On the 13th of March, The Estarreja Chemical Complex (ECC) was visited by the Portuguese Minister of Economy, Manuel Caldeira Cabral, who thus had first-hand contact with the relevance of this cluster of the National Chemical Industry and the opportunities and challenges for its competitiveness.
Composed by CUF, Air Liquide, CIRES and Dow Portugal, the Complex is a leading petrochemical production site, which plays a decisive role in the Portuguese economy, namely at the regional level, in the municipality of Estarreja and the region of Aveiro. It guarantees almost 500 direct jobs, 418 million euros of exports and 209 million euros for the national trade balance.
The Minister’s visit to the ECC began at the CUF plant, where he was received by João de Mello, this unit’s CEO: “CUF, like the other companies in the Estarreja Chemical Complex, has made a strong commitment with innovation and efficiency. This is paramount to be able to mitigate, albeit only partially, idiosyncratic costs, where the Estarreja Chemical Complex is at a disadvantage, when compared to other large European petrochemical complexes. Among these costs, Energy stands out; tariffs for large consumers are substantially higher than those in other European countries, hampering additional investments and posing challenges to the preservation of jobs, exports and the overall economic value generated in this Complex.”
The event was also attended by João de Mello, CUF’s CEO, Jon Bilbao, Dow’s General Manager for Portugal and Spain, Cristina Ballester, Air Liquide’s General Manager for Portugal and Spain, and Luís Montelobo, Representative Delegate of the Board of Directors of Management of CIRES, as well as other executives of ECC companies.