The Generalitat has awarded Pangea Aerospace the first phase of the rocket engine testing center at the Lleida-Alguarie airport, one of the infrastructures planned in the NewSpace Strategy promoted by the Government to promote the new space economy.
“We are taking the first step of a key infrastructure that will have an immediate impact on the Catalan aerospace sector,” said the Minister of Business and Work, Roger Torrent, after the signing of the contract by the president of Catalunya Airports, Daniel Albalate and the general director of Pangea, Adrià Argemí, as the winning company.
Torrent believes that the new center will strengthen the NewSpace ecosystem and position Catalonia as a reference space for aerospace aeronautics projects, as it is a growing sector.
Along the same lines, the Minister of Territory, Ester Capella, said that “Lleida-Alguaire is now a hub of economic activity, research and training” and recalled that in Europe there are few spaces to carry out propulsion tests for rocket-shuttle. "With this space we turn Catalonia and the Lleida-Alguaire airport into a reference space and pole of attraction for public and private projects of the local and global aerospace ecosystem," she remarked.
For his part, the general director of Pangea, Adrià Argemí, has advanced that testing capabilities will be developed for private companies and also for “well-known institutions such as the European Space Agency.”
"We have the opportunity to create a hub for research and innovation, the generation of jobs for highly qualified talent and the creation of strategic capabilities for the competitiveness of the territory," added the general director.
Argemí has insisted that there is a very significant deficit in engine testing infrastructure, which is why he considers it an opportunity to create a research and innovation group of jobs with highly qualified talent.
The contract marks the starting signal for two projects that will be carried out in parallel. The first, with a budget of 250,000 euros, includes the works to condition this space and turn it into a test area for subcomponents, with the construction of a control room, offices, warehouse, workshop, laboratory, testing area, toilet area, showers and changing rooms, rest area, office and green area with shade outside.
The second, with a budget of 350,000, consists of drafting a construction project to improve the facilities and adapt that same space to convert it into a testing area for rocket engines of up to 500 kilonewtons of power.