The expansion of the Port of Sines, a facility that may become part of the Belt and Road initiative, has been awarded, and now the tender for the concession of the new Vasco da Gama Terminal is underway.
The Board of Directors of the Port of Sines stated that the work on the extension of the East Pier of the port, to be completed by the first quarter of 2023, had been awarded to Conduril – Engenharia, with an investment of approximately €72 million.
The contract includes the extension of the breakwater by 750 metres, which will strengthen the protection of the East Zone of the Port of Sines, in particular as regards the next phase of the expansion of the Sines – Terminal XXI container terminal, under the responsibility of the concessionaire PSA Sines.
The Board of the Port of Sines said in a press release on 5 February that the extension of the protection infrastructure “creates the ideal conditions to welcome four of the largest container ships in operation in the world, measuring 400 metres in hull length, at the same time.”
The Port of Sines was visited last week by the Secretary of Energy of the United States of America (USA), Dan Brouillette, accompanied by the Portuguese Minister of Infrastructure and Housing, Pedro Nuno Santos.
The US secretary of state discussed with the Portuguese authorities “The United States’ interest in this auction in particular,” as Sines is “a strategic point” for the USA.
“This is a gateway to Europe, it is the European port closest to the United States, much of the cargo comes from the east coast of the United States, and it is a unique and strategic point for us. I think that that is the interest and the reason why there are American companies here,” said Brouillette.
The public tender for the concession of the Vasco da Gama Terminal, launched in October 2019, which is on until June 2020.
The amendment to the concession contract to award the expansion of Terminal XXI was signed on 12 October 2019, and is a totally private investment by the concessionaire of approximately €661 million.
“We have seen great interest from the USA in this port. When the tender [for Vasco da Gama Terminal] ends, we will see which companies have made proposals, but the fact that they are here today indicates that there is a very strong American interest in this port,” said the Secretary of Energy of the United States.
The former minister of the Sea, Ana Paula Vitorino, was in China in 2018 where she presented the project of the Vasco da Gama Terminal to COSCO and the SIPG – Shanghai International Port Group.
The Minister of Natural Resources of the People’s Republic of China, Lu Hau, visited the Port of Sines in May 2019 for details of the project and its future location.
Vitorino in May 2019 expressed the intention that “Portugal become an integral part of the New Silk Route in its maritime dimension.”
The Portuguese Minister of Infrastructure, Pedro Nuno Santos, said “there are several interested parties who are assessing the project of the new container terminal.
Once this next phase of expansion is complete, Terminal XXI will double its installed capacity to 4.1 million TEUs (1 TEU = 1 20-foot container), which will allow it to project its position internationally. (macauhub)