EDP launches 'Futuro Ativo Sines' project to promote initiatives to support the region

Wednesday 13, January 2021

Support for business creation, vocational training and an evaluation study of economic opportunities are among the various initiatives that EDP aims to develop in partnership with local authorities. These initiatives are part of EDP's commitment to remain in the region after the closure of the Sines plant.

Thursday, January 14, is the last day of activity of the thermal power plant of Sines, after 35 years in operation. Being the largest Portuguese power station, it played a strategic role in the country's energy supply and in the security of the national electricity system - a contribution that has been decreasing in view of the growing energy production from renewable sources and which ends now, in alignment with the commitments of decarbonization and energetic transition of the company and the national economy.

After the closure of the coal power plant, EDP wants to maintain its connection to Sines and the local communities with which it has been actively collaborating in recent decades. In this sense, and under the motto 'FAS - Futuro Ativo Sines' (Active Future Sines), EDP started two work fronts through which it intends to develop a series of initiatives to contribute to the conversion of the economy and employment in the region.

The first work front involves a prospective study of the local economy, which is being done by University of Évora in partnership with Instituto Superior Técnico. This evaluation work, which relies on the auscultation of various entities in the region, aims to identify and evaluate the most dynamic opportunities to enhance the social and economic development of that territory. It is thus intended to identify how the local economy will evolve, how the transition from employment will be, how professional qualification should be promoted, among other issues that help to anticipate measures and proposals with a positive impact on Sines.

A second work front involves the creation of a Gabinete Local de Encaminhamento Social (GLES), in partnership with the City Council of Sines and the Instituto do Emprego e Formação Profissional, which aims to extend, at an early stage, to directly support the workers of the Sines power plant, including their families, and in the future extend this support to the rest of the population. This office, which will operate at Sines Tecnopolo, aims to help direct these people to work opportunities, training and other alternatives that can generate jobs.

This office will thus function as a kind of platform from which other measures included in this project 'Futuro Ativo Sines' are developed. Among these measures is NAU, a program that supports entrepreneurship, similar to what had already been done in Sines in 2011 with the program 'Semente'. It is a business incubator, which will also be housed in Tecnopolo de Sines, and will select, support and accelerate entrepreneurship projects for small local businesses. Through NAU, EDP aims to mobilize seed capital funds (initial investment capital) and other investment options to boost entrepreneurship in Sines.

In parallel, EDP Production is committed to maintaining its social investment programs in the territory over the next year, such as 'Partilha com Energia (involving schools in the region), Tradições (to support local arts and crafts) and vehicle donation. The EDP Volunteer Program will also be available within this project to support education, professional monitoring and promote energy efficiency and combat energy poverty, among other situations that will be identified.

With these initiatives, EDP will maintain its connection to the territory after the closure of the Sines plant, contributing to its development and improvement through new projects. Starting from January 15, the Sines plant will start a first phase of decommissioning, and then the dismantlement, in a process that will last about five years.