Galp, the Matosinhos City Council (CMM) and the North Regional Coordination and Development Commission (CCDR-N) signed this Wednesday a cooperation protocol for the reconversion of the site occupied by Galp's refinery in the municipality of Matosinhos. The development of an Innovation District and the allocation of part of the site for the construction of a university campus are two of the projects being evaluated under this protocol, which aims to promote the economic, social and environmental context of the entire northern region, positioning this initiative at the top of the world technology projects associated with sustainable energies.
The signing of the protocol between Galp, the CMM and CCDR-N is the starting point for a process that will now densify, develop and implement the solutions under analysis to reconvert the site where Galp's industrial unit operated. For that purpose, the protocol includes the immediate establishment of a joint technical team that will outline, in conjunction with the other competent entities, all the necessary procedures for compliance with the legal and economic frameworks associated with the project.
In the meantime, Galp will create a task force lead by Ana Lehmann, innovation and internationalization expert and former Secretary of State of Industry, to develop the urban requalification project for the entire area occupied by its industrial unit. The focus of this team will be on multifunctional intervention, transparent and structured around the concept of an Innovation Hub powered by a socially and environmentally sustainable urban ecosystem, including trade and services, hotels, restaurants, Industry 4.0, real estate, cultural and leisure facilities, with an emphasis on a Green Park. An executive team reporting to Ana, will include Celeste Varum (CEO) as well as José Sequeira (Urban Planning). This team is experienced in innovation, investment attraction as well as Urban Redevelopment.
To ensure this global perspective for the transformation of that site, the executive team appointed by Galp – which will act in coordination with a Strategic Committee composed of representatives from Galp, the Municipality of Matosinhos and CCDR-N – will be composed of professionals in the areas of urban, landscape and environmental planning, finance, law and engineering.
“The North and the city of Matosinhos embraced for half a century a strategic, pioneering and structuring industrial activity for the development of the region and the energy transformation of the country. Faced with the inevitable and necessary energy transition to a more sustainable world, Galp intends to ensure and perpetuate its social and economic contribution, creating even more value for Matosinhos, for the market and actively participating in the country’s progress” highlighted Paula Amorim, Galp´s Chairman.
"This protocol materializes, in practice, our commitment to work in partnership with the Municipality of Matosinhos and with all relevant stakeholders to create an innovation and knowledge hub that will be a source of pride for the North and the country," summarized Galp's CEO, Andy Brown. "Galp has been part of Matosinhos' history for over 50 years and we are committed to continuing to be a hub of economic and social development and job generator in this region, with a project that will be one of the axes to put Galp and the country at the forefront of the energy transition, innovation and decarbonisation of the economy, towards a more sustainable future", added Brown.
Matosinhos President Luísa Salgueiro highlights “the new stage that the signing of this protocol begins with the ambition of transforming a contaminated area into an asset that contributes to the growth of qualified employment and competitiveness in the region”. “This new city of knowledge will count on the involvement of academia in the construction of research and acceleration centers of excellence in the fields of industry 4.0, energy and sea, using funds from the Fund for a Just Transition, reiterating Matosinhos' commitment to take advantage of the ongoing transitions to modernize its economic and social fabric”, she adds.
CCDR-N President António Cunha reinforces that “this will be the largest and most structuring project of regional development in Portugal over the next decade. This is a historic opportunity for the North Region, in several ways. First of all, for the quality of life of the populations, but also for the energy transition and the transformation of the economy of the North, the strategic reinforcement of the regional innovation system and the creation of more qualified jobs”.