Spain’s windfall energy tax may prompt Repsol to invest in France, Portugal -chairman

MADRID (Reuters) – A potential extension of a windfall tax levied on Spanish energy companies could prompt Repsol to spend the 1.5 billion euros ($1.64 billion) it plans to invest in hydrogen in France or Portugal, its chairman Antonio Brufau said on Thursday.

The Socialist Party of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and its junior coalition partner hard-left Sumar signed a new policy agreement that included extending and revamping windfall taxes on banks and energy firms. The taxes have generated 2.9 billion euros ($3.06 billion) in revenue for the treasury so far this year.

“If we have a tax to produce hydrogen that the French and the Portuguese don’t have, well our decision would surely to go to Portugal or France,” Brufau said in a presentation at the University of Navarra, according to a transcript provided by the company’s press office.

Repsol’s hydrogen investment plans hinge on fiscal and juridical stability, he said.

His comments echo a warning made by Repsol’s Chief Executive Josu Jon Imaz last month who said a possible extension of the tax that was originally set to expire in late 2024 would “punish” local companies and favour energy importers.

Repsol has sued the government over the tax, with Spain’s High Court in February rejecting a request from the company for an injunction against it.

Repsol’s top Basque Country executive late last month said the company had frozen a plan to set up a hydrogen project worth about 200 million euros in the northern Spanish region.

($1 = 0.9147 euros)

(Reporting by Inti Landauro, editing by Emma Pinedo, Kirsten Donovan)