Port of Portimao (Portugal)'s cruise ship project moved one step closer.
The Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) gave a “favorable” opinion on the project to allow the Port to receive larger liners.
The president of the CCDR-Committee for Coordination and Regional Development of the Algarve said he declared that there was a declaration of favorable environmental impact, even if conditional.
Jose Apolinario added, at a press conference, that the decision allowed them to move forward to a new phase: to articulate with the municipalities of Portimao and Lagoa and with the Administration of the Porto de Sines and Algarve “the funding procedure” regarding research into underwater archaeological sites indicated as a “precondition”.
When implemented, the new dredging project for "deepening and widening the navigation channel of the Port of Portimao" will allow ships up to 272 m (892 ft) in length to be received on Arade River, where currently it can receive vessels up to 210 m (689 ft), allowing for the doubling of the passengers' capacity from cruise ships in the region.
The president of the CCDR indicated that he now had “three tasks and ambitions: to defend the allocation of the necessary funding that, by the second half of 2024, will allow carrying out the preliminary research work on underwater archaeological finds; defend the financing of the decarbonization of the Porto Urbano de Portimao, so that the vessels when stopped can use renewable energy sources (until the end of 2024); and to boost and strengthen maritime connections for cruise ships and passengers between Portugal and Andalusia (Cadiz-Seville-Portimao-Lisbon connections) and in the Mediterranean access basin."
Apolinario warned that there were still no final decisions and various estimates indicated that underwater archaeological research could cost ~EUR 3 million, decarbonization and environmental requalification ~EUR 12 million, and dredging work another ~EUR 12 million.