25 Sep 2018

Nortegas opens its natural gas plant in Labastida

The company has invested €812,000  to transform its propane gas facility to offer natural gas to 1,515 potential customers.

Labastida (Álava), 25 September 2018.- The Basque Government’s Deputy Minister for Industry, Javier Zarraonaindia, and the Nortegas  CEO, Alejandro Legarda, have today opened the company’s liquified natural gas plant (LNG) in Labastida (Álava).

The General Manager of the Basque Energy Board,  Íñigo Ansola, the Director for Energy, Mines and Industrial Administration, Aitor Patxi Oregi, the Mayor of the town, Laura Pérez Borinaga, and the Nortegas Director of Operations, Juan Ramón Arraibi, were also present at the ceremony.

The Nortegas CEO, Alejandro Legarda, explained that the company has invested €812,000 to transform and adapt the former propane gas facility to supply natural gas to a total of 1,500 potential customers in that municipality.

The arrival of natural gas, which began to be supplied at the end of July, “has ended many years of waiting to meet the demand for that service by both households and the  shops and industries of Labastida.  Natural gas is so far already being supplied to  households and 15 businesses, whose total consumption is 266,700 kilowatts/hour,” he added.

The Deputy Minister for Industry explained that “it is a day for Labastida to celebrate because the town finally has natural gas. The Basque Government has been working for years to achieve that, and we managed to do so with Nortegas”. The Deputy Minister stressed the Basque Government’s determination to progress in the introduction of renewable energies, and announced the start of a photovoltaic project in the Arasur industrial state, which is going to double the Basque Country’s capacity in this type of energy.

In that process, natural gas is going to provide us with support, as both energy models are compatible. Javier Zarraonaindia stressed the important gas infrastructures in the Basque Country, as practically 90% of households have access to this type of energy, which  is also helping to developing the business and industrial activity in that autonomous community.

In turn, the Mayor of Labastida, Laura Pérez Borinaga, expressed her satisfaction with seeing fulfilled one of her first projects that she proposed when deciding to stand as Mayor. The Mayor thanked the Basque Government for their help and willingness to bring natural gas to the town and also Nortegas for making it happen.

She also went on to stress the importance of the arrival of the natural gas for this essentially tourist town, because it means comfort, and “that will help to ensure that tourists not only come in summer, but also all year round”.

In 2016, Nortegas acquired 82,000 liquefied petroleum gas (propane) from Repsol in the Basque Country, Cantabria and Asturias. The company has now embarked on transforming that supply to natural gas in Labastida. The project is also part of the company’s initiative to bring the supply of natural gas to population centres away from the distribution networks.

Therefore, Nortegas has installed in Labastida a liquefied natural gas satellite plant with 60 cubic metres of storage, which has a system to regularly refill the tank.  Users are therefore guaranteed continuity of supply and the convenience of the service.

On the other hand, the natural gas is distributed along 10.2 kms of piping that were previously used for propane gas, which has facilitated the transformation process and avoided local residents being inconvenienced by the works. Furthermore, it was implemented gradually, in phases, the guarantee the continuity of supply.

The facility is double safe. On the one hand, as a fuel, because natural gas is lighter than air, does not accumulate and is easily dispersed in the atmosphere. On the other hand, because the plant is on the outskirts of the urban centre, which ensures its better integration with the setting without affecting the residential area.


The new Nortegas facility is environmentally friendly as natural gas is the fossil fuel that produces the lowest amount of CO2 per energy unit. Furthermore, the facility has a main regasification system based on atmospheric steamers, which significantly reduce the emissions directly or indirectly associated to the LNG plant.

In the same way as with the other LPG to natural gas transformations which have happened elsewhere, Nortegas has borne all the costs arising from modifying the individual facilities of the users of Labastida. The latter, in turn, can benefit from the access to the liberalised market offered by natural gas and opt for more competitive joint gas and electricity supply offers.