Agonizing negotiation to save the decarbonization hub, the main industrial project that chooses to occupy the space that Nissan has vacated in the Free Zone. The promoters of the hub, led by QEV and Btech, could reduce their initial investment by 50% if they do not meet the necessary guarantees, approximately 80 million, a necessary condition to receive aid from the Perte of the electric vehicle (107 million between grants and loans ).
"The important thing is to be able to start now with the tractor projects that we have proposed," said sources from the hub, who pointed out that they will always be able to opt for the second call for the Perte next year. These "tractor projects" could represent between 60% and 50% of the global proposal, according to the same sources.
The hub has proposed an investment of 300 million euros to be carried out over a period of three years. A few months ago, its promoters asked the Ministry of Industry if it would be possible to stagger the receipt of aid, to make them available as they were needed. In this way, it would not be necessary to present all the guarantees at once. But that possibility was not contemplated in the Perte bases.
Banks are being very cautious and are reluctant to take risks with the hub despite the fact that the Generalitat has provided them with counter-guarantees from the Institut Català de Finances (ICF) for an amount close to 50 million euros. Few have accepted and yesterday some even backed down. For example, Banc Sabadell, which on Wednesday expressed its willingness to contribute around 10 million euros, yesterday lowered its proposal to between 1.5 and 2 million. He did it after it emerged that CaixaBank is only willing to contribute 5 million.
In parallel, however, other entities have been added, such as the Galician Abanca, while Santander would be analyzing it after an initial rejection. Previously, the Andorran entity Andank had already given its green light, with some 30 million euros. According to sources close to the hub, there are also some of the main insurance companies, which would complement the contributions of the banks.
The term for the presentation of the guarantees expires next Monday at midnight, after the last extension granted. But right now it's not just endorsements that are a problem for the hub. QEV is also looking for investors to strengthen its capital and, if possible, also to replace the businessman Enrique Bañuelos, a former shareholder of Sabadell, who now controls 12% of the technological engineering. The efforts to attract new investors are being carried out through the firm Javier Botín Capital.
Both the Generalitat and the Ministry of Industry are making intense efforts to convince the bank. If the hub project collapses, it would mean a huge failure for the two administrations and also for the unions that bet on this project at the reindustrialization table. And the third project by magnitude of the Perte would also fail, behind those of Seat-Volkswagen and Mercedes.