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Vila do Porto ,  April 05, 2019

Gui Menezes ensures that space port will be built if all the necessary environmental and safety requirements are met

The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology reiterated the Regional Government has fulfilled its "commitment" to travel to Santa Maria Island for the information sessions aimed at clarifying the population about "relevant developments" regarding the project for the creation of a space port to launch microsatellites.
Gui Menezes spoke Thursday in Vila do Porto at the end of a public information session on the second phase of the International Satellite Launch Programme (Azores ISLP), which was attended by more than seventy locals.
The Regional Secretary noted that "the due clarifications were made," adding that "a procedure has been formalised in compliance with legal rules."
"The die is cast, and we hope that company join this procedure by competing for this tender so that we may soon select the proposals corresponding to the requirements set out by the Regional Government, particularly those concerning environmental and safety aspects," noted Gui Menezes.
"We hope that this process will be concluded so that we will be able to award the contract work for the development of a space port for the launch of microsatellites," the government official said, reiterating that this project "can generate synergies by encouraging the installation of companies around it."
"The goal is to bring more development to Santa Maria and to the Azores as well as more jobs, namely qualified jobs," stated the government official.
Gui Menezes explained that the "pre-qualification phase of interested companies is running until the end of April to verify the compliance with certain criteria," demonstrating their technical and financial capacity.
"It will be then followed by a phase of competitive dialogue in which companies will have to present solutions," added the government official.
"We are putting the design, construction and operation of the space port to tender," the government official stated, adding that the solutions to be presented "are based on criteria set out in the descriptive document of the procedure."
At the end of the dialogue phase, which is expected to be concluded by the beginning of the second half of 2019, "the jury of the tender will have the information that will enable the Regional Government to prepare the tender specifications containing all the requirements we consider necessary; the process should be completed during the month of October," stated the government official.
Companies will have the opportunity to compete again only after the definition of tender specifications. In this context, "the best company will be chosen provided that the stipulated requirements are met," revealed the Regional Secretary.
Gui Menezes explained that, "during this process, a space port may or may not exist on Santa Maria Island in 2021, because if none of the companies meet these requirements, we will not move forward with the space port."
The government official also noted that "all legal requirements in terms of environmental or safety issues will be met."
Asked by journalists about the possibility of conducting a previous environmental impact study, Gui Menezes stated that "the contracting authority [Regional Government] does not have the knowledge on some technical matters; therefore, it is not possible carry put an evaluation as of now."
"Firstly, we need to become acquainted with these matters, which will be then assessed by the competent environmental authorities," namely the Regional Directorates for the Environment and Sea Affairs, stated the Regional Secretary. If these authorities do not have competence in some matters, they may request opinions from other entities.
During the information session, the government official said that the Regional Government "is committed" to the space port project as "it will be beneficial for Santa Maria and the Azores."
"It does not matter if we create a site to launch satellites and nothing else happens," Gui Meneses said, defending that we also aim "to attract other companies."


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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