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Industry3 min read

Cepsa Energizes the Industry’s Transformation

Cepsa plans to become a leader in sustainable mobility and energy across Spain and Portugal and a benchmark in energy industry transformation. To accelerate the uptake of new projects, Cepsa is leaning heavily on the flexibility of the cloud.

The energy industry understands it must rethink its approach to carbon fuels. It also recognizes the world needs energy, an increasing amount of energy. As every energy company may say, the challenge will be to transition away from carbon into renewables, while continuing to make a profit. Few want to leave money on the table.

“The supply of energy cannot stop,” said Victor Blanco Rodriguez, chief information, digital and cybersecurity officer, Cepsa. “As we transition, we must allow customers to continue consuming energy at a competitive price.”

Cepsa, with a history in crude oil refinery, is one of the leading energy companies in Spain and Portugal. Its service stations are well known to drivers. Transforming the business promises to be a huge undertaking. Cepsa wants to create an e-mobility ecosystem in Spain and Portugal, making service stations into digitally enabled convenience stores.

The transition plan at Cepsa is named “Positive Motion.” Cepsa aims to become a leader in green hydrogen and biofuels by 2030, with more than half of earnings to come from sustainable sources and plans to invest EUR €8 billion in the next decade making these changes.

“In IT, our primary task is to support the company strategy,” said Blanco Rodriguez. “How can we use digital workflows to redesign processes at Cepsa and make them more efficient?”

Moving Quickly on Sustainable Ventures

The destination may be clear, but the route is far from certain. Cepsa wants to explore new ideas, identify new ways of working and move quickly on transformation opportunities. One of the best ways IT can support the transition is by providing the business maximum flexibility. From an infrastructure perspective, explained Blanco Rodriguez, this means enabling different workloads to run in different environments.

“We have decided on a hybrid cloud strategy. We recognize we’ll need some workloads to remain on-premises, with others in the public cloud. Some of that will be performance-related and others will be determined by regulations.”

Positive Motion will see Cepsa create new solar energy parks in the sunny south of Spain. Its service station network plans include building a network of ultra-fast, on-the-go charging points, with at least one 150 kW charger every 200 kilometers on key inter-city corridors. Both projects will see Cepsa work with new partners, generating vast amounts of data and requiring new application types.

IT, said Blanco Rodriguez, must enable the business to move quickly, form partnerships quickly and manage resources effectively: “As we make these changes, it is essential we maintain our market competitiveness.”

Creating a More Resilient Business

The engagement with VMware enhances the global business, making it more resilient, responsive and cost-efficient. In particular, the use of VMware Cloud ® on AWS is having a positive impact on the Cepsa business, in terms of time to market, hybrid working and application performance.

“Most workloads are now supported by VMware Cloud on AWS,” said Blanco Rodriguez. “We can maintain a balance between performance and cost and avoid the cost of renewing hardware every three to five years. With VMware, the hardware/software renewal is conducted throughout the lifecycle. We’re spending in one year what we would have typically spent over three years.”

More broadly, infrastructure is now used more efficiently. “If we know resources are going to be inactive over a weekend, or during project downtime, we can scale down. We have dashboards to tell us the status and warn us of upcoming inactivity. It’s a FinOps approach to managing infrastructure,” he explained.

As Cepsa is aiming to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 55 percent and Scope 3 by 15 to 20 percent by 2030, among the most ambitious goals in the sector, more efficient use of infrastructure positively impacts its sustainability reporting. “No consumption means no pollution,” said Blanco Rodriguez. “We’re aiming for our own energy consumption to be net zero.”

Cost and sustainability aside, the key advantage is time to market. Where new infrastructure would take between nine and 12 months to set up, the use of VMware Cloud on AWS cuts this to days. Where there is a new opportunity, the business can move quickly.

“We can increase the number of nodes, the clusters, the regions in which we need to operate, all at the click of a button,” said Blanco Rodriguez. “By accelerating the virtualization of workloads in the cloud, VMware gives us horizontal and vertical flexibility.”