Origin and development

On 4 January 1941, Javier Benjumea Puigcerver and José Manuel Abaurre Fernández-Pasalagua, both engineers from the Instituto Católico de Artes e Industrias (ICAI), founded Sociedad Abengoa S.L. in Seville with three friends and other family members, with an initial share capital of 180,000 pesetas (€1,082). Their initial plan was to manufacture a five-ampere mono-phase meter, although the supply problems in Spain at that time meant that the project never got off the ground. But this fact, combined with significant opportunities that began to arise during this era, meant that from 1943 Abengoa began drafting projects and carrying out technical studies, as well as undertaking electrical assembly projects.

The following stages have all been key periods during Abengoa’s 50 years of history:

  • Founding period (1941-1950)
    Portrait of Javier Benjumea Puigcerver, Marquess of Puebla de Cazalla, founder and Honorary Chairman of Abengoa.

    Portrait of Javier Benjumea Puigcerver

    Start of the company’s first operations and expansion begins across Andalusia. Sales exceeded 45 million Pesetas (270,456 Euros).

  • National expansion and consolidation (1951-1960)
    Image of the mechanical signalling manufactured by Abengoa for the railway network in the 1950s for Renfe, as part of its activities in the transport sector.

    Mechanical signalling manufactured by Abengoa

    The most important developments took place in Spain, expanding throughout the country. The company consolidated its business with sales of more than 827 million Pesetas (4,970,371 Euros).

  • International expansion (1961-1970)
    One of the earliest projects in Argentina, a 614 km transmission line from Río Tercero to El Bracho (1968).

    One of the earliest projects in Argentina,
    a 614 km transmission line from Río Tercero to El Bracho (1968).

    Operations began in the international market. By the company’s 25th anniversary, the firm had sales of 4.88 billion Pesetas (29,329,391 Euros).

    The first international projects were carried out in Colombia, Venezuela and Guatemala and the first international office was opened in Argentina.

  • Continuous growth (1971-1990)
    Manufacturing workshop in Tianjing, China, where electrical and electronic products are designed, manufactured and tested.

    Manufacturing workshop in Tianjing

    Business kept growing while the company continued to adapt to the new demands of the market. New specialist companies were created as a result of this constant development, which began to operate under the slogan “Innovation as standard with the best customer service”. Sales reach 52.39 billion Pesetas (314,906,303 Euros).

  • Innovation period (1991-2003)
    The facilities of the biomass pilot plant that produces second generation bioethanol, at the Biocombustibles de Castilla y León plant that Abengoa has in Salamanca.

    Plant that Abengoa has in Salamanca.

    Abengoa focuses its activities on development and innovation in the fields of information technology, renewable energy, biofuels and the environment. By the end of the millennium, sales exceeded 144 billion Pesetas (€865,457,431 Euros). The company’s evolution from the original product line based on assemblies and installations in the industrial, energy and telecommunications sectors, closely associated with limited markets, through to the range of differentiated activities with a high technological component has defined the extraordinary development that the company has made during this period.

    Thanks to its outstanding vision of the future, Abengoa has managed to reflect all these changes in a project to reorganise its business lines, updating its organisational structure and adopting a more flexible strategy that is capable of adapting to the evolution of new markets.

  • International leadership stage (2004-2010)
    Picture of the Abengoa's Ethanol Plant in York, Nebraska

    Abengoa's Ethanol Plant in York, Nebraska

    Following Abengoa’s entry into the international market, its projects and geographic locations have become increasingly widespread and varied. The company positions itself as a leader in the sectors in which it operates in locations such as the USA, China or India, although it is also strengthening its leadership position in other regions.

    This stage was completed with the sale of 40% of Telvent in order to focus its strategy and activities on the environment and energy sectors.

  • Abengoa today

    Today Abengoa is an international company that applies innovative technology solutions for sustainability in the infrastructures, energy and water sectors.

    Our business management is part of a responsible policy framework and responds to the principles of efficiency, transparency and responsibility, generating value for all of our stakeholders.

    Picture of the three solar tower plants of the Solúcar Platform, which Abengoa has in the town of Sanlúcar la Mayor, Seville. From left to right, the PS20 tower, the Eureka tower and the PS10 tower.

    Solar tower plants of the Solúcar Platform

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