The Swiss investment company Smartenergy has confirmed that the development of the ORANGE.BAT project, which will help to decarbonise the Spanish ceramic sector, continues to advance on schedule. The consortium behind the project is fully committed and confident to start commercial operation of the project before the end of 2025.
The 100MWe electroliser to produce green hydrogen will be placed in the municipality of Onda, Castellón (Valencia Region). This strategic location benefits from the proximity to the offtakers of the green hydrogen on the one hand and the availability of key supplies like water and green electricity from a dedicated solar PV plant on the other. The project is currently in the engineering phase and the environmental permitting process has already started.
Smartenergy was recently invited to present ORANGE.BAT at the European Green Hydrogen Investment Event hosted by EIT InnoEnergy’s European Green Hydrogen Acceleration Center (EGHAC) in Paris on November 29th. The EGHAC creates industrial players and supports green hydrogen projects with de-risking and acceleration, which is instrumental for developing the green hydrogen market that Europe needs for a successful energy transition.
In the words of José María Llopis, Managing Director Spain of Smartenergy, “this official presentation to investors and the great interest awakened in the meetings we have had in Paris, demonstrate the great potential and maturity of the project. ORANGE.BAT is a reference at the European level on how to work with a hard-to-abate industry, such as the ceramic sector, and provides excellent value to all parties directly or indirectly involved. From a sustainability point of view, the environmental benefits for the population in the region are well-known and of vital importance. From a business perspective, this project will support the industry to reduce CO2 emissions and have a predictable, competitively priced, and locally produced alternative to natural gas supply”.
Major industrial players, investment firms, research centres, and institutional bodies are involved in the project. The two major sectorial associations of the ceramic industry, ASCER and ANFFECC, also support it. The Spanish ceramic sector is the leading European ceramic tile producer in total square meters and generates a turnover of almost EUR 5,000 million (95% of the sector is in the province of Castellón), employing more than 17,000 people, according to 2021 numbers.
“These figures, and the high geographical concentration and energy consumption intensity of the sector, make the decarbonisation of the ceramic industry a project of high strategic value at a regional and national level. Moreover, the Valencian Government has recognized ORANGE.BAT as one of the anchor projects for the Green H2 Strategy of the Valencia Region”, says Llopis.
Smartenergy has also confirmed that there are advanced talks for a phase 2 of the project with a scale up of the capacity to 800 MWe after phase 1 with 100 MWe is completed.