The New Energy Business Unit was created in 2010, assigned to the Downstream Division, to promote and provide business sense to the new initiatives contributing to a vision of a more diversified and less CO2- intensive energy future.
The aim of Repsol's New Energy Business Unit is to identify new opportunities, promote projects and carry out business initiatives in fields such as bioenergy and renewable energy applied to transport and other areas that could have synergies with Repsol's current business and the geographic areas in which it operates. It also develops new business related with CO2 reduction and CO2 marketing, in particular carbon capture and storage.
EIn this context, on 4 August 2010, Repsol announced the acquisition of a 20% share in AlgaEnergy, a leading company in microalgae research. The agreement complements and strengthens Repsol's research into the use of microalgae for the production of second-generation biofuels, and its entrance into AlgaEnergy speeds up and diversifies its R&D&I strategy in this field.
With this stake, Repsol enters a business project with a technological basis and of high scientific quality for the selection, improvement, farming and marketing of microalgae, including the capture and storage of CO2, and the harvesting of raw materials for biofuel. Simultaneously, Repsol will continue developing other research lines in this field.
On 16 September, Repsol agreed to buy 47% of Orisol, an international company that promotes renewable energy projects and which has a professional team that is highly regarded in the sector.
On 13 October, Repsol and the Basque Energy Board (EVE) announced the creation of IBIL, a company that manages the recharging of electric vehicles. Owned jointly (50%) by Repsol and EVE, it has its headquarters in Bilbao and its mission is to develop recharging networks for electric vehicles and market recharging services in related public fields; it aims to become the leading company in the Basque Country in terms of the number of recharging points, and a market standardbearer in electric-vehicle recharging technology.
On 28 October, Repsol and the Mexican Group KUO signed an agreement to create a joint venture called KUOSOL, devoted to the development of bioenergy by farming Jatropha curcas, an oleaginous plant with a high content of non-edible oil. KUOSOL will be owned by Repsol (50%) and the KUO Group (50%), its headquarters will be in Mexico and it will receive a total estimated investment of $80 million. Its activities range from agricultural production to industrial facilities, and its objective is to fully harness the biomass from the Jatropha curcas plantations, the production of oil as the raw material for biofuels, and the generation of bioenergy, with high levels of sustainability.
Investments in Downstream totalled €1.613 billion, down 2% compared to €1.649 billion the previous year. Most of this amount was spent on ongoing refining projects, particularly in Spain, upgrading operations, installations and fuel quality, and on safety and the environment, as described above.
On 25 March 2010, Repsol, Petronor and BBK signed an agreement through which BBK purchased a 5% stake in CLH that Repsol indirectly owned through Petronor. The sale price was ?145 million. Repsol thereby reduced its holding in CLH to 10%.
In December 2010, Repsol sold Petrobras its 30% stake in the Alberto Pasqualini Refinery (Refap), located in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, for $350 million (€261 million). With this sale, Repsol concluded the process of selling nonintegrated Downstream assets in Latin America, which had started in 2007.