REN - Redes Energéticas Nacionais donated a vehicle to the Centro de Estudos Sobre Incêndios Florestais (CEIF - Center for Studies on Forest Fires), of the department of Mechanical Engineering (DEM) of Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra (FCTUC - Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Coimbra). The vehicle will reinforce the ongoing research program at CEIF, which has facilities in Coimbra and a laboratory based in Lousã.
CEIF's Coordinator, Professor Domingos Xavier Viegas stated that 'This donation is another step towards the excellent collaboration path that we have been doing with REN for several years, which has been accomplished in other support to our infrastructures and equipment, the training projects and actions. We have had a very positive experience of working with REN, as we have a common objective, which is to contribute to reducing the scourge and the impact of forest fires in the country. At REN, we have found an open and objective vision for the relevance of this problem and for the contribution that can be made by applied research in this field. CEIF is grateful to REN for yet another initiative, which sets an excellent example of interaction between the business world and the scientific community, which we would like to see replicated in this and other fields. '
In order to carry out its research activity, the CEIF team needs to frequently move people and equipment between its laboratories and the sites on the ground, throughout the country, where it develops its research, so the availability of this vehicle will constitute an important enhancement for the team. This donation comes at a time when CEIF is expanding its team of researchers, in order to face an increasing number of challenges that are placed on more than two dozen projects, research contracts and training plans, which it has underway.
REN has been collaborating with CEIF for more than 10 years, within the scope of the company's policy of continuous training of employees and service providers in the fight against forest fires. The results of this REN's policy - which involves other partners, such as the Firefighters and Civil Protection -, were evident, for example, in the fires of October 2017, when the company's teams of REN Armazenagem managed to defend the facilities, in Carriço, Pombal, from the flames that consumed all the surrounding forest.
REN has developed a very significant work in the defense of the forest against fires, together with the ICNF (Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests) and with all the municipalities where power lines and gas pipelines related to the RNT concession (National Electricity Transport Network) and RNTGN (National Natural Gas Transport Network) are installed. In the last 5 years, REN cleaned more than 30 thousand acres, the equivalent of 30 thousand football stadiums. In 2019, the company managed the fuel management of approximately 8 thousand acres (31 acres/ day).