase.

In addition, this project reinforces the decarbonisation and sustainability of the strategic wood value chain in Galicia.

Green UMIA has already been submitted to the IDAE's aid programme for Pioneering and Singular Renewable Hydrogen projects and proposes a pioneering solution to integrate the production and industrial use of green hydrogen in the same location, which together with the carbon dioxide captured from a biomass source, will be used to synthesise renewable methanol.

For methanol to be considered green, the energy supply necessary for the production of green hydrogen must come from newly constructed renewable generation sources. For this purpose, an energy supply agreement will be established from the Castro Valente wind farm located 12 km from the future methanol plant. The wind farm is located in the municipalities of Padrón (A Coruña) and A Estrada (Pontevedra), and consists of the installation of 3 wind turbines of 6 MW each, with a total power of 18 MW. The construction of this wind farm will involve an investment of approximately 14 million euros and the generation of around 70 jobs (direct, indirect and induced) during the construction phase and around 5 jobs (direct, indirect and induced) during the operation phase.

Iberdrola, in its firm commitment to socioeconomic development and biodiversity conservation in its decarbonisation strategy, maintains a programme of continuous improvement of initiatives and alliances to promote measures that integrate the territory, the landscape, and local communities, demonstrating that it is possible to balance the environment while contributing to social and economic development.

Priority Business Initiative

The green methanol plant and the new renewable facility for electricity supply (Green UMIA) will have priority in the completion of procedures, having been declared a Priority Business Initiative (IEP) by the Regional Government of Galicia, which will allow its commercial operation in July 2025.

The chemical industries in Galicia alone consume more than 130,000 tonnes of grey methanol per year and in Spain more than 600,000 tonnes of grey methanol per year, mainly from countries outside the European Union. Imports from these countries have a large amount of CO2 emissions associated with their production and transport. 

The partnership between Iberdrola and Foresa has been designed with the dual objective of reducing these polluting emissions and strengthening the European Union's autonomy by replacing a supply of methanol produced from natural gas with green methanol produced from local renewable energy.

Furthermore, due to the significant support it would provide to the development of the hydrogen value chain, its innovative nature and its technological significance, this alliance will contribute to the diversification and long-term development of the Galician industry. The investment initiative to decarbonise methanol and tackle its production on an industrial scale will strengthen our country's position as a technological benchmark in green hydrogen and green methanol, attracting new investments, making this alliance an opportunity for Galicia, Spain and Europe.