Sines port project to advance
A new shipping container terminal at Portugal’s biggest and busiest port, the Port of Sines, is to go ahead.
The president of the Porto de Sines, José Luís Cacho said last week that the Vasco da Gama Terminal will go ahead with less investment than has initially been anticipated.
A date has yet to be set for the launch of a competition for the concession rights to build and manage the new shipping terminal, but the initial investment that is being proposed from private entities will be less than initially expected.
In an interview with the newspaper Negócios and RTP’s Antena 1 radio, the Board President of the Ports of Sines and Algarve said that the decision to launch the tendering competition would be taken by the Government. But José Luís Cacho said that construction work on the new shipping terminal would move ahead sooner or later.
The first competition for a 50-year concession requiring an investment of €642 million was in April but had no takers.
José Luís Cacho believes that to ensure the economic viability of the project under current market conditions the project needs to be customised to handle less cargo.
The eventual goal to handle 3.5 million containers will remain, but this capacity will be achieved gradually, as will the initial investment which will be less than originally foreseen.
In other words, current economic conditions and the lack of takers at the original asking investment had been downscaled to reflect the new reality.
“The project had been based on the supposition that international shipping had been growing at 8.5% in this region which gave us an opportunity to sound out the market.
“Unfortunately, with the pandemic things changed,” he said, adding that even so, the ports company will make an investment to double current capacity to 4.5 million TEUs (a unit equivalent to one standard container).
According to the president of the Porto de Sines, the Minister for Housing and Infrastructures, Pedro Nunes Santos will announce the timeframe set for a fresh competition.