In a statement, the association says that the forests in Portugal no longer produce enough raw material to supply the needs of all companies, producers of pellets and consumers of biomass for energy purposes.

"A possible reconversion of the Pego Thermoelectric Power Plant from coal to biomass will significantly increase this imbalance", says Centro Pinus, explaining that there is currently a considerable lack of wood and residual plant biomass in the country, due to the decline in resources, especially maritime pine, with a decrease of 37 percent between 2005 and 2019.

Added to this is the political option of encouraging the production of electricity from biomass, which, due to lack of regulation, allows "some operators to burn wood and not residual forest biomass", says the president of Centro Pinus, João Gonçalves.

"A relevant increase in energy production through the alleged burning of residual forest biomass - as is possible with the conversion of coal to biomass at the Pego Thermoelectric Power Plant - will jeopardise thousands of jobs created by this sector of the economy, which represents more than 3 percent of total exported goods”.

Pine exports totalled €1,725 ​​million in 2020, representing 3.2 percent of total goods exports. The industry represents 57,843 jobs, according to the statement.