According to ECO, Smartenergy, a company based in Switzerland wants to invest in the energy transition from Portugal and has three projects dedicated to sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) planned for Portugal .

Lisbon, Aveiro and Porto are the locations chosen to move forward with these three projects, said Pedro Guedes de Campos, director of Hydrogen and SAF Business Development at Smartenergy, at a conference organised by the Portuguese Renewable Energy Association (APREN), this Wednesday, in Lisbon.

By implementing these plans, the company will be able to respond to 21% of aviation fuel consumption in Portugal and, considering the current limitation of only being able to mix SAF by 50% with traditional fuels, the market share could reach 42%, indicated.

Next, the director of Smartenergy elaborated on a particular project: the Leça H2 Green Valley (Vale do Hidrogénio Verde de Leça). The objective is to produce green hydrogen that fuels the production of sustainable aviation fuel, all in the Leça area. And, for this, there are other partners already involved.

The idea is that Smartenergy will be responsible for producing green hydrogen that will be transported, via gas pipeline, to the SAF factory, also under Smartenergy's responsibility. This is where the first partner, REN, enters this path, with which Smartenergy already has a memorandum of understanding.

There is a gas pipeline, the concession of which is in the hands of REN, which connects Quereledo (the location where Smartenergy wants to produce green hydrogen) to Perafita, where there is an old refinery and where another potential partner, Lipor, has facilities. This gas pipeline has a characteristic that allows it to be used to transport 100% hydrogen, which would serve the project.

Now, once in Perafita, the green hydrogen would serve the factory of synthetic sustainable fuels , but this needs another “ingredient”, carbon dioxide (CO2), and this is where Lipor comes in. Smartenergy wants to take advantage of the CO2 generated in Lipor's activities to produce its fuels. An agreement is being finalised with Lipor that brings together the three parties – Smartenergy, REN and Lipor.

The location is privileged not only considering the gas pipeline, but also the proximity to the Port of Leixões and Francisco de Sá Carneiro airport, which represent potential customers.

The project involves 390 megawatts-peak (MWp) of photovoltaic installation and 75 MW of wind generation, to fuel the production of green hydrogen; This production presupposes a “machine” that makes hydrogen possible, the electrolyser, of 230 MW. Ultimately, the goal is to obtain between 13,300 to 34,200 tons of hydrogen and 20,000 to 50,000 tons of jet fuel annually .