No bidders have emerged for a new container terminal at the port of Sines in Portugal due to the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the tender having drawn political attention from Washington and Beijing earlier, the port’s head said on Wednesday.
Portugal launched the international tender in Oct. 2019 for a contract to build and operate the terminal in the deepwater port, continental Europe’s closest to the Panama Canal. The bidding deadline was set for April 6 following a postponement from late 2020.
“Naturally, we are aware that this pandemic context is not the best for a tender of this nature, there is a whole set of situations that did not favour the moment,” Jose Luis Cacho, president of the administration of the Ports of Sines and Algarve, told Reuters to explain the absence of offers.
Cacho said 52 entities – including operators, financial companies and law firms – had expressed interest and had access to the tender documents. The port had advertised the concession “to the main operators in China, the United States, South America”, various European countries and Israel.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Sergio Goncalves, editing by Andrei Khalip)