The measure contributes to the EU Hydrogen Strategy and the European Green Deal targets, while helping reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels and fast forward the green transition in line with the REPowerEU Plan.
Today’s decision follows approvals in July and September of two Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI, ‘Hy2Tech’ and ‘Hy2Use’) in the hydrogen value chain.
Cobra’s project was selected by Spain in the context of an open call to form part of an IPCEI on hydrogen technologies and systems, which resulted in the two approved IPCEIs. However, given its characteristics and objectives, it was better suited for assessment under the Guidelines on State aid for climate, environmental protection and energy 2022.
Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President in charge of competition policy, said: “This €200 million measure enables Spain to support Cobra’s plans to establish new renewable hydrogen production capacities. This will contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and further greening of the European industry.”
Spain notified to the Commission its plan to support Cobra, which is not yet active in hydrogen production, to start producing renewable hydrogen at large scale via water electrolysis. The renewable hydrogen produced will be used for external industrial off-takers, in particular in energy-intensive and hard-to-abate sectors as refineries and ceramics.
The aid will support the construction and the installation of electrolysers in the Spanish regions of Cartagena and Castellón.
The two electrolysers will have a total capacity of 205MW and are expected to produce approximately 8,550 tonnes of renewable hydrogen and 6,840 tonnes of oxygen per year, with the first set to launch next year.
Once completed, the project is expected to avoid the release of 47,038 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. In addition, to maximise the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the generated hydrogen will be produced solely with electricity stemming from renewable sources.