With the extended deadline for tenders to operate a new ferry between Madeira and the mainland having passed, RTP report that Empresa de Navegação Madeirense (ENM) is the only company interested in operating the service.
RTP quote the Pedro Calado, vice-president of the regional government: “There were four entities that considered the specifications, but only three were competitors in earnest, and of those three, (only) one of them presented a formal proposal”. He added that the ENM proposal is now being analysed, and, if everything is in order, the company will be informed that whether the technical specifications of the proposed vessel have been met.
The operation of the connection, with a total of 36 round trips to Portimao over three years (between June and September), will receive compensation from the Regional Budget totalling of nine million euros (€3 million/year).
ENM is part of the Sousa Group, whose shareholder structure is composed of Sousapar – Grupo Sousa Participações, SGPS, Lda (60%); Lumiso, SGPS, Lda (20%); Betasol, SGPS, Lda (10%) and Rusamar, SGPS, Lda (10%), the first two being integrally owned by businessman Luis Miguel Sousa, founder, president and executive director of the group.
Grupo Sousa’s business areas are divided into maritime transport (including Porto Santo Line and Lisbon Cruise Port) and logistics, energy and tourism.
Yesterdays Journal reported that Grupo Sousa’s proposal involves a ship from Naviera Armas (which operated the ferry before – last trip pictured above) and that the cheapest fare, round-trip in a chair, would be around €60.
Update Thursday 10/05/18
The Diario reports that a meeting of the Governing Council today has resulted in the award of the Concession of Public Transport Services for Passengers and Vehicles by Ferry, between Madeira and the Portuguese Continent, to Empresa de Navegação Madeirense, Lda, subject to the provisions of the proposal and in compliance with the specifications.