The status was awarded by AICEP in recognition of the strategic importance that the project has for Portugal. Factors such as strategic investment and attracting major international investors/partners, job creation, boosting the local and national economy, commitment to innovation and energy transition from renewable sources, among other factors, weighed in the decision.
For the attribution of this status, all the public entities consulted expressed themselves favourably: Portuguese Environment Agency, Directorate General for Energy and Geology, Institute for Nature Conservation, Tourism of Portugal and Sines City Council.
The green hydrogen production plant of GreenH2Atlantic in Sines will consist in repurposing infrastructures from the largest coal power plant in the country, that terminated its operation in January 2021, into an innovative hydrogen production facility with 100MW installed electrolyzer capacity. With this reconversion, the GreenH2Atlantic consortium contributes to an energy production model fully framed within the national and European decarbonization goals.
GreenH2Atlantic is developed by multinational companies such as EDP, Galp, ENGIE, Bondalti, Martifer, Vestas Wind Systems A/S and also includes the participation of McPhy and Efacec, as well as academic and research partners such as ISQ, INESC-TEC, DLR and CEA, and the public-private cluster Axelera. Subject to final investment decision expected to happen by the end of 2023, the project operation is planned to start by the end of 2025.
The project aims to create 1,147 direct jobs and 2,744 indirect jobs along the entire hydrogen value chain. The total investment planned is more than 150 million euros, of which 30 million were granted by European Commission (Horizon 2020 programme).
The status attribution represents a closer monitoring of the Permanent Commission of Investor Support in all licensing, authorizations or approvals under the competences of the central and local administration which are necessary for its implementation, simplifying and streamlining the whole process.
Portugal, especially Sines, offers unique conditions in the development of a green hydrogen economy, with the use of local infrastructures and synergies and access to the existing electricity grid. This project is also an important contribution to the European hydrogen strategy which aims reaching carbon neutrality by 2050, in which renewable hydrogen will play a key role.
Green hydrogen: the substitute for fossil fuels from splitting water molecules
Green hydrogen is produced by splitting water molecules, through electrolysis, into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity generated from renewable sources.
Recognised as one of the keys to building the green economy of the future, its potential in decarbonising the global economy has been highlighted worldwide by the leading experts as the most effective way to combat greenhouse effects.
With natural gas production and imports declining and the need to reduce energy dependence on foreign sources, green hydrogen is seen as one of the most viable alternatives to decarbonise hard to abate sectors.