Over 175 years in the energy sector

How have we evolved into what we are today?

To familiarise ourselves with this energy and understand everything there is to know about it, let’s take moment to examine its origins and history.

The development of natural gas consumption in the 21st century

Final natural gas consumption rose sharply until the crisis of 2008-2009 due to the increasing use of gas in industrial processes. This went hand in hand with a gradual increase in domestic use and, beginning in 2002, the installation of combined-cycle power plants that use natural gas as a fuel to generate electricity. Natural gas combined-cycle power plants bring increased performance, reducing costs and CO, CO2 and NOx emissions, and practically eliminating the emission of particles and sulphur derivatives.

2018, an iconic year for the company

In 2018. and coinciding with the group’s 175th anniversary, one of the most significant changes in our history came about: the switch from Gas Natural Fenosa to Naturgy.

Our new brand is international, adapted to suit all global markets and is focused on innovation, digitalisation, simplicity and globality.

Nedgia, a brand for the gas distribution business in Spain

Some interesting information

Nedgia was also launched in 2018 as the new brand for all gas distribution activity by the Naturgy group in Spain , marking the beginning of a new era focused on business growth and transformation to bring about added well-being.

NEDGIA combines two concepts that are fundamental for the company: the innovation that comes hand in hand with the experience and solvency gained from being a part of the Naturgy energy group and the development of natural gas expansion throughout Spain over the last 25 years.

Following the launch of the new brand, the different companies that distribute gas have kept the regional and historic names of the territories in which they operate, while incorporating Nedgia as part of their new name.This represents the globality of distributed powerand the immense network used to distribute it efficiently and easily, and is also associated with the energy context, development and connections.

Hombre operario sonriente y con bigote. Lleva una gorra azul y un chaleco reflectante de Nedgia. En la mano izquierda lleva una caja de herramientas naranja y está saludando con la mano derecha.

Other iconic dates

  • 1998 Deregulation and internalisation

    In 1998, the process to deregulate the gas sector in Spain began with the publication of the Hydrocarbons Act. This act forced the separation of transport networks and the role of System Technical Manager from distribution networks and commercialisation.

  • 1996 International gas transportation activities begin

    Between 1985 and 1993, gas supply came mainly from LNG (liquefied natural gas). In 1993, the first international connection of the Spanish gas system (in Larrau, France) came into operation and, in 1996, the Maghreb-Europe pipeline was officially opened. This pipeline runs from the deposit in Algeria, through Morocco (transit country) and connecting with mainland Spain in Tarifa.

  • 1991 Integration of the Spanish gas sector

    Thanks to the new situation in the Spanish gas sector (excellent possibilities for growth and development), two important shareholders joined the others with a stake in Catalana de Gas:La Caixa and Repsol.

    With the support of these two shareholders, a new business project was rolled out involving the integration of the gas distribution sector in Spain (with the merger of Catalana de Gas, Gas Madrid and Repsol Butano’s piped gas shares).

    Consequently, a new company was set up in 1992: Gas Natural SDG, S.A. In the same year, the company began a process of international expansion in Latin America, beginning with Argentina and continuing in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico in subsequent years.

  • 1985 Memorandum of Understanding for the development of gas in Spain

    This protocol, signed between the Ministry of Industry and Energy (MINER) and the main natural gas distributors and suppliers, led to the start of a long-term expansion plan that meant greater investment and an increase in both distributors and customers. Thanks to this, the sector in Spain quickly began to make up for its historical backwardness in relation to Europe.

    In 1987, Catalana de Gas y Electricidad changed its name to Catalana de Gas, S.A. after selling its last conventional electricity shares.

    In 1990, the process of switching from city gas to natural gas in Barcelona (begun in 1985) was completed with the closure of the last functioning gas plant in the city, in Sant Martí de Provençals.

  • 1972 The beginnings of gas
    Notable in the early years of gas were three men and two methods of producing it:

    Check_azul_simple The Scot, William Murdoch, who managed to light his house with gas produced from coal in 1792.

    Check_azul_simple The Frenchman, Lebon, who tried to use the gas obtained from distilling wood for similar purposes in 1801.

    Check_azul_simple The German, Frederick Albert Winsor, who presented his experiments with gas lighting in London in 1804.

    However, it was Winsor who created the first gas company in the world to provide street lighting with gas produced from coal. That was the London “Gas Light and Coke Company, in 1812.

  • 1969 Start of the direct supply of natural gas

    Natural gas was first used in the US in 1821, extracted from a shallow well dug in Fredonia, New York, by William Hart, who is regarded as the “father of natural gas”.

    Natural gas arrived in Europe between the late 1950s and the early 1960s as a result of three factors:

    Check_azul_simple The discovery of natural gas fields in Europe and North Africa.

    Check_azul_simple The development of cryogenic technology between 1960-62.

    Check_azul_simple Growing ecological awareness and the search for cleaner alternative fuels to coal and oil, such as natural gas.

    central a gas historia del gas

    Supplying natural gas direct without the need for gas plants began in Spain in 1969.

    A very important role in this development was played by Catalana de Gas y Electricidad which, with other stakeholders, set up Gas Natural S.A. to import natural gas from Libya, constructing a regasification plant in the Port of Barcelona and the first Spanish LNG tanker: “El Laietà”.

  • 1958 Start of industrial use

    Between the late 1950s and the early 1970s, the Stabilisation Plan and the Development Plans were implemented in Spain, and the peseta was floated on world currency exchange markets.

    The installations in the gas sector were old and antiquated, so a process of modernisation began, in which the 1963 switch from manufacturing gas from coal to producing it with naphtha was of major importance.

    This change was followed by the startup of more modern chemical plants, which meant an increase in the productive capacity of the plants.

    To find an outlet for this increased production it was necessary to look for new uses of gas, which lead to the heavy promotion of gas heating.

    catalana de gas

    From the late 1950s until the early 1970s, installations in the gas sector had become old and antiquated.

    Industrial restructuring saw the start of a modernisation process, a very important feature of which was the switch from producing gas from coal to producing it from naphtha.

  • 1894 Electricity arrives and is instantly popular
  • 1843 First gas company in Spain founded

    The history of gas use in Spain began in 1841, when Charles Lebon won the first contract for gas public lighting from Barcelona City Council.

    A year later, as a consequence of this concession, the first gas plant in Spain was built in Barceloneta. In 1843, Lebon founded the Sociedad Catalana Para el Alumbrado por Gas (SCAG) with the Gil y Serra brothers and other shareholders.

    From 1853 onwards, other companies entered and began competing in the market.

    To this effect, SCAG began to extend geographically throughout Spain and, in 1884, it became the 7th European group in terms of its contributions to the Société Téchnique de l’industrie du Gaz.

    As the use of gas for public lighting became more popular over the course of the 19th century, the idea arose of building a gas plant in the largest municipality and transporting it to the others in the area. And so, piped gas distribution began with the aim of saving on costs and investment.