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2023-05-15 at 19h34

Portugal and Iceland share common interests and values

Prime Minister António Costa with the Prime Minister of Iceland, Katrin Jakobsdottir, Reykjavik, 15 May 2023

Portugal and Iceland share common values on a strategic level, yet also in terms of future challenges such as fighting climate change and protecting the oceans, both Heads of Government, António Costa and Katrin Jakobsdottir claimed in a statement in Reykjavik following a working meeting at the start of the Portuguese Prime Minister’s official visit.

António Costa noted he is the first Portuguese Head of Government to visit Iceland in an official capacity and that this is "an important opportunity to deepen bilateral relations", namely in the field of energy, one of the visit’s central themes.

"We have opportunities here to develop our relations in terms of renewables. From our side, we expect to learn from Iceland’s experience in the geothermal sector, namely regarding carbon capture for industrial use" he said, adding that both countries can also "move forward in the oceans cluster".

Greater collaboration

The Prime Minister of Iceland said in her statement that "there are a series of fields on which Portugal and Iceland can work closer, such as oceans and energy", namely wind energy, an area the Portuguese companies are interested in bringing to the Icelandic market.

«Portugal and Iceland share common values and perspectives on the main challenges and shifts in the world, especially climate change and ocean protection", the Portuguese Prime Minister noted.

The Icelandic Head of Government said that "fighting climate change and protecting the oceans mean we must deepen our relations", adding that these relations "have always been very good" and noting that a significant part of the cod consumed in Portugal comes from Iceland.

Katrin Jakobsdotti also referred to the Council of Europe Summit on 16 and 17 May in Reykjavik, which António Costa will also attend, claiming that this "will be a historic summit. We are experiencing troubled times in Europe, especially in the East. We are on Ukraine’s side and will condemn Russia’s brutal assault".

Renewables

The greatest potential for cooperation between Portugal and Iceland is in the field of renewables, where both countries are investing heavily, representing opportunities for the Portuguese companies supplying equipment for renewable power plants, from turbines and generators to small-scale solar solutions for producing electricity outside the grid.

The Prime Minister, together with the Secretary of State for Energy Ana Fontoura Gouveia, visited the Selfoss Geothermal power plant, the largest in Iceland and one of the largest in the world with 303 megawatts of installed capacity, from which Portugal can learn how to leverage its natural resources.

Here, two memoranda of understanding were signed between the Portuguese Energy Agency and the National Energy Authority of Iceland: One to set up a cooperation framework for sharing knowledge, technical collaboration and developing joint projects; another for cooperation in the fields of energy efficiency, where Portugal holds experience it can share, such as prosumers, and geothermal energy.

Next, António Costa travelled to Carbfix, an industrial unit for carbon capture and mineralisation. Portugal also has a few projects in this area, through the forest and voluntary carbon market, but it doesn’t yet have projects in industrial capture.

The Prime Minister also had a meeting with the Mayor of Reykjavik, Dagur Eggertsson, and visited the oceans cluster in the capital of Iceland.

The visit ended with a meeting with the Portuguese community. 


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Prime minister