10 April 2023

REN donates vehicle to Rio Maior's voluntary firefighters on the corporation's 130th anniversary

REN - Redes Energéticas Nacionais delivered a vehicle to Associação Humanitária de Bombeiros Voluntários de Rio Maior (the Rio Maior Voluntary Fire Brigade Humanitarian Association), as part of its policy of supporting local communities, reinforcing the company's commitment to preventing and fighting wildfires. In the year in which the institution celebrates its 130th anniversary, REN's donation of the vehicle will allow for logistical support in rescue operations, as well as reinforce the corporation's multipurpose fleet.

Since 2009, REN has donated 89 vehicles to multiple institutions, including fire brigades and municipal fire prevention teams, in close partnership with Autoridade Nacional de Emergência e Proteção Civil (the Portuguese National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority), with Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e das Florestas (the Portuguese Institute for Nature and Forest Conservation), and with the municipalities, in the defence of forests against wildfires.

According to João Gaspar, head for Sustainable Networks and Easements, 'the donation of vehicles to the fire brigades and to the civil protection teams of the municipalities has been a way to support these agents who, in a resilient way, have been in the front line of protecting the Portuguese forests. However, REN's engagement in the prevention of wildfires goes far beyond these donations. Throughout the year, the company is involved in a number of initiatives, which include, for example, the cleaning and reforestation of the energy transmission corridors.'

For António Quevedo, Chairman of the Board of Associação Humanitária de Bombeiros Voluntários de Rio Maior, 'this vehicle will allow us to meet the institution's needs as regards field activities, with emphasis on logistical support for rescue operations. With this donation, a gap in our vehicle fleet will be filled, and it will be very useful as an excellent multipurpose vehicle. This is, without doubt, an amazing birthday present for Associação Humanitária de Bombeiros Voluntários de Rio Maior, which this year celebrates its 130th anniversary.'

REN in defence of the forest: 

  • REN has been carrying out constant work in the prevention of rural wildfires in partnership with ANEPC, ICNF, and the municipalities where power lines and gas pipelines allocated to the concession of the Portuguese National Electricity Transmission Grid and the Portuguese National Natural Gas Transmission Network are located;
  • At national level, REN has almost 10,000 kilometres (around 35,000 hectares) of power line and gas pipeline easements, with more than 60% of these easements (23,000 hectares) in forest areas. In the last five years, REN has cleared more than 38,000 hectares (9,000 hectares in 2021);
  • This work is carried out on lands that do not belong to REN, requiring contact with the landowners before any intervention. In 2021 alone, more than 32,000 landowners were contacted in this prevention work;
  • Since 2010, REN has reforested over 3,600 hectares in the easement areas. In addition to increasing biodiversity and resilience to forest fires, these actions also enable landowners (20,000 by 2021) to obtain some income from the lands. By the end of the second planting season, REN will have more than one thousand hectares of strawberry trees - the species best suited to this strategy - planted throughout the country;
  • At the end of 2021, 36% of the forest area crossed by REN's electricity grid throughout the country had already been subject to these reforestation projects, and the company's goal is to reach 2025 with 50% and 2030 with 60%;
  • In 2022, and throughout the entire wildfire season, REN had in operation six prevention and surveillance teams, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • These teams are equipped with first intervention equipment, which enables them to carry out a first intervention to combat wildfire outbreak;
  • Since 2009, REN has donated 91 vehicles to prevent wildfires. Sixty-one vehicles were donated to voluntary fire brigades and 30 to civil protection fire prevention teams from the municipalities.