Two of the world’s biggest energy companies have formed a joint venture to build green hydrogen ‘production hubs’ in Spain, Portugal and UK, with an intention to explore opportunities in other geographies.

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Spain’s Iberdrola — the world’s third-largest power company and a major renewables developer — and BP, the sixth-largest oil company, say they aim to jointly build “advantaged hydrogen production hubs... integrated with renewable power” in the three countries with a total capacity of up to 600,000 tonnes per year. That volume would require roughly 6GW of electrolysers.

The new JV also aims to produce hydrogen-derivatives such as green ammonia and methanol “that can be potentially exported into Northern Europe”.

“This strategic collaboration will combine Iberdrola’s world-class track record in renewables development and its global customer base, with BP’s experience in gas processing, trading and its global customer portfolio,” the two companies said in a statement.

The previously announced agreement between BP, Iberdrola and Enagás to build a 20MW green hydrogen plant at BP’s Castellón refinery will now be developed by the as-yet-unnamed joint venture.

In fact, all green hydrogen projects currently being pursued individually by Iberdrola and BP will now be worked on by the new JV.

At the same time, the two companies have announced a separate joint venture to develop up to 11,000 electric-vehicle fast charge points across Spain and Portugal, with a combined investment of up to €1bn ($1.02bn). That company would also explore EV charging opportunities in 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,” said Iberdrola CEO Ignacio Galán. “The scale of this challenge requires alliances between companies such as Iberdrola and BP, which have the technology and knowledge necessary to help accelerate Europe's industrial development and generate, at the same time, well-being and new opportunities for all through clean energy.”

BP boss Bernard Looney added: “Creating the lower carbon energy solutions that our customers want and need requires the integration of different technologies, capabilities and forms of energy. We can deliver this faster and at scale when we work in partnership with others. We have enormous respect for Iberdrola who have been an early leader in the energy transition — and are very excited about what we can deliver together.”