Spanish utility Iberdrola and British oil and gas major BP will invest up to €1bn into electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and have pledged to collaborate on the development of large-scale green hydrogen production.
The energy companies announced their strategic collaboration on July 28 as part of plans to help the decarbonisation of European transport and industrial sectors. They plan to deploy an initial 5000 rapid and ultra-fast charge points across Spain and Portugal by 2025.
This joint venture (JV) aims to increase the number of charging points operated by the two companies to around 11,000 by 2030. Iberdrola already has more than 2500 charge points operating in Spain and Portugal, with others under development. Meanwhile BP operates 10,000 charge points across Europe, although the majority of these are in Germany and the UK.
“With this agreement, we continue advancing in the decarbonisation and energy self-sufficiency through the electrification of two key sectors of our economy: transport and industry,” Iberdrola’s chairman Ignacio Galán said in a statement.
Iberdroa and BP also plan to form another JV for large-scale integrated green hydrogen production in Spain, Portugal and the UK. The production hubs will have a combined total capacity of 600 tonnes per year, and will include the production of derivatives such as green ammonia and methanol.
The green hydrogen agreement will include BP’s refinery in the port of Castellon, around 65km from Valencia on Spain’s Mediterranean coast. The companies plan to finalise both JV agreements by the end of 2022, subject to regulatory approvals.
BP’s CEO Bernard Looney said that working in partnership with others, such as Iberdrola, enables the company to deliver its green transition plans faster and at scale.
“Creating the lower-carbon energy solutions that our customers want and need requires the integration of different technologies, capabilities and forms of energy,” he said.
BP reported an underlying profit of $8.5bn in the second quarter of 2022, the highest figure for a three-month period in 14 years. BP has come under political pressure in the UK as its profits have soared due to the rise in oil and gas prices fomented by Russia’s war in Ukraine.
The energy major pledged in early May 2022 that it will invest £18bn into the UK by the end of 2030. This is despite the UK’s former chancellor Rishi Sunak introducing a 25% energy profits levy on oil and gas companies, including BP and Shell.
This came as political pressure has mounted on the UK government to do more to help families impacted by higher energy prices and the cost-of-living crisis. Mr Looney told The Times that none of BP’s investment will be impacted by the new tax.