The Portuguese government’s tender for a new container port terminal in the deepwater port of Sines has received no bids, according to Reuters. The deadline was April 6th 2021, after being pushed back from late 2020 by the pandemic, which is blamed for the ongoing disinterest.
The tender was launched in August 2020 and proved controversial after a spat between the United States and China last year. U.S. companies were looking to expand the port’s liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal in an attempt to reduce Europe’s dependency on Russian oil, while Chinese firms had earmarked Sines as part of the Belt & Road Initiative, which Portugal had joined in 2018.
Sines, by the way, is the birthplace of the great Portuguese navigator, explorer, and colonizer Vasco de Gama — the first European to reach India by sea and the man who played the most important role in Portugal’s forays into Asia and Africa during the Age of Discovery.