The La Rábida refinery opened in 1967 in Palos de la Frontera (Huelva). Its production plants and port facilities mean the refinery is able to store and distribute a wide range of products for industry and consumers (gasoline, butane, propane, fuel oil and asphalt, among others). Aside from its contribution to development in the area, the refinery employs technologies that respect the environment.
The refinery occupies an area of 2.4 million m2 and directly employs over 800 workers on permanent contracts, not to mention a much larger number in ancillary undertakings. These industries also generate indirect employment in the district.
The refinery has increased its production capacity for middle distillates (the Middle Distillates Capacity Expansion project, MDCE). Together with other projects, this raises its total capacity to 9.5 million tons, with a 2 million ton rise in the output of fuel oils and kerosene, products that are in short supply in Spain. The MDCE project begun in March 2010 and involves a total investment of more than EUR 1,000 million. In these three years, a total of 140 employees and 200 contractors have participated in the Project.