The port of Sines, on Portugal’s southern Atlantic coast, is studying the possibility of transforming a multi-use “jetty” into a terminal for handling renewable gases, with an expected investment of about €20 million.
“We are going to make some investments to improve the conditions of a small pier and prepare it for handling renewable gases and, possibly, bunkers for supplying ships,” the chairman of the Sines and Algarve Ports Administration (APS), José Luís Cacho, told Lusa on Tuesday.
According to the official, investments “in improving the conditions of the jetty” to receive renewable gases such as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) or hydrogen and green ammonia are part of the Activities Plan of that port infrastructure as part of the energy transition.
“We plan to make these investments next year,” said José Luís Cacho, adding that the “projects and studies” are currently underway. These are “investments that should be around €15 to €20 million,” he said. “These investments should be implemented during the next year and be available and operational from 2024,” he said.
Considering that the European Union has classified LNG as a renewable gas and that there are guidelines that indicate that this is “the transition gas of the coming years,” José Luís Cacho acknowledged that it would be the first to “come into operation” at that terminal.
“Currently, as there is no possibility of entry of gases such as hydrogen, sufficient technology for that, nor is there hydrogen for that. Naturally, it will start by moving natural gas,” he stressed.
In the future, he added, “it will be prepared to receive ships with other renewable gases such as hydrogen, ammonia and methanol.
He said that APS was “still considering” the management model for the renewable gas terminal, ensuring that “it will naturally be operated by private companies” that are interested. “It could be Japanese [companies], it could be REN, Galp, all the companies in Sines can use this infrastructure,” he said.
Together with the Sines Industrial and Logistics Zone (ZILS), the Port of Sines took part in an energy summit in Tokyo, Japan, last week.
The event, according to José Luís Cacho, “deepened the issues related to the importance of energy transition” and the focus “on renewable and cleaner gases such as hydrogen and ammonia.
During the summit, the Port of Sines contacted companies responsible for the pilot project being developed between Japan and Australia “for the transport of liquefied hydrogen,” he added.
The chairman of the port board noted that, in recent years, he has established “contacts with Japanese entities and business structures to [understand] their interest in developing investments in Sines.
“It is a country that has made a major investment in energy, and we view the development of Japanese investments in Sines with great interest,” he concluded.