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Portugal Environmental Export Market Plan
Chapter 5-Air Quality

General Overview

As in all other areas of environmental protection, European Union legislation in the field of air quality sets the standards that Portugal has to follow as a member of the EU. Because air quality transcends national borders, there is a long history of European efforts to reduce air pollution. These efforts have concentrated on defining and setting standards of air quality and on enacting controls for vehicle and industrial emissions. Following a pattern that is evident in all areas of pollution control, the EU has directed its efforts at controlling and preventing pollution at its source.
The primary organization in charge of air quality and meteorological control and information in Portugal is the Instituto de Meteorología. This organization, together with the Ministry of Economy, helps companies to meet environmental standards with technical assistance, as well as with financing for overhauling existing equipment with environmentally friendly technology.
One of the financing programs administered is the Strategic Program to Revitalize and Modernize Portuguese Industry (PEDIP), which is supported by the EU Structural Fund. The main goal is to help Portugal meet EU directives 80/779/EEC on sulfur dioxide emissions, 82/884/EEC on lead emissions, and 85/203/EEC on nitrogen dioxide emissions.
Air quality in Portugal has improved during the 1990s, but there is still a lot to be done. For example, as one travels throughout Portugal, one frequently sees piles of burning rubbish. During harvest time, farmers also burn fields to clear land. As in other environmental areas, Portugal has adopted EU limits, guide values, and rules for air pollutants, and the government is trying to comply with EU requirements.
Power plants and other large fuel-burning installations contribute to air pollution. Perhaps of all the environmental areas, air quality technology is the one that will depend most on private sector investments. With the government program to divest itself of electric utilities, iron and steel plants, cement factories, etc., the market for clean air technology rests increasingly with private business.
Other efforts are under way to reduce emissions by substituting wind energy for the burning of fossil fuels for the generation of power. In many areas throughout Portugal, new wind energy farms are being built, partly with EU subsidies. American companies have been able to make sales of wind energy technology, but the competition is very strong from European manufacturers.

Vehicle Emissions

The question of controls on auto emissions in Portugal is at the center of the battle taking place at the European Union
over which standards should be adopted EU-wide. Since 1992, the Council of EU Environmental Ministers has been studying various measures likely to reduce pollutant emissions from road vehicles by 2010.
American companies stand to make gains from this debate and from the eventual adoption of tighter regulations. Arco Chemicals, a unit of Atlantic Richfield Company, has introduced its oxygenated fuels in some European countries and is trying to convince the EU to adopt its technology. In the debate, the California standards, which are the strictest in the world, are often cited. American vehicle manufacturers and equipment suppliers have had to meet these strict standards for some time and may have the best available technology.
Regardless of which standards are adopted, American companies should do well. American companies have the recognized lead in technology for the petroleum industry, and American vehicle manufacturers and parts suppliers have had to develop technology for stricter American legislation and thus have the competitive edge.
Several companies in Portugal produce automobiles, trucks, and buses or parts for these vehicles. The automotive industry has been expanding for the past few years, and it is expected to continue to grow. Any changes in European emissions standards will force changes in production and perhaps create important opportunities for American suppliers. The principal buyers will be vehicle manufacturers.

Industrial Air Pollution

The largest air polluters in Portugal are major fuel-burning installations, particularly electric utilities, cement plants, and the iron and steel industries, and the best sales prospects are tied to upgrading their important fuel-burning installations. Scrubbers and filters, as well as more energy-efficient machine tools, boilers, and burners, are good candidates for sale in Portugal. However, not all sectors offer the same opportunities.
With the increase in construction, partially fueled by EU Structural and Cohesion funds, cement companies have been doing very well in Portugal. In 1996, cement consumption reached an all-time peak in Portugal, and this trend is expected to continue over the next few years. This sector is in need of substantial investment in new technology, which would incorporate, among other things, environmentally friendly systems. The cement industry presents a good market opportunity for American companies with the appropriate technology. The largest Portuguese cement, glass, and ceramics companies are:

Barbosa and Almeida SA (glass manufacturer)
Cimen, Maceira e Pataias SA
ROCA-CERAMICA E COM SA (ceramics manufacturer)
Santos Barosa SA
Vidreira do Mondego SA (glass manufacturer)
Ricardo Gallo SA (glass manufacturer)
SANITANA SA (ceramics manufacturer)
Atlantis SA

Five Large Portuguese Industrial Sectors Pledge to Cut Emissions by 2003
Five large industrial sectors in Portugal pledged on January 21, 1997, to reduce their emissions of contaminants into the air by the year 2003, so that the country will be in compliance with EU directives. These sectors include the electric utilities, the paper and pulp producers, the metallurgical industry, petroleum refiners, and the petrochemical industry. Among the companies participating on this pledge were EDP, Tejo Energia, Borealis, Siderurgia Nacional, Petrogal, Celbi, Soporcel, and Portucel.

The metallurgical industry is a potential client for air pollution control devices. However, this sector of the Portuguese economy has been experiencing negative results, partially as a result of a drop in exports since 1993. Throughout Europe, the iron and steel industry has been suffering a substantial decline, with the loss of thousands of jobs in the past few years. The Portuguese metallurgical industry has also been restructuring, partially as a result of the privatization of government-owned companies. Foreign investors, particularly French and Dutch, have entered Portugal, purchasing the former government companies.

Although the metallurgy sector may not be in the best financial position at this time and is in the middle of a process of restructuring, environmentally friendly technology may be introduced as new technology is purchased. It may be worth the effort to explore this market for business opportunities. The largest Portuguese companies in this sector are:

COLEP Portugal SA
KOCH, Lda.
Arsenal do Alfeite

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