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Biofuel Failure in Porto Santo

The seaweed biofuel project in Porto Santo has been deemed a failure by the President of the Madeira Electricity Company (EEM), Francisco Taboada.

Francisco Taboada was speaking at the Economy, Finance and Tourism committee of the Legislative Assembly of Madeira, as part of a hearing requested by the PS, the largest regional opposition party, on the withdrawal of the partnership between the public company in the electricity sector and BuggyPower, stating that “the objective [biofuel production] has clearly not been achieved, something that was evident as far back as 2014.”

These companies are responsible for managing the factory located in Porto Santo, which represented an investment by the Regional Government of Madeira in the order of 45 million euros, without any community contribution. The project started in 2008, but the production of biofuel from microalgae proved to be unfeasible. It wasn’t until 2019 that the factory actually came into production, creating substances for the food and cosmetic industry, which again this proved to be unsuccessful.

As such, said Francisco Taboada while talking to deputies from the Economy, Finance and Tourism commission, explained that the EEM’s position has already been communicated to the Madeiran executive (PSD/CDS-PP), that it is “unreasonable to continue with the partnership.”

The director of the public company added that a solution was still being studied, which involves a possible sale of all or part of the share capital, but underlined that the rights of the 45 workers from Porto Santo will be taken into account.

“The project is not of interest for the production of biofuel, but it has value,” he said, indicating that there has been interest from private investors in the factory.

Samantha Gannon

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