Sao Tome and Principe launches tender to build deep water port

16 January 2006

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 16 Jan – The Sao Tome government has launched international public tenders to research the economic viability of building a deep water port in the archipelago as well as to extend its international airport, the latest edition of Sao Tome daily Jornal de São Tomé, reported.

The cost of building the port, which will be located at Fernão Dias and financed by the private sector, is estimated at US$200 million in its first stage and a further US$200 million in a second phase.

The studies for the port and airport, according to the government of Sao Tome and Principe, are expected to be finished in the first quarter of 2006, and if work were to begin immediately could be finished by the end of the year, the paper said.

The president of the government commission set up to head the project, António Aguiar told weekly newspaper, Jornal Correio da Semana that the future deep water port, in its first year would generate revenues equivalent to 50 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

In 2004 Sao Tome and Principe’s GDP totaled US$62 million.

“In the first year, the port will deal with around 160,000 containers, in its 10th year that will be 460,000 and in its 20th year, 930,000,” said Aguiar.

He added that the port would have the capacity to, “receive fifth generation container ships, with drafts of up to 14 meters.”

Aguiar warned that the archipelago was not the only country in the region which planned to build a similar port. (macauhub)