The international public tender for concession of inter-island passenger and cargo shipping has attracted interest from a Chinese shipowner, as well as from similar Portuguese, Cape Verdean and other companies, according to the Africa Monitor Intelligence newsletter.
According to the newsletter, the China Marine Service Company is among the companies that have put forward a proposal and were admitted to the tender, which also involves Transinsular SA / Trans-insular Cape Verde.
Other proposals were put forward by consortia Palm Shipping Lines/Tschudi Ship Management; Moura Company; Polaris; CV Line Shipping; West Africa Shipping Line/ANEC Lines SA/Marlow Navigation CO and Cape Verde Fast Ferry.
The Africa Monitor said that on 5 March, at the Ministry of Finance, in Praia, the opening ceremony of expressions of interest for the international competition took place.
However, one of the excluded competitors, Palm Shipping Lines/Tschudi Ship Management appealed to the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (ARAP), which means the process will be halted.
The tender is restricted by prior qualification and provides that in the first stage the interested parties submit their expressions of interest and, only then will they be invited to submit their technical and financial proposals.
The concession will be awarded through a “competitive and transparent” international tender, following the rules of public procurement.
The concession must be for at least 20 years, with a view to providing a public service, namely in the Praia-Fogo-Brava, Praia-Maio, Praia-Boa Vista, Praia-Sal, Sal-São Vicente, Praia-São Nicolau and São Vicente-São Nicolau-Boa Vista lines.
According to figures from the International Trade Center, China is the only one of Cabo Verde’s top five suppliers that is not an EU country, with a 4.1% share of imports, on a list led by Portugal with a share of more than 50%.
Marine projects are central to the strategy of economic diversification, in particular the future São Vicente Special Economic Area of the Sea (ZEEM), the first facility of its kind focused on the sea, created with the support of China.
On a recent visit to the island, accompanied by the ambassador of China, the Cape Verdean Prime Minister, Ulisses Correia e Silva, said the integrated project provides for maritime transport, port operations, fishing, specialised logistics support services as well as tourism, science and specialised education in the sea sector.
“I have no doubt that we have found the solution and from here we can make all the difference in the medium and long term, in order to get the economy to work and grow, generating jobs and income, creating investment opportunities for entrepreneurs and achieving people’s happiness,” said Correia e Silva.
The project’s feasibility study is being prepared, he said, based on the government’s term of office, within just over three years.
The Ministry of the Maritime Economy of Cabo Verde is headquartered in the city of Mindelo, the city with the largest population on the island of São Vicente.
José Gonçalves, the minister of the Maritime Economy – based in Sao Vicente – and the Minister of Tourism and Transport in the capital, recently accompanied a visit by a business delegation from China to the island, saying at the end that the representatives of Chinese company Shandong Hi-Speed Group Co. expressed “enormous interest” in getting involved in the development of the ZEEM. (macauhub)