NeoGreen investment in Sines another step on energy transition path

  • Lusa
  • 15 November 2022

The investment in Sines, which is estimated to create about 2,500 jobs, "is an investment of this new generation of renewable energy," according to the secretary of state for internationalisation.

Portugal’s secretary of state for internationalisation has told Lusa that NeoGreen’s investment in Sines “is another step” on the path of energy transition that Portugal “has already started to implement”.

Bernardo Ivo Cruz was speaking to Lusa on Monday at the end of signing the contract to reserve the surface right of 10.5 hectares in ZILS – Industrial and Logistics Zone of Sines by NeoGreen Portugal, a Portuguese-Canadian joint venture that plans to invest more than 1 billion euros in the installation of a factory for the production of ‘green’ hydrogen and derived fuels in Sines.

“We are investing in various renewables, we, Portugal, began our energy transition long before anyone else, more than 25 years ago and we started because Portugal has the conditions to have a renewable energy base: we have no oil, nor natural gas, but we have everything else, sun, wind, tides and we have hydro and geothermal in the Azores,” said the minister.

In other words, a ‘mix’ of renewable energies.

“Climate change and the way the planet is suffering from 150 years of fossil fuel use forces us all – the whole planet – to make this transition that Portugal has already begun to make,” he stressed.

This investment “is another step along this path. One of the characteristics of renewable energies is that we have not yet hit the mark, we have not completed the scientific discovery, we are still looking for a solution or solutions that then become the solution or solutions that will become dominant,” continued the secretary of state.

Portugal has its arms open “to all solutions,” some will be more effective, others less so, “but this is not the time to be making hasty decisions without having the right science behind what we are doing,” he said.

The investment in Sines, which is estimated to create about 2,500 jobs, direct and indirect, “is an investment of this new generation of renewable energy, in this case of ‘green’ hydrogen that is transforming the water molecule into a hydrogen molecule through the use of renewable energy.

Portugal, as a whole, and Sines, in particular” are concentrating new renewable energy solutions, and this happens either by the natural characteristics of the port of Sines, but also “the commitment that various Portuguese governments” have made over the past 25 years in the “energy transition”.

Bernado Ivo Cruz stressed that he has been told that in Europe “Portugal is the best place for its natural conditions (…) to make hydrogen ‘green'”, so he considered it “natural” that there is this commitment to the Portuguese market as a destination for this type of investment.

“Sines may be the centre of the world,” he admitted, not only for the focus on energy, but also by the importance in the area of data centres.

The minister stressed that “Portugal is for the first time, since the 14th and 15th centuries, on the front line” in terms of innovation.

“The basis for all this is talent,” said the secretary of state for internationalisation.

The Neogreen Portugal investment results from a partnership between Canada’s NeoGreen Hydrogen Corp and Portugal’s Frequent Summer S.A. (Ltd) and aims to install an electrolyzer complex of over 500MW [megawatts].