Repsol Boosts Startup Nuspec


Repsol Boosts Startup Nuspec
Rapeseed crop fields in bloom during spring in the town of Fores in Catalonia Spain. © csp

Nuspec Oil, a United Kingdom-based company developing biobased base oils and advancing commercialization of novel rapeseed oils, was among five startups selected by the Repsol Foundation in the latest call of its Entrepreneurs Fund. Benefits will include a year of financial support, along with advice from and testing opportunities at Repsol.

The Spanish refiner’s foundation, considered a business accelerator, chose the startups after an evolution and selection process from a total of 420 proposals received from 69 countries, mainly from Spain, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Nigeria, and Portugal.

According to a foundation press release, each project will receive financial support of up to €100,000 euros (U.S. $101,000) for one year, as well as the advice of export technologists from Repsol and a team of professional mentors with experience and knowledge of both the energy sector and business management. In addition, each company will have the opportunity to validate their initiatives in a real environment, through pilot tests at Repsol’s own facilities and industrial plants or by carrying out concept tests at the Repsol Technology Lab, a technology and innovation center.

Founded in 2019, Nuspec Oil focuses on development of biobased base oils. According to its website, the company’s products include base oils and vegetable oils. Its two high viscosity base oils are marketed as suitable for formulating marine and industrial lubricants requiring high levels of biodegradability.

With its vegetable oil product, the company aims to advance commercialization of novel rapeseed oils that are considered suitable in neat form as a base for lubricating oil or as feedstock in production of biobased chemicals. Nuspec claims its specialty rapeseed oils contain less than 5% of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which increase their stability at high temperatures. Elevated levels of monounsaturated or very long chain fatty acids in the oils make them also more suitable for demanding applications, according to Nuspec. The company said it is working with industrial partners towards development of a flexible processing platform to manufacture base oils from various biobased raw materials.

Since its launch in 2011, the Entrepreneurs Fund has contributed to the development of 70 innovative startups in fields related to low carbon emission technologies, circular economy, sustainable mobility or digitization for the optimization and control of processes in the energy industry.

Throughout these years, the companies accelerated by the Repsol Foundation have developed more than 850 prototypes, registered nearly 230 patents and obtained more than 175 million euros in public and private funding.

Repsol has API Group base oil plants in Spain in Cartagena and Puertollano and is a 30% partner in the SK-Repsol joint venture Group II and III plant in Cartagena. Repsol is also a leading lubricants supplier in Spain and Portugal. In early 2021, the company said it aimed to expand its growing lubes business by 50% over the next five years, largely by focusing on markets in Europe, South America and Southeast Asia.

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