Business Roundup for Spain and the UK

Business Roundup for Spain and the UK

BARENTS BLUE: Project has secured sufficient power to carry out first state Photo credit:

Ammonia plant SPAIN’S Fertiberia will work with Norwegian company Horisont Energi on developing Eurpe’s biggest clean ammonia plant.

Both companies signed an initial cooperation agreement to build the plant in February and have now signed another that gives Fertiberia a 50 per cent stake in the Barents Blue project, which has received a subsidy of 482 million Norwegian krone (€41.74 million).

The project uses natural gas from the Barents Sea gas field and will eventually be able to produce a daily 3,000 tons of clean ammonia.

The carbon dioxide resulting from the ammonia production process, will be permanently stored in a “geological reservoir” on the floor of the Barents Sea, 100 kilometres off the Norwegian coast.

No AI qualms CONTRARY to popular fears, more jobs could be available in professions exposed to Artificial Intelligence (AI).

A Bank of Spain study concluded that the professions which used new technologies generated most employment, especially amongst the young as well as qualified staff.

The Bank’s report, New Technologies and Jobs in Europe, examined the links between labour market developments and new technologies, including AI in 16 European countries between 2011 and 2019.

“Results appear to be linked to the pace of technology diffusion and education, but also to the level of product market regulation (competition) and employment protection laws,” the report added.

Wilko shutdown THOUSANDS of jobs will be lost as Wilko prepares to close most of its stores “in the near future.”

No buyer came to the rescue of the family-owned household and garden products chain, which has approximately 400 stores and employees around 12,500 people.

After weeks of talks with potentially interested parties fell through, Wilko’s only option was to call in administrators from PricewaterhouseCoopers after running out of cash.

The budget retailer borrowed £40 million (€46.8 million) last year, reorganised its leadership team and cut jobs, while selling off a distribution centre to raise cash.

Despite the chain’s economic problems, the Wilkinson family paid itself £3 million (€3.51 million) in dividends during the year ending in February 2022.

The administrators would be supporting staff “through this deeply unsettling time”, they said.

Light-fingered Naturgy THE National High Court’s Public Prosecution department has opened an enquiry into Naturgy’s electricity prices.

The investigation follows on from a Facua consumers’ association complaint which maintained that prices charged between March 2019 and December 2020 in the area covered by the Sabon 2 power station in Galicia were illegally manipulated.

Naturgy profited €43 million from the high prices and last June, Spain’s National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) ordered the company to pay a €6 million fine and €35.5 to compensate the consumers who were overcharged.

Naturgy has confirmed that it will lodge an appeal with the High Court.

Near at hand  THE UK’s high street banks must ensure that customers can access cash within three miles of their local communities.

Following the closure of thousands of branches and increased online banking, banks failing to provide a minimum service would be fined, the government confirmed, as the Financial (FCA) would make sure that banks and building societies were respecting these standards.

“Ministers are looking to banks to help protect vulnerable groups and elderly customers by maintaining present levels of cash access across the UK,” the Treasury said.

Plum for Spanish firm STATE-OWNED QatarEnergy awarded a €598 million ($650 million) contract to Spanish engineering firm, Tecnicas Reunidas.

The contract, Tecnicas Reunidas’ fourth in two years from QatarEnergy, involves connecting the Ras Laffan industrial area with new liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanks and export facilities in the north of the country.

The Spanish company will also provide connections, ancillary systems, and other support elements for LNG facilities at the North Field South Project.

Located in the north-east of the Qatar peninsula, North Field is the world’s largest gas field not linked to an oil field and accounts for 10 per cent of the world’s known natural gas reserves.

What’s up with WhatsApp OFGEM has fined the US bank, Morgan Stanley £5.41 million (€6.33 million) after its energy traders communicated via private WhatsApp accounts.

They habitually discussed transactions when buying and selling energy between January 2018 and March 2020, the UK’s energy regulator said. Morgan Stanley did not take “reasonable steps” to ensure that staff used communication methods which could be handed over should investigators ask for information.

This was the first-ever UK fine issued under legal requirements to record and retain electronic communications relating to trading wholesale energy products, the regulator explained.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at