The announcement of the beginning of blasting in Sal Rei bay, a fundamental step in the construction of the new port the island of Boa Vista has been awaiting for years in order to help leverage its tourist-based economy, was made by the construction outfits MSF and Somague. In a meeting attended by representatives of the Ministry of the Environment, the Maritime Delegation, the National Police, port management company Enaport and the Civil Protection Service, all sides agreed that work could now resume without posing a threat to the environment.
Blasting of the rocky sea floor in Sal Rei bay, on the island of Boa Vista, was supposed to run until August, but will likely extend until October, according to estimates from the construction companies, thus delaying the conclusion of the project by several months. Expansion work on the port began in 2010.
In April of this year, a group of environmentalists circulated a petition on social networking sites in an effort to keep blasting from beginning. The petition, which intended to protect humpback whales and sea turtles, which make their way to the island’s coasts for reproduction at that time of year, worked, and the Directorate General of the Environment, in April 17, informed MSF and Somague that the blasting should only begin in June.
The expansion of Sal Rei sea port will include the construction of two docks for ships of up to 200 meters in length, a new two-hectare container park, a merchandise warehouse, a maintenance and repair area, parking and improved access roads.
The project has seen successive adaptations that have resulted in a significance increase in its price tag, which went from 3.5 billion to some 6 billion escudos.