Portugal’s prime minister, António Costa, said on Tuesday that there could be no hesitation when it comes to harnessing the lithium that exists in Portugal, taking advantage of the fact that the country has the largest reserves in Europe.
“For the first time, we have a natural resource that is the key to the energy transition, where we really do have the largest reserves in Europe, which is lithium, and that’s why the country can’t be anxious. It can’t have any doubts. It can’t have any hesitation that we really have to be able to take advantage of the lithium we have in Portugal,” António Costa said.
The prime minister was speaking at the Toyota Caetano factory in Ovar during the presentation of the prototype of the Japanese brand’s electric vehicle designed specifically for the Paris-2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The outgoing prime minister said that decarbonisation in Portugal is a “huge opportunity to harness and develop the country’s economic potential”, arguing that the use of lithium should include mining, refining and battery factories.
“We have all the potential in Portugal if no one is hesitant or afraid to move forward, to be able to have mining, refining and lithium battery factories,” he said.
Costa also referred to green hydrogen, another of the solutions in the area of decarbonisation, saying that the country has “enormous competitiveness” in this fuel not only to feed the national industry but also to boost the export of green hydrogen, becoming a more energy-exporting country.
“Lithium exists to be exploited and valorised. Green hydrogen is a huge production opportunity for self-consumption and export, and that’s why we have to invest in it,” he said, adding that the country has everything it takes to be able to invest in the areas of energy and mobility, “as long as there is no hesitation in the choices that have been made”.
He also said that the country was at the forefront of the energy transition, adding that due to the investment made in renewable energies, Portugal was able to have a green energy production price that is “extremely competitive on a global scale”.
“Just yesterday, the European Commission published a graph on the variation of energy prices in different countries. Some have increased more, others less. The only country where it has clearly decreased is Portugal, thanks to the contribution of renewable energies,” he said.
The president of Toyota Caetano Portugal, José Ramos, called for the creation of a hydrogen distribution network, warning that the country was missing out on the opportunity to manufacture batteries.
“The largest lithium reserve in Europe is in Portugal, and the combination of lithium production with its refining and battery production is fundamental because of the logistics problems. We are missing out on this because other countries are already doing it, and we run the risk of losing this opportunity,” he said.
Source: Macau Business