The minister António Costa Silva revealed that the Support for Gas-Intensive Industries programme is to "support the liquidity of the companies" most affected by the increases in the price of gas.
Portugal’s government on Monday announced a grant to support rising gas costs for energy-intensive companies, with €160 million in support, which will reach 3,000 companies.
In a press conference, the minister of economy and maritime affairs, António Costa Silva, said that the aim of the Support for Gas-Intensive Industries programme is to “support the liquidity of the companies” most affected by the increases in the price of natural gas, “through subsidies”, which corresponds to a non-refundable incentive that facilitates the continuity of economic activity and the preservation of productive capacities and employment.
Costa Silva explained that the non-refundable support aims to “cover 30% of the difference between costs incurred in 2021 and those incurred in 2022,” with a maximum limit per company of €400,000.
The government envisages payments per quarter after companies apply through IAPMEI.
“We will try to ensure responses within ten days,” he said.
According to the government, the support is aimed at industrial companies with establishments whose unit costs of gas between February and December this year are at least double the average costs of 2021 and that are in sectors with intensive use of gas or that have a total cost in gas purchases in 2021 greater than 2% of annual turnover.
In a press conference, the minister of the presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva, said that the government intends to create professional gas, make tax payments more flexible and defer social security contributions for the sectors most vulnerable to increases in energy costs.
In addition, the government announced a reduction in electricity tariffs for electro-intensive companies and a discount of 30 cents per litre on fuel for the social sector.
These measures were approved at Friday’s extraordinary cabinet meeting.