July 24, 2021

A4F, Green Aqua and HyChem engaged in industrial transformation in Póvoa de Santa Iria

Source: a4f

The Minister of Environment and Climate Action and the Deputy Secretary of State and Energy visited HyChem and ALGATEC.

The Minister of Environment and Climate Action, Pedro Matos Fernandes, and the Deputy Secretary of State for Energy, João Galamba, visited on July 23, in the company of the Vice-President of the Municipality of Vila Franca de Xira, António Oliveira, of the General Sub-Director of the Directorate General of Geology and Energy, Maria José Espírito Santo, and from other public and private entities, the industrial installation of HyChem and the ALGATEC Eco Business Park, in Póvoa de Santa Iria.

This visit, organized by A4F Algae for Future and Green Aqua Company groups, aimed to raise awareness for the innovative projects, in the field of sustainability and carbon neutrality, that both companies and also, its subsidiary HyChem (formerly called Solvay Portugal) have been developing.

It is, in fact, a real industrial transformation, which these Portuguese companies have begun to operate, within the framework of a strategic vision oriented towards sustainable change and which, in the short term, will make green hydrogen a reality in Portugal.

The visit, carried out aboard a hydrogen-powered bus and car (courtesy of Caetano Bus), unique in the country, focused on the areas of circular economy, energy transition – including the hydrogen economy and biofuels – and biotechnology.

Green hydrogen and new bio-based products

Faced with the challenge of energy transition and industrial transformation to carbon neutrality, HyChem proposes to invest in the production of renewable energy for self-consumption, in the production of green hydrogen (form renewable energy), in the adoption of new “clean” technologies and in the introduction of new bio-based products, in a circular economy perspective.

The Company, together with its shareholders, has in its portfolio a set of energy transition projects, which aim to completely transform its installation in Póvoa de Santa Iria.

Within the scope of a renewable energy community, shareholder Green Aqua Company is currently carrying out preparatory work for the construction of a solar plant, which will grow from 2 to 10MW and will reduce the carbon footprint and the cost of the electricity bill. This project is at the base of a “pilot” – by similarity, so it can be called – of the green hydrogen mega-project that the Portuguese government wants to see operating in Sines.

In the specific area of hydrogen, this investment also aims to increase the capacity for autonomous production, namely through a water electrolysis installation.

Already under the coordination of shareholder A4F Algae for Future, HyChem started the development of a set of low-carbon mobility solutions, the Move2lowC project, which brings together 22 industry partners, large fuel consumers (among which TAP) and scientific and technological entities.

At Póvoa, concerning directly HyChem and its shareholder A4F, the process of acquiring a steam reformer for the production of green hydrogen from biogas and the construction of a fermentation unit and a biorefinery for the production of biojet fuel and other compounds of interest is taking place. 

The Move2lowC project, financed by the Portugal 2020 program, represents a total investment of 12 million euros and aims to develop innovative solutions in the area of biotechnology for the production of aviation biofuels, either from microalgae biomass or via fermentation using forest residues. As for the road vehicles, the bet consists of green hydrogen and the production of renewable natural gas.

The co-location of bioeconomy and traditional industry activities represents an enormous advantage for sustainability: the creation of a bioindustrial cluster comprising companies located on the right bank of the Tagus, from Sacavém to Alhandra, over a length of not more than 12 kilometers, is a challenge and a clear opportunity in the transition to carbon neutrality.