According to the EIS, issued this month, the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) gave a favourable opinion conditioned on the industrial unit project considered to be of Potential National Interest (PIN).

“After considering the negative impacts identified and the positive impacts envisaged, a favourable decision is issued, conditioned on compliance with the terms and conditions imposed in this document”.

The project consists of an industrial facility dedicated to the manufacture of car batteries, with a capacity of approximately 15 Gigawatts/hour (GWh), on land in the Sines Industrial and Logistics Zone (ZILS).

The industrial unit will occupy around 45 of the 92 hectares of the total area of the lot, with the construction of five buildings for the production of electrodes, cells, formation and assembly, packaging and casings.

According to the EIS, despite having obtained the 'green light' from the APA, the project is conditioned on “obtaining the Declaration of Essential Public Utility regarding the felling of cork oaks in the settlement area for the entire intervention area”.

According to the Environmental Impact Study (EIA), the construction of the factory will affect 5.3 hectares of cork oak forests, an area that will be the target of deforestation, and where “a total of 703 specimens of protected trees” were identified.

This investment also includes the construction of a Very High Voltage Line (LMAT), in the preliminary study phase, where 126 cork oaks were identified for felling, in the area of the 16 supports of each electrical line.

“Of these specimens, 108 are found in settlements and the remaining 18 are isolated specimens”, indicates the document.

Thus, in total, the construction of the industrial unit and the future LMAT could require the felling of 829 cork oaks and holm oaks, trees considered protected species, with the company providing “compensation for the felling of cork oaks with a ratio of 1.25”.