Grupo Sousa receives delegation from the European Parliament

Grupo Sousa received, yesterday, in the Autonomous Natural Gas Unit, near the Ribeira dos Socorridos, in Funchal, a delegation from the European Parliament Committee on Transport and Tourism, led by MEP Marian-Jean Marinescu, who is visiting the Autonomous Region of Madeira.

During the visit to UAG-Socorridos, the delegation of the Committee of Transport and Tourism of the European Parliament was received by Duarte Rodrigues, Administrator & COO of Grupo Sousa, and João Dionísio de Sousa, Executive Director of GÁSLINK, where they got to know the business areas of our Group, as well as the operation of the Virtual LNG Pipeline of GÁSLINK.

The visit also served to discuss and gather views on the challenges and impact that the “Fit for 55” legislative package, which aims to reduce the European Union’s CO2 emissions by 55% by 2030, will have on maritime transport, a sector that guarantees the regular supply of goods in an Ultra-peripheral Region such as Madeira.

Under “Fit for 55”, the European Union’s proposals include taxing the most polluting fuels, with a view to increasing the use of sustainable alternative fuels in maritime transport and ports.

Speaking to the media, Duarte Rodrigues warned about the consequences that these measures may bring to the Outermost Regions, namely Madeira, as they will increase the price of products.

“There is no doubt that the package [Fit for 55] itself has a beneficial purpose, which is the reduction of emissions, but special care must be taken in the application of this package in the Outermost Regions, so that this goal of reducing emissions does not become an increase in the cost of living for residents in Madeira”, said the Director of the Sousa Group.

In this sense, Duarte Rodrigues defends the end of the carbon tax (ETS) in maritime transport, as proposed by the European Parliament Committee on Transport and Tourism for air connections between the Outermost Regions and European Union States.

“There has to be an exception so that we can guarantee that the regular supply of the island of Madeira is not jeopardised. The alternative to move more slowly was to put another ship, which is so that one can do the port of Leixões and the other can do the port of Lisbon, but this has costs and once again who will pay is the consumer,” added the Director of the Grupo Sousa.

At the end of the visit to UAG-Socorridos, the head of the delegation of the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism, Marinescu, acknowledged the difficulty of the Outermost Regions in adopting the guidelines of the European green package.

Therefore, the MEP admitted to journalists the possibility that the measures of exception for gas emissions (ETS), proposed for the aviation sector, could also be applied to maritime transport, an idea advocated by Duarte Rodrigues.

In addition to Marinescu, the delegation of the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism includes Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar (Portugal), Vera Tax (Netherlands), Josianne Cutajar (Malta), Sara Cerdas (Portugal), José Ramón Bauxá Díaz (Spain) and Marco Compomenosi (Italy).