Inauguration of the Lloseta hydrogen plant. | Miquel À. Cañellas

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Spain's minister for ecological transition, Teresa Ribera, attended the Monday inauguration of the Lloseta green hydrogen plant. Described as a pioneering project in Spain and in southern Europe, the plant has investment of 50 million euros, of which the European Union has contributed ten million.

At the plant, water molecules are separated by electrolysis into hydrogen and oxygen atoms. The compression of hydrogen allows its use as a green fuel without emissions. It occupies part of the old Cemex cement factory and is powered by photovoltaic parks located by the plant and in Petra.

The production plan is for more than 300 tonnes per year. This will initially be for part of Palma's bus fleet, for port services in Palma and for tourist establishments and industries. In the longer term, green hydrogen is seen as an energy source for residential purposes.

The oxygen from the process is for health use and also for diving cylinders, while the oxygenation of fish farms is being studied. The water for electrolysis is ten per cent of the volume that Cemex used to require for cement production.

Juan Pedro Yllanes, the Balearic minister for energy transition, said that the hydrogen plant will "accelerate the decarbonisation of the Balearic economy and advance energy sovereignty as a strategy to reduce our dependence on foreign countries".

Teresa Ribera observed that the project will provide "decarbonisation, security of supply and quality employment through a local and more affordable energy model".