More than 175 years in the energy sector
In 1843, our innovative spirit led us to start our activity in Barcelona and bring public lighting to the city streets for the first time. This same spirit continues to drive the company towards a future full of challenges and new opportunities.
In 2018 we celebrate our 175th anniversary with a history and experience that attest to our solidity and ensure a future that points to comfort and a smarter use of energy. So we invite you to take a brief look at our history to discover where we have come from and where we are going.
In the 1990s, Naturgy began one of the most significant stages in its recent history: the leap into foreign markets, beginning in 1992.
Looking towards the future
1992-Present. Recent history
Since starting our business, our goal has always been to serve society and offer smart and innovative solutions by opting for avant-garde solutions. In all our years of experience, we have diversified our business and became the first group to integrate gas and electricity in Spain.
The last few years of our history have been marked by decisive changes in this strategy: we have expanded our business to reach 30 countries, we have led the way in integrating the gas and electricity business as well as the commitment to clean energies and new power generation technologies.
In 2018, coinciding with our 175th anniversary, we also made one of the most significant changes in our history: switching from Gas Natural Fenosa to Naturgy. Our new brand is international, adapted to suit all the global markets where we operate now and will operate in the future, with a focus on innovation, digitalisation, simplicity and globality. With this brand, we are giving ourselves new momentum to be closer to our customers wherever they are and focus on offering simple, easy and environmentally-friendly solutions.
In the 1990s, the company began one of the most significant stages in its recent history: the leap into foreign markets. The process began in 1992, when the Group started its international expansion with the acquisition of assets in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the incorporation of Gas Natural BAN. Five years later, it continued advancing throughout South America to begin new activities in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. The experience was so positive that, after a few months, the group had more customers in its international area than in Spain.
The group consolidated further in 2002, when it expanded into the Italian energy market. From then, and with the beginning of activities in Puerto Rico and France, the company's international expansion process has been unstoppable, and it is now present in more than 30 countries worldwide, including Australia, South Africa, Oman, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Belgium and Germany.
In 2014,the company entered into the Chilean energy market after a successful takeover bid for Compañía General de Electricidad, S.A. (CGE), the country's leading energy company.
Acquiring CGE allowed the company to enter into the Chilean market from a leading position through the main gas and electricity distributor.
Today, the company provides service to customers on the five continents, is a leading company in the gas and electricity sector in Spain and Latin America and is the main supplier of liquefied natural gas in the Mediterranean and Atlantic basins.
During the last two decades, and thanks to the group’s organic growth as a result of mergers with other companies, the company has diversified and significantly expanded its business: in the 1990s it began its activities in gas transport and trading and then, already in the 21st century, it entered into gas and electricity sales (following the liberalisation of the Spanish energy market), electricity generation with gas combined cycles, natural gas exploration, production and liquefaction and wind power generation, among other areas.
One of the great turning points that transformed the group's history was the merger by absorption with Unión Fenosa and Unión Fenosa Generación, in 2008, which resulted in the first integrated gas and electricity company in Spain and Latin America and one of the 10 leading European utilities firms: Naturgy. With the integration of the two companies, the group became even stronger, more efficient and more competitive, attributes that today enable it to successfully take on new challenges in the energy markets, which are increasingly globalised.
Looking to the future
Economic growth, technological evolution and the increased quality of life our society has experienced in the last century have triggered greater energy consumption and the need to find new solutions that guarantee sustainable, efficient and safe energy supply that is respectful to the environment. To achieve this, we generate electricity using low-carbon technologies, mainly through combined cycles, which are one of the cleanest technologies based on fossil fuels and which emit fewer greenhouse gases.We also wish to triple our installed capacity in renewable energies in order to help mitigate climate change and support the energy transition.
Our roadmap also includes numerous innovation projects in renewable gas, as an energy and storage vector that can facilitate the transition to a circular and decarbonised energy model, as well as sustainable mobility solutions for cities and road and maritime transport that can improve air quality.
With that same innovative spirit that has guided the company throughout 175 years, we will continue to work on a daily basis towards offering customers the best solutions and total comfort and well-being with the highest level of efficiency and sustainability.
1843-1992. Historical stages
Since its founding, the company has offered innovative solutions. In 1843, and under the name of Sociedad Catalana para el Alumbrado por Gas (SCAG), it was one of the first companies to bring light to streets and public spaces in Barcelona, thus offering the first public service implemented in the city.
Gas lighting had already been installed in the main European capital cities (the first being London in 1812), and was a revolution in citizens’ quality of life since it enabled them to maintain an active life after sunset. A few months later, SCAG also began to promote the new lighting among private customers.
Beginning in 1866, SCAG took a leap beyond Catalonia and began its geographical expansion throughout the Iberian Peninsula with the purchase of gas factories in Sant Andreu del Palomar, Seville and Ferrol. At the end of the century, SCAG also entered into the thermal electricity business and, in 1911, hydroelectric power with the construction of water towers and power stations in the Pyrenees.
1912-1987. Expansion in the Iberian Peninsula and new applications for gas in the kitchen and heating
One of the greatest milestones in the company's history was in 1963, when CGE introduced petrol (light naphtha) to the energy market, using it as a raw material to replace coal. Its use as a raw material and the company's unstoppable expansion considerably increased the capacity of its factories, which enabled it to begin promoting the use of gas heating strongly from 1967.
Together with other members, CGE incorporated Gas Natural, S.A., dedicated to importing natural gas from Libya and Algeria, in 1965. As well as that, the company drove the construction of a regasification plant in the port of Barcelona, a sales network in the area and brought the first LNG tanker to Spain. All this made it possible a short time later to begin industrial uses of natural gas as a quality fuel on a large scale.
1987-1992. Integration in the gas sectorIn the second decade of the 20th century, the proliferation of competing companies in the gas and electricity business, such as Barcelona Traction Light & Power, obliged SCAG to change its strategy, which was an important step forward in its growth based on the acquisition of different companies. It was then, in 1912, that SCAG changed its name to Catalana de Gas y Electricidad, S.A. (CGE).
In this context, the Naturgy Foundation was created; an important platform which over time has become a benchmark in environmental and energy efficiency education and awareness raising.