Correspondent in Lisbon
Repsol has signed an agreement with the Portuguese Government that involves the investment of 657 million euros for the expansion of the port of Sines, the most important in Portugal because it handles 49% of maritime traffic. It is, therefore, an ambitious project, as endorsed by the president of the Spanish company, Antonio Brufau, accompanied by its CEO, Josu Jon Imaz. On the Portuguese side, the Prime Minister, Antonio Costa, and the Minister of State, Economy and Digital Transition, Pedro Siza Vieira, have stamped their signature.
In view of the dimension of this expansive strategy, which takes place 88 kilometers from Lisbon, the Socialist Executive of the neighboring country has not hesitated to qualify the project “Of potential national interest” as it is considered to contribute to a significant contribution to the Portuguese economy. A label that is not only formal in nature, but also includes the granting of tax incentives totaling 63 million euros.
All in order to underpin an operation that will be very beneficial for both parties. In this way, what is already estimated as the largest industrial investment in the last 10 years in Portugal is consolidated, as confirmed by government sources.
And what does this plan consist of? Well, in the construction of two plants added of polymeric materials, fully recyclable and destined for three industrial sectors: food, pharmaceutical and automotive.
The importance for Repsol is based on relying on these works with the aim of diversifying the industrial portfolio accumulated by the company, always with a firm commitment to sustainable development within economic activity, which reinforces its numbers in the European context.
In the words of Antonio Brufau, “industry and technology are two essential levers for the competitiveness and economy of a country.” The president of the emblematic firm declares in a complementary way: “Private initiative and public policies must be combined in the best possible way to face a successful energy transition, which allows generating economic activity and, at the same time, reducing emissions”.
Brufau recalled “the importance of this strategic investment, both for Repsol as for Portugal, which is added to others carried out by the company in the country, such as the acquisition of the Sines industrial complex – the largest petrochemical facility in Portugal – in 2004 and, also that same year, of an important network of service stations » .
Both the president of the company and the CEO certified that “Repsol has been one of the largest investors in Portugal in recent years, which has allowed it to consolidate its position in a country where it employs 1,300 people directly, has 150,000 daily customers and a market share that, in some businesses, exceeds 20% “.
In turn, several spokespersons for the giant conglomerate specify that “a linear polyethylene (PEL) plant and a polypropylene (PP) plant will be built, each with a capacity of 300,000 tons per year.” “The technologies of both plants, which guarantee maximum energy efficiency, are market leaders and the first of their kind to be installed in the Iberian Peninsula”, they extend.
Furthermore, it cannot be forgotten that “the new materials produced will be 100% recyclable, like the rest of Repsol’s polyolefins, and may be used for highly specialized applications, aligned with the energy transition ”.
If all goes according to the forecasts outlined, the facilities will be operational in 2025 and will consolidate the Sines Industrial Complex as “one of the most advanced in Europe due to its flexibility, high degree of integration and competitiveness”, according to the description expressed by the Repsol itself.
During the construction phase, there is talk of the generation of an average of 550 jobs, with a maximum of more than 1,000 people. Once in place, the net increase in staff will be about 75 direct and about 300 indirect positions. “All of them from highly qualified personnel, demonstrating once again Repsol’s commitment to attracting and retaining talent wherever it is present, as well as generating high-quality employment,” the same sources indicate.
With the intention of closing even more the circle of excellence proposed by the flagship company, Josu Jon Imaz intervenes to explain: «The Sines Industrial Complex will become a European benchmark and the advanced materials it will produce will play an important role in decarbonizing society. ‘
As a consequence, “the connection with the European market will be optimized and the carbon footprint of transporting the products will be reduced.” Circumstances that will translate into “this investment in the Sines Industrial Complex will increase the synergies of the company’s industrial area, which already operates with a high degree of logistics and commercial integration.”