Pandemic created "unfavorable context" for a procedure of this nature, justifies administration
The international public tender for the construction and concession of the new container terminal at the Port of Sines, the Vasco da Gama Terminal, closed on Tuesday “without proposals”, revealed today the president of the port administration.
Speaking to Lusa agency, the chairman of the board of directors of the Port of Sines (Setúbal), José Luís Cacho, said that the result of the international tender "was not favorable" and that it ended "without any proposal" for investment.
"We must not forget that this is a totally private investment, which needs a stable and favorable economic context in order to be able to move forward", stressed the administrator.
But the covid-19 pandemic "has been having adverse repercussions on the economy" and created "an unfavorable context for a competition of this nature", he considered.
Investment budgeted at 642 million euros
The public tender for the Vasco da Gama Terminal, in a private investment of around 642 million euros, was launched in October 2019.
The deadline for submission of proposals was initially scheduled for June 13, 2020, but the date was extended until April 2021, due to the context of instability caused by the covid-19 pandemic.
According to José Luís Cacho, the Administration of the Ports of Sines and the Algarve (APS) is now analyzing, together with the Government, “aspects that can be improved” in the tender.
As an example, he pointed out the “flexibility of some aspects related to the part of the investment that respond to this less favorable context” related to the covid-19.
“It was a tender with some rigidity in relation to the timing of investments throughout the concession period”, he stressed.
The administrator said that it is necessary to make the international tender “a little more attractive” so that, as soon as “the market conditions” are met, it is possible to “open again” the process “so that the terminal is a success”.
"We were waiting for this a little and we have been looking at this, together with the Government, looking for aspects that, eventually, can be improved", he insisted.
Impasse does not jeopardize the future of the port
In the current context, “we knew that something different would be very difficult, but we are working so that we can quickly be able to promote the launch of the contest”, he stressed.
This stalemate in the construction of the future Vasco da Gama Terminal does not jeopardize the future of the Port of Sines, whose growth "is assured for the next years" in other terminals and with "the doubling of the movement of containerized cargo".
"In this context in which the operating period of this terminal is long, one or two years is almost irrelevant", assured the administrator, adding that "as soon as the conditions are met", a new date will be announced for the opening of a new tender .
This new step “depends a little on the evolution of this pandemic context, on the creation of more favorable and stable macroeconomic conditions, but, if that happens in a month, we are in a position to put the contest out there”, guaranteed José Luís Cacho.