EU to pay out €223.8 million to offset closure of Portugal’s fossil fuel plants
Image: Estela Silva/ Lusa

EU to pay out €223.8 million to offset closure of Portugal’s fossil fuel plants

Money will come from Fair Transition Fund

The European Commission will mobilise €223.8 million for Portugal to offset the impacts of the closure of coal-fired power stations on the Alentejo coast and the Médio Tejo, and the oil refinery in Matosinhos.

In a statement released today, the EU executive indicates that “Portugal will receive more than €223.8 million under the Fair Transition Fund“.

“This EU support will help provide a fair climate transition in the Portuguese regions of Litoral Alentejano and Médio Tejo and the town of Matosinhos,” the institution adds.

According to Brussels, “this decision closes the adoption of all 11 programmes that will operationalise €22.6 billion of cohesion policy investments in Portugal in 2021-2027 to support a balanced, fair, ‘green’ and digital territorial economy”.

Regarding the Alentejo coast, Lusa explains that “the support is aimed at diversifying the local economy by fostering research and innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) active in renewable energy, agri-food and tourism, and allowing investment in sustainable local mobility, with a view to creating around 200 new jobs through the professional retraining of workers in the region affected by the plant closure.

“Regarding Médio Tejo, the funds from the Fair Transition Fund will be allocated to SMEs for innovation, research and new technologies in emerging ‘green’ sectors, with the retraining of 420 workers in the region.

“In Matosinhos, in the Metropolitan Area of Porto, this European aid will support the creation of a new innovation nucleus in the areas of sustainable mobility, clean energy, production advancement and marine economy, foreseeing 150 new jobs in supported SMEs and the requalification of 170 long term unemployed”.

Inserted into the EU’s cohesion policy, the Fair Transition Fund was created to provide support to those regions facing serious socio-economic challenges arising from the process of transition to a climate-neutral economy.

The fund aims to facilitate the implementation of the European Green Deal, the objective of which is climate neutrality of the Union by 2050.

For Portugal, the partnership agreement for the Fair Transition Fund provides a total of €22.6 billion in EU funding over the period 2021-2027.

There are altogether 11 Portuguese national programmes that will receive EU support in this framework, aiming to increase employment opportunities, education and training, protect the environment and ensure sustainability, technical assistance, as well as innovation and digital transition across the country.

Overall, for the 27 member states, the Fair Transition Fund will mobilise around €55 billion between 2021 and 2027 in the most affected regions.

Source: Lusa