The port of Sines, on the Alentejo coast, is expected to achieve double-digit growth in containerised cargo this year after a decline in 2019, the president of the port authority said on Thursday.
“The year 2020 will be very important for the port of Sines, because we will resume the growth cycle of previous years and, even in containerised cargo, I believe we will have a double-digit growth,” José Luís Cacho, president of the Administration of Ports of Sines and the Algarve (APS), said.
During a meeting with journalists to take stock of the activity of the port of Sines, in the district of Setúbal, which, in 2019, suffered a decrease of about 12%, José Luís Cacho recalled the fact that Sines has been the port that has grown the most in Europe in the last five years.
“It was a year  of adjustment because Sines was the fastest growing port in Europe in the past five to six years, and as a result of a structural problem related to the decarbonisation of the economy, the port as a whole had significant losses of movement,” he said.
He added that last year, the port of Sines saw a decrease of about 12% as a whole, as well as a significant decrease in containerised cargo, largely due to renegotiation of the contract with PSA, wage negotiations with workers, a small spill and operational problems at the terminal of containers.
“However, we continue to be the most important port in the handling of containerised cargo,” José Luís Cacho said.
According to the administrator, the government’s bet on the decarbonisation of the economy had effects on the activity, with losses related to energy cargoes, which have an important component in the financial sustainability of the port of Sines.
In terms of movement, the administrator said that the growth of containers will ensure the future sustainability of the port of Sines, but stressed that it is important to attract new business opportunities, as an alternative to coal, to make the solid bulk terminal viable.
In 2019, he recalled, the main objectives of the current management were achieved, with the signing of the expansion contract of Terminal XXI, with PSA, which ensures the future sustainability of the port of Sines, and the launch of the international tender for the new Vasco da Gama terminal.
The port administrator also said that the €8.4 million requalification of the railway branch is in progress and taking place within the planned schedule and may be concluded during the summer.