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Portugal: Sugal invests in energy sustainability

14/11/2022 - Press release , François-Xavier Branthôme
The Sugal Group has chosen Energia Unida to create an energy community at its two production units. The surplus clean energy produced will be shared within an Energy Community with approximately 1321 families.

 The Sugal Group has just announced the creation of an Energy Community at its two production units. The Portuguese group, known for its tomato paste and fruit pulp, is implementing an ambitious investment plan to improve the efficiency of its production, in which energy is of fundamental importance. In this context, according to the company, constant investments have been made in the different factories, with the aim not only of increasing production capacity, but also of improving energy capacities in order to be more sustainable and autonomous.

Aware of the advantages of renewable energies, especially from photovoltaic solar panels, the Sugal Group has chosen Energia Unida, a company of the Greenvolt Group, to create an Energy Community at its two units in Portugal.

"In this first phase of the decarbonization process, 1,044 solar panels are expected to be installed in Azambuja, in addition to the 1,576 that will be placed at our Benavente facilities. In total, these panels will cover an area of more than 7,000 square meters," reads a press release issued by the Group.

With an installed capacity of 1,530 kWp (the unit commonly used to indicate the peak power of photovoltaic panels), these energy communities will be able to generate more than 2,275 MWh of renewable energy per year, allowing the Sugal Group not only to access cleaner and cheaper power for its own facilities, but also to share the excess energy generated with other consumers in the Ribatejo community.

The Energia Unida solution not only "strengthens its environmental performance pillar", but also "strengthens its social role in the region, allowing more than 1321 families to access energy that will be, on average, about 50% cheaper than the conventional grid." In addition, the fact that this can "reduce production costs will have even greater competitive advantages in the export market," says the same statement.

"The sustainable use of natural resources and the fight against climate change represent a collective obligation," points out Manuel Nobre Gonçalves, Sugal Group's director, adding that "energy efficiency and optimization of water use are the main strategic commitments of the Sugal Group in the coming years. In this sense, the construction of these energy communities with Greenvolt is the first step in a series of investments aimed at increasing the Group's energy efficiency and sustainability, with plans to increase photovoltaic production capacity in coming years."

According to the Sugal Group, thanks to these two energy communities (under a collective self-consumption scheme), it will be possible to avoid the emission of over 1,000 tonnes of CO2 per year in total. "This is a very important project for Energia Unida. Not only because of its large size, but also because of the positive impact it will have on the Sugal Group and on the whole community of Ribatejo", said José Queirós de Almeida, CEO of Energia Unida, who also underlined that "Energia Unida's communities bring savings on the electricity bill while costing less to the environment."

Some complementary data
For more information on the group's commitments to sustainability and the environment,
click here

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