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Lisbon ,  March 29, 2019

Second phase of tender for space port construction to provide necessary elements for political decision making, says Gui Menezes

The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology stated in Lisbon that the second phase of the Azores International Satellite Launch Programme will provide the Azores with "the necessary elements for a reasoned decision-making process that safeguards the Region's interests" in environmental and safety terms regarding the construction and operation of a space port on Santa Maria Island.
Gui Menezes spoke at the "Azores ISLP" workshop that took place during the public presentation of the competitive dialogue for the installation of a space port on Santa Maria. The process involved all companies that have shown interest in the project.
The event was organised by the Portuguese Space Agency -"Portugal Space" and was attended by the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor. On the occasion, the Regional Secretary stressed that the Azorean Government intends to "cooperate with all interested parties wishing to be part of this new space project."
"It is undeniable that the Azores now play an important role in the development of future European projects in the field of Space and, in this context, Santa Maria is becoming a true space cluster," Gui Menezes said, pointing out the existing infrastructures and the projects to be implemented in this sector.
The Regional Secretary also stated that the Azores are part of the European space debris tracking and surveillance programme (SST), noting that the Data Operations Centre is also installed in the archipelago, specifically on Terceira Island.
"The fact that we are part of the SST programme reinforces our visibility in the Space sector in the European context," said the government official.
The government official stated that the geographical location of the Azores "has advantages" in the space domain as far as it "attracts private and public interests." In this regard, he added that companies wishing to install in the archipelago will find "competitive advantages and a favourable fiscal framework."
According to Gui Menezes, the Santa Maria space port project will create "opportunities and services associated with the "New Space" and the new space technologies, within a strategy based on creating synergies between various economic and scientific sectors related to Space."
The public tender for the construction and operation of a space port on Santa Maria Island was launched earlier this week.
The jury of the tender is composed of the following members: the President of the Portuguese Space Agency, Chiara Manfletti; the Vice-President of the Portuguese Space Agency, who is also the Coordinator of the Azores Mission for Space, Luís Santos; the President of the Administration Board of SDEA, Vítor Fraga; members of the Foundation for Science and Technology and scholars collaborating with the Government in this process.
The period for the submission of proposals is now taking place. The tender will be divided into three phases: the pre- qualification of companies or consortia; the presentation of solutions and competitive dialogue; the preparation of tender specifications and presentation of proposals for the signing of the contract. The latter phase is expected to take place at the end of the year, provided that all the conditions are met.
The proposals will be evaluated by the jury with the collaboration of the technical advisory services of the European Space Agency and other recognised experts in this field.


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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