Refinery stays open

The Matosinhos refinery in the north of Portugal, where a recent accident injured 32 workers, should remain operational. This was the decision reached by the Minister for the Economy, Álvaro Barreto, and President of Galp Energia, Ferreira do Amaral. However, both did agree on its future closure.

At a joint press conference, the Minister commented: “I am convinced that if the guidelines laid down by the Minister for the Environment are put into practice and the improvements are made, we can arrive at a situation which means the refinery will not need to close down.” The announcement was made following a meeting between the Minister for the Environment, Nobre Guedes, and the Board of Galp Energia.

Álvaro Barreto went on to comment: “This is not to say, though, that a plan wouldn’t be made to close the refinery, for example, in five years’ time.” However, the President of Galp only spoke about the continuation of the refinery, underlining that it was “viable economically”. Aside from the political comments, Galp Energia insisted that the accident was “caused by insufficient safety procedures, not by individuals ignoring their personal responsibilities”. It was also mentioned that there was a delay of seven minutes before the firemen arrived at the scene.