28 Jun 2019
- For another year running, Cepsa reduced environmental emissions at San Roque
- Our environmental statements detail the annual objectives and targets of Cepsa establishments in this field, as well as their environmental performance
In 2018, the Gibraltar-San Roque Refinery and the Puente Mayorga Chemical Plant, Cepsa’s two industrial facilities in San Roque, invested €42.24 million on improvements to environmental management, almost three times as much as the previous year, as its statements on the environment show.
Last year, the Gibraltar-San Roque Refinery managed to earn the sole certification in the environmental management system in accordance with ISO 14001, validated its Environmental Statement, and also verified the environmental report for Cepsa’s maritime terminal in compliance with Puertos del Estado’s Good Environmental Practices Guide. In turn, the Puente Mayorga Chemical Plant earned the ISO 50001 Energy Management Certificate, which the Refinery has also had since 2014, and renewed its ISO 14001 Environmental Management Certificate. These certificates demonstrate Cepsa’s concern for the environment.
Miguel Pérez de la Blanca, Director of the Gibraltar-San Roque Refinery, and Jesús Ivars, Production Director for Cepsa’s chemical plants in Andalusia, point out that the publication of the environmental statements is indicative of the company’s commitment to sustainability, energy efficiency, and ongoing improvement. They feel that investing in environmental protection is necessary and indisputable in the sector in which Cepsa operates.
Emissions into the atmosphere. At the Gibraltar-San Roque Refinery, for yet another year, the average annual bubble effect concentrations were lower than the limits set by the Autorización Ambiental Integrada (AAI), the Spanish integrated environmental authority. Mass emissions of SO2 reached a record low. These gradual reductions in SO2 emissions are due to the improvement in fuel quality achieved through the decrease in fuel oil consumption, an increase in natural gas consumption and the improvements implemented in the Sulfur Recovery and Amine Treatment Units, so that consumer fuel gas is virtually sulfur free. As the chemical plant only uses gaseous fuel in production processes, mainly natural gas, SO2 and particle emissions are minimal, remaining below detection limits. As to NOx emissions, they are kept at levels below the established limits.
Wastewater. At the Refinery’s own treatment plant, the wastewater from the Puente Mayorga Chemical Plant is also treated. The environmental statements show that the volume of wastewater at the main discharge point is 10% less than that permitted.
Energy efficiency. In San Roque, Cepsa strives, year after year, to be more energy efficient, in order to make a significant contribution to reducing the environmental impact of its processes because a reduction in energy consumption automatically implies lower emissions both of greenhouse gases and other gases which have an impact on air quality. Cepsa at San Roque is ISO-50001 certified. The aim of this standard is to promote energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, guarantee compliance with energy legislation, and increase the use of surplus energy.
CO2 emissions. In 2013, the third period of allocation (2013-2020) of CO2 emission allowances began. Under this, co-generation facilities ceased to receive allowances for free. Although the Refinery and Chemical Plant facilities receive free allowances, the allowances allocated gradually drop each year. The Refinery’s total emissions balance for 2018 (excluding the co-generation units) amounted to 144,976 tonnes of CO2 allowances beyond the amount allocated. The Puente Mayorga Chemical Plant released 28,537 tonnes less of CO2 allowances than allocated.
The environmental statements contain detailed information about many other matters ranging from noise and soil monitoring, water and raw materials usage to activities which have an influence on environmental improvements to products manufactured, in order to reduce their impact when used by consumers. Cepsa’s environmental management is not limited to monitoring the impact of its activities. It also extends to such sensitive issues as the training of its own employees about the environment and also those of the businesses which provide services at the Company's facilities or communication with the community.
In addition, through the Cepsa Foundation set up in 2016, Cepsa is noted for its proactive stance in the defense and improvement of biodiversity in the areas surrounding its production facilities. A good example of this type of activity is the recovery of and improvements to the wetlands along the Madrevieja river. With this program, the Cepsa Foundation is providing local people with a space and activities which make them aware of the natural environment of the area.