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Praia da Vitória ,  May 14, 2015

COSTA project to enhance position of the Azores in transatlantic maritime links, says Luís Quintanilha

The Regional Director for Transport, Luís Quintanilha, stated Thursday that the implementation of COSTA Project on Terceira Island, a natural gas supply platform for maritime transport between Europe and the USA, will place the Azores in a prominent position in the maritime links between both continents.

 Luís Quintanilha accompanied the Ambassador of Canada in Portugal at the presentation of COSTA Project. The government official stressed that the Regional Government considers the need to give to "properly highlight" the Atlantic and insular dimension of the Region in the context of European maritime transport in global markets, imposing itself as soon as the Azores become the western maritime border of the European Union in the Atlantic.
 "Despite their small terrestrial size, the Autonomous Region of the Azores has the largest Exclusive Economic Zone of Europe," said the Regional Director. He added that "this asset is all the more significant if we consider, on the one hand, the centralised and prime strategic position of the Region in the global context and, on the other hand, the economic, social and environmental impact on neighbouring EU countries."

 In his speech, Luís Quintanilla recalled that the Region has been active in the revision of the EU strategy for Transport. According to him, the Government of the Azores defended in Brussels the importance of encouraging the creation of a solid network of infrastructure for alternative fuels.

 As the Azores are the only European region with a privileged position for the installation of a natural gas supply platform for maritime transport between the EU and the USA, the Regional Government has invested in the adoption and development of the project presented by Regional Port Authorities under the Project COSTA - CO2 & Ship Transport Emissions Abatement by LNG.

 "From the very beginning, the Government of the Azores wanted to be involved in the monitoring of this project through Regional Port Authorities, taking into consideration that it will increase maritime activity in the Azores, more specifically in the Praia da Vitória Port," said Regional Director. According to him, the COSTA Project will go beyond the supply of vessels by stimulating maritime traffic.

 Luís Quintanilha also stressed that the Azorean Government has highlighted "the importance of creating of a container transhipment terminal based on the Hub-and-Spoke mode, an innovative system that would reduce ground traffic in European and U.S. ports. The access to these ports would be made through the medium-sized container ships, which have greater operational agility compared with mega carriers."

 The Regional Director acknowledged the existence of obstacles in various fields to the implementation of this project. However, he stressed that "the implementation of this type of projects may contribute to the future development of the Region, which aims to reduce elevated red-tape costs; the latter are particularly relevant in island regions with a high economic dependence on maritime transport."


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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