The general manager of the Gas Natural Foundation, Pere A. Fàbregas, and the vice rector of Scientific Politics of the Pompeu Fabra University, Ferran Sanz, have today signed an agreement to write a monograph on the personal and professional career of two generations of personal and professional career of the Catalan business-owners, Pere Gil Babot and his children, as the precursors of the gas industry in the Barcelona of the 19th century.
Pere Gil i Babot was the financial partner of Charles Lebon when the latter won, in 1841, the gas lighting concession from Barcelona City Council. One year later, when the first gasworks in Spain were built in the Barceloneta district, a site now occupied by the new head offices of the Gas Natural Group, Gil i Babot senior provided the land for the works under lease. When "Sociedad Catalana para el Alumbrado por Gas de Barcelona" was formed, the origins of the Gas Natural Group , Pere Gil i Babot was the financial partner and his three sons, Josep, Pere i Pau Gil i Serra, the founding shareholders.
Josep Gil i Serra, who acted as administrator and was responsible for operating "Sociedad Catalana para el Alumbrado por Gas de Barcelona", was also in charge of the construction of the gasworks in Sabadell and Terrassa in the mid-nineteenth century.
The work will be written by Martín Rodrigo Alharilla, holder of an Arts degree (1992), Doctor in Economics (2000) from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and lecturer on Contemporaneous History at the Humanities Department of the Pompeu Fabra University of Barcelona since 1996.
This study forms part of the more cultural, historical aspect of the Gas Natural Foundation, which is responsible for the historic archives of the company and is carrying out a project to build a museum dedicated to the history of the gas industry in Spain.