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Climate Action 2009-2010

Coal-washing plant of

Coal-washing plant of Batán. GRUPO HUNOSA: A NEW FUTURE SPECIAL FEATURE 196 Grupo Hunosa’s core activity is the coal production in the Asturian Central Carboniferous Basin in Spain. This article describes how, after successive and intense restructuring, Grupo Hunosa is finding a way to a better future through diversfying its business in the area where its mining activity is established. Specifically, Hunosa is acquiring a new dimension in order to fit into the present energy scenario and to adapt to the European regulations for the coal mining industry, while maintaining its contribution to the principle of security of energy supply in its geographical scope. Hulleras del Norte S.A. (HUNOSA), was constituted in 1967. It is a subsidiary society, participated in 100 per cent by the state-owned holding company Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales (SEPI). During the last few years, in line with the whole of the diversification activities undertaken by the company, Grupo Hunosa has been promoting the reduction of its principal activity at the same time as opening new business lines such as engineering and consulting, training and security. The Group is determined to do this with all the knowledge and experience it has acquired throughout its history. Through the industrial promotion field, Grupo Hunosa wants to contribute to the launch of new feasible managerial projects that generate stable and highquality employment and enable entrepreneurship whilst mitigating, as much as possible, the job loss registered in the Asturias mining areas during recent years. Grupo Hunosa is firmly determined to move forward to future options and, according to the business plan 2006- 2012, tackles ambitious challenge and adds, within the diversification frame, new lines of prospecting and a boost in activities related to mining, energy and natural resources. All this includes proposals for forestry in the lands of ancient opencast mining, the use of the hydrological resources, the investigation of technology for CO 2 capture and storage, as well as the continuation and expansion of the electric energy generation business from the perspective of a sustainable development and environment protection. THERMOELECTRIC ENERGY Since 1994 Grupo Hunosa has run the Thermoelectric Group La Pereda, a power station of a 50MW circulating fluidised bed that generates electric power with waste material combustion fuelled by dumped materials. With the objective of intensifying this line of business, Grupo Hunosa has planned the construction of a cogeneration plant of 400MW of power in an area close to the La Pereda Plant that could be working by 2012. The new power plant will be run by a new company, Pereda Power, constituted by the companies Hunosa and Endesa. On the other hand, and also within this field, Grupo Hunosa with the company Endesa Cogeneración y Renovables (ECYR), has executed an agreement of intent in order to establish a new company, Eólica de la Cuenca Central Asturiana (ECCA), focused on the VISIT: WWW.CLIMATEACTIONPROGRAMME.ORG

Thermoelectric Group La Pereda. implantation and exploitation of wind farms. This project is currently under evaluation. CO 2 CAPTURE Global warming and climate change have been, and still are, the bases for the compromises that Grupo Hunosa is assuming related to coal combustion and therefore to the investigation of CO 2 capture and storage-technologies. Due to its involvement in the processes of CO 2 emissions reduction, Grupo Hunosa together with Instituto del Carbón (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas), Endesa and Foster Wheeler have taken the results obtained from the laboratory essays into account and have launched an experimental plant of 1 MW in La Pereda. This plant adds a post-combustion CO 2 capture process by means of carbonation-calcination that must be a precursor of plants at a semi-industrial and industrial scale. METHANE CAPTURE AND CO 2 STORAGE Grupo Hunosa is also involved in projects in collaboration with different organisations, institutions and associations for the prospecting and research of potential underground reservoirs suitable for safe CO 2 injection and storage. Following this pattern, Grupo Hunosa has started, together with other institutions, the CARBOLAB project in order to create an underground laboratory for the investigation, technological development and demonstration of the carbon dioxide capture in unexploited coal layers while producing methane (enhanced coal bed methane). GOETHERMAL ENERGY Alongside this, Grupo Hunosa decided to direct all its available resources on launching new business lines. Grupo Hunosa has analysed the possibility of using the mine water, outflowing to the surface with a range of temperatures between 18ºC and 23ºC, as an energy source for building heating and cooling by means of heat pump technologies. It will mean between 33 and 50 per cent reductions of CO 2 emissions to the atmosphere as compared to the emissions produced by conventional energy sources. For the application of this system, the supply for the new Campus building at Universidad de Barredo (Mieres) is under development as is the new building for Mieres Hospital. MINING VOID MANAGEMENT Grupo Hunosa is studying the possible use and management of water that fills the huge void created by underground mining exploitation. There is an available volume of over 80 million cubic metres that could be used for urban and industrial supplies. FOREST PLAN In addition, Grupo Hunosa has boosted the value enhancement of 3,000 hectares of land coming from the opencast mining industry. After a feasibility study, a forest plan for the reforestation of 900 hectares with a million trees has been elaborated. This plan is a decisive instrument to prevent erosion, contribute to biodiversity improvement, enrich the landscape and generate bio-mass, as well as to act as a CO 2 drain that will collect about 300,000 tons during the coming years. This forest plan began in 2009, and the first 50 hectares have already been reforested. BIO-MASS Connected to the forest plan, Grupo Hunosa is interested in the use of bio-mass coming from forest waste or energy crops. Grupo Hunosa is participating in the project entitled, ‘Technological development in the whole value chain of equipments for the combustion of waste materials proceeding from the forest industry’, and has made available land needed to investigate the growth of different willow species in order to prove its development and feasibility to serve as energy crops. SPECIAL FEATURE 197 Ancient opencast exploitation of S.Víctor before its reforestation. Enquiries Email: Website: VISIT: WWW.CLIMATEACTIONPROGRAMME.ORG