© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa speaks to the media outside Downing Street in London, England, June 13, 2022.REUTERS/Henry Nichols/File Photo
LISBON (Reuters) – Portugal has selected 51 consortia to invest a total of 7.57 billion euros ($8 billion) in green and other innovative projects over the next four years as part of the European Union’s recovery plan.
Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Tuesday that selected projects will be able to use 3 billion euros in grants from Portugal’s 16.6 billion euro recovery and recovery plan.
Grants to companies and research entities may later increase by 1.6 billion euros.
The projects include “green” hydrogen and lithium battery factories, agricultural industries, electric bicycles, investments in health and the construction of energy-efficient homes, Costa said.
“The recovery plan is not an abstract fantasy … These investments will increase the competitiveness of the economy through 2026,” Costa said in a news conference, adding that the projects will create new products, services and patents.
Costa said the projects will create more than 17,000 new jobs and involve a total of 930 enterprises, 60% of which are micro, small and medium enterprises, as well as some scientific and technological research entities.
Portugal wants to use almost 14 billion euros in EU grants and about 2.7 billion euros in loans from the EU’s 750 billion euro pandemic recovery plan by 2026.
It plans to provide nearly 5 billion euros to companies that support investments in research and innovation, sustainable production processes, and digital tools and skills.
(1 USD = 0.9491 EUR)
(Reporting by Sergio Goncalves; Editing by Mark Porter)