Prime Minister visits construction work on the new Caima biomass plant

17 mar 2023

António Costa visited the Caima cellulosic fiber production unit, of the Altri Group, to see in loco the progress in the construction of the new biomass plant, a project that is financed by the Recovery and Resilience Program (PRR).

Accompanied by Paulo Fernandes, Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Altri Group, José Soares de Pina, CEO of Altri, and by Raquel Almeida, Industrial Director of Caima, the Prime Minister highlighted the work already carried out in the new plant, within the scope of the project “Caima Go Green”. “Is it finished? No. It is a work in progress and will be completed in time”, he said.

The new boiler, which should be completed and operational by the end of this year, represents a total investment of over €40 million, one of the largest in the interior of Portugal, with PRR financing. “We are in the interesting phase of the Agendas Mobilizadoras, the execution phase”, added António Costa, highlighting the execution of the PRR.

Through this investment, “Caima will become the first cellulosic fiber factory in the Iberian Peninsula and one of the first in Europe to operate without the use of fossil fuels”, said José Soares de Pina, CEO of Altri.

The new plant will increase the energy production capacity from Caima's residual forest biomass, allowing it to meet all of the factory's thermal energy needs, but will also reinforce the injection of green energy into the energy grid.

In front of an audience that included António Mendonça Mendes, Deputy Secretary of State for the Prime Minister, Pedro Cilínio, Secretary of State for the Economy, but also Luís Guerreiro, President of IAPMEI, Pedro Dominguinhos, President of the National Monitoring Committee of the PRR, and Sérgio Oliveira, Mayor of Constância, António Costa highlighted Caima as an example of decarbonization, but also of innovation.

Caima will see its production capacity reinforced and will be able to produce acetic acid and fulfural for industries such as, among others, cosmetics, “in a circular economy logic”, noted the Prime Minister, stressing the reference that is the Altri Group in this field.

This is a group for whom the forest has value and who gives value to the forest”, added the Head of Government, noting the need to increase the resilience of the Portuguese forest. And for that, having a factory like Caima's, which is over 135 years old, is an important help in the sense that residual biomass is also used. “By valuing biomass we protect our forest”, he said.