GALP turns thumb-screws on taxation

Is “trying to ensure Sines doesn’t suffer Matosinhos fate…”

GALP’s  CEO Filipe Silva has said today that the company was trying to ensure that the Sines refinery “does not suffer the same fate as Matosinhos” (closed down at the end of 2020), stressing that it needs investment and a fair, competitive environment.

“The concentration of Matosinhos’ activity in Sines is not a ‘silver bullet‘” he warned at the Sustainability and Society Forum Grand Summit, taking at Paços do Concelho in Matosinhos.

GALP will need to “invest a lot of money to reconvert the Sines refinery (…) We will have to invest a lot of money in Sines. A lot of money“, he repeated, pointing out that “Matosinhos continues to function as a large logistics park, supplying the entire north of the country and part of Spain”, but when the industrial part closed, “GALP’s emissions fell 25%”, so there are still 75% of operational emissions “that need to be reduced”.

According to Filipe Silva, “the industrial unit that emits the most in Portugal by far is the Sines refinery”.

“It is not only the largest industrial unit in Portugal, by far, but also the one with the most investment in decarbonisation in sight”, he said, explaining that the company will invest in the ‘green’ electrolysis process, i.e. “keep the hydrogen and no longer emit carbon, which is what happens with current production”.

Addressing inister for the environment and climate action, Duarte Cordeiro, Filipe Silva said that to reach 600 megawatts of installed capacity of electrolysis by the end of the decade, “1,500 megawatts of installed capacity of green electricity production and its connections to the grid” are needed, something “absolutely vital”.

He calculated the investment, the “commitment that GALP will put in to decarbonise Sines, by far the biggest industrial project ever seen” in Portugal at €2.2 billion.

All this paid for with GALP’s money,” and also a way to “reindustrialise Portugal”. It is “fundamental that the country cherishes companies” like this.

And he asked for “those who make an investment in Portugal” to be “treated in a way that is not discriminatory against those who can then put the product here much more competitively”.

We are just asking that they don’t tax us” he came to the punch line. Tax is “a big issue that GALP has today. We do not want to be discriminated against, especially from a tax point of view,” he said.

This is the second time in roughly a week that GALP’s CEO has railed against the taxation level of his company, but this occasion carried more of a sting in the tail. On the first occasion the inference was that biofuel and green hydrogen projects could be adversely affected. This time, it was people’s jobs and livelihoods.

Sines refinery is hugely significant from the point of view of local employment, ensuring hundreds of jobs, whether direct or indirect.

Source material: LUSA

Portugal Resident