Government insists Sines can be gateway for European energy

  • Lusa
  • 30 August 2022

"Portugal, its Atlantic seaboard and the port of Sines can be a gateway for energy coming into Europe from a wide variety of sources," explained the secretary of state for European affairs.

Portugal’s secretary of state for European affairs, Tiago Antunes, said on Tuesday that “this is the moment” for Portugal and the port of Sines to be the “gateway of energy” in Europe, to reduce dependence on Russia.

Speaking to Lusa and SIC in Ribeira Grande, during the European Commission’s Summer Camp that is being held on the Azorean island of São Miguel, Tiago Antunes said that the “achievement of energy interconnections between Portugal, Spain and the rest of Europe” is “something almost obvious in the current geopolitical context”.

“Portugal, its Atlantic seaboard and the port of Sines can be a gateway for energy coming into Europe from a wide variety of sources,” he said.

The secretary of state insisted that the European Union (EU) needs to “find alternatives to the supply of energy raw materials coming from the east, namely Russia”.

“This idea is making its way. We think that this is the moment. This is the ideal context to realise this important need that Portugal has been defending at the European level,” he said.

Tiago Antunes said that the Iberian Peninsula “must stop being an energy island” in the European context.

“In the future, we have a huge potential for producing renewable gases, in particular, green hydrogen, which we can produce cheaply and very efficiently in Portugal and which we can export to the rest of Europe,” he added.

Despite recognising that “it has been difficult to realise this idea”, he stressed that the energy link via Portugal has “more and more supporters”, giving the example of the statements by Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who called for the construction of the gas pipeline to reduce dependence on Russian gas.

“We will only stop having these dependencies and these energy vulnerabilities that we are now seeing when we have a real European energy market, fully integrated, and for that, we must have connections,” he stressed.

The 2022 Summer Camp edition began on Saturday and ends today in the city of Ribeira Grande, on the northern coast of the island of São Miguel.