Connecting Europe Facility





Investment Applications to Poat

Improvement of the shipping accessibility to the Port of Leixões

In compliance with EU policies regarding security of the maritime transport supply logistical chain, from supplier to consumer, especially COM (2003) 229 final dated 02/05/2003, concerning enhanced security of ships and port installations, there is an urgent and critical need to improve the security conditions of the Port of Leixões .

This investment project that has applied to POAT –Operational Programme for Access and Transports, aims to:

  • Contribute towards the improvement of the shipping safety conditions;
  • Safeguard human life at sea;
  • Control possible fires onboard ships, inside the port areas and buildings, including operation of information systems and telecommunications at Leixões;
  • Control possible spillages of hydrocarbons;
  • Improve the safety conditions of the manoeuvring and mooring of ships;
  • Improve safety conditions of the passenger ships that call Leixões;
  • Contribute to improve the safety conditions inside the port areas, preventing high speed accidents in the port or accidents caused by the inadequate management of energy and lighting;
  • Improve communication and alarm systems in risk or accident situations.

The total investment of approximately 2 million euros, of which 51%-is funded by the European Union, encompasses the following aspects:

1 - Maritime Security:

  • Navigation Aid Systems, equipped with lights and located on land, in accordance with the regulations established by the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation (AISM), such as the beacons of the North and the South Wharfs of The Port of Leixões, the light signals at the Castelo do Queijo, for local identification of the approach to the Port of Leixões, Radar Beacon next to the Breakwater Beacon, which is useful in foggy conditions, among others;
  • Purchase of Automatic Identification System (AIS), which consists of an equipment that transmits and receives relevant maritime security information via radio, allowing each ship to quickly and precisely receive information about all other ships equipped with AIS;
  • Digital Selective Call (DSC) receptor, which is a channel used for SOS, emergency, security and selective call communications;
  • ISDN digital telephone centre, which convenes crews and technical piloting staff through text messages, with information return and clear reception;
  • Purchase of defences.

2 - Port Safety:

  • Port Zone Fire-fighting equipment;
  • Protection of Buildings Against Fire;
  • Radar Speed Control System;
  • Electricity and Lighting Networks.

Environmental Management Programme of the Port of Leixões

The Port Authority intends to establish the image of the Port of Leixões as a port that, apart from being competitive and economically viable, it is safe and environmentally friendly.

In addition to the ongoing environmental impact studies associated with the port layout and the new investments in infrastructures and safety aimed at minimising risk of accidents, the Port of Leixões is currently adopting measures for:

  • Analysis of dredged material, partially profited from to supply artificial beaches;
  • Limiting dust and noise air pollution;
  • Optimisation of waste management;
  • Creation of Quality Areas.

This investment, which totals 1.6 million euros, is 35%-funded by POAT - Operational Programme for Access and Transports, and is aimed essentially at:

  • Implementation of the environmental quality monitoring system at the Port of Leixões;
  • Monitoring of dredged materials in accordance with the directives of the Joint Dispatch of Ministers of the Environment, Naturals Resources and the Sea dated 04/04/1995 and Dispatch no. 7 from the Secretary of State for Maritime and Port Management dated 11/10/2001;
  • Monitoring of the air quality in the most sensitive zones of the Port of Leixões, especially at the Scrap Quay and the quays of Docks 2 and 4 North, where cereals, derivatives and stones are handled;
  • Monitoring of noise in the whole surrounding area of the Port of Leixões;
  • Adoption of measures mitigating the environmental impacts of the port activity;
  • Intensification of solid waste management at the Port of Leixões;
  • Setting up of areas of better environmental quality.

Security in the Logistical Chain

With today's increasing concentration of transport activities, and fast, reliable and economic transport available, it has become vital to reposition the Port of Leixões in the new competitive playing field, even from the security point of view.

Maritime and port security issues are a hugely important factor in today's port activity, not only regarding its environmental performance, but also in what concerns the secure transport and integrity of commodities, an aspect that has become increasingly important in view of the recent terrorist attacks.  A good security system is a necessary condition to have access to markets and to integrate the transport chains and, therefore, is a factor that will have a big bearing on future competitiveness.

As part of this application, we include the ongoing investments made by the Port Authority, focussing mainly on the area of "security", although both aspects of safety ("safety" and "security") are often interrelated and are both affected in any given investment.

Coordination and Security Centre and respective Internal Instrumentation Equipment

This investment to create a Coordination and Security Centre at the Port of Leixões, at a total forecast value of slightly more than one million euros, aims to improve the maritime and port safety conditions, both with regard to "security" and "safety", and will bring about considerable improvement in the quality of the operational management of the Port of Leixões.

This coordination and security centre will be located in the current Port Operations and Safety Department, and will house specialised different functions of maritime and port safety, with the three following intervention areas interlinked, that can be transformed into an interactive open space during a critical situation:

The Security Centre, which will undertake:

  • The management of the CCTV display in a video hall;
  • The image processing for assisted detection of incidents, monitoring the images from the television cameras spread around the port;
  • The display and treatment of Geographical Information System alarms;
  • The review of Global Security Plan procedures, in accordance with the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code).

The Ship Coordination Centre (CCN), which will undertake the planning and monitoring of all the processes associated with the ships, using the video hall for display of the following images:

  • TV images, to monitor the ships entrance and departure, mooring and unmooring, diving, etc;
  • graphic representation of the Port of Leixões with the operation planning;
  • any screen of the Port Business Management System, which displays and integrates all the information flows generated by the business;
  • The resolution of all possible operational malfunctions

The Port Activity Control (CAP), which will undertake the planning and monitoring of all the processes associated with the commodities, by using the video hall to display the following images:

  • TV images, to monitor the commodities entrance and departure to/from the port, the loading and unloading of commodities from ships, warehouses, etc;
  • any screen of the Port Business Management System, which displays and integrates all the information flows generated by the business;
  • The control of the handling of commodities as part of the Service Desk;
  • The resolution of all possible operational malfunctions.

Geographical Information System

The priority goals of this system are as follows:

  • Manage the geographical area of the Port of Leixões so as to optimise use of space and minimise risks and consequences of any incident/accident that might occur in the port area (namely in terms of location of infrastructures, storage of commodities, especially commodities considered hazardous and evacuation plans);
  • Manage the physical architectural components and IS/IT infrastructure, namely the physical layouts of cabling (data, voice, electricity, etc.), sanitation and electricity;
  • Manage the implementation of equipments, namely safety support equipment, as fire extinguishers;
  • Integrate the Safety and Environment Plans.

This system will consist of graphical layers depicting the Port of Leixões, organised according to themes (extinguishers location, buildings, storage areas, electricity network, fibre optics network, etc.) and typologies. It includes Oracle connecting software, automatically updated characterisation files, and system data enquiry functions.

Enhanced External Security Instrumentation

Aimed at improving the security of the port, the Port Authority is making the following investments:

  • Enlargement of the Closed Television Circuit, at a forecast value of 300 000 euros. The increased number of cameras will allow permanent filming of all activities inside the Port of Leixões and its surrounding areas. The circuit is to be extended to the South Wharf, to the area next to Silopor, to the Passenger Terminal and to the fuel supply post.
  • Control of Passenger Vehicle Access, estimated at 225 000 euros, which encompasses the card attribution management system and registry and integration of data reporting on the entrance and exit of people and vehicles at the Port of Leixões.
  • Control System of the Port Authority Car Park, at an approximate value of 40 000 euros, which will provide a management system for free-access cards to the car park and registry and integration of data of vehicles entrance and exit.
  • Premises for Foreigner and Border Control Service and Passenger Control Posts, at a forecast total value of approximately 582 000 euros, which will lead to better facilities in line with EU requirements, namely with regard to the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code. These facilities are to be located in part of Warehouse 1, next to the Passenger Terminal of the Port of Leixões, and have led to the need to reinstall Transformation Post no. 18 and will be fitted with equipment for luggage inspection, a metal detector and a trespasser detection system.

Monitoring of Port Activity and Helpdesk System

This area of activity is particularly important in terms of operational safety and security.

Among the various components the following are highlighted:

  • Control of Operational Processes, whereby some tasks will be automated and others will generate automatic warnings for other services/workposts (both for internal services of the Port Authority and for different external public and private entities that interact with the Port of Leixões). Furthermore, the different operational processes and their emergency warnings will be redesigned.
  • Monitoring of the CAP Activity (Port Activity Control Service), which will enable the response time for the undertaking of different tasks to be measured, especially the most sensitive information management tasks, related to ships and cargo that go through Leixões, particularly focussing on hazardous commodities.
  • The Business Helpdesk System, which aims to provide information on-line concerning the procedures to be followed in the different operational phases of the business and to help solve any problems that arise.

This investment, totalling around 3 million euros, will be 51% funded by POAT - Operational Programme for Access and Transports, and has the following main goals:

  • Ensure the Security of the Supply Chain of the Commodities that go through the Port of Leixões;
  • Test the Security of the Ships, Cargo and Personnel in the Port areas;
  • Guarantee Special Security for Hazardous Goods and High Added Value Goods;
  • Obtain reliable and timely information concerning the commodities manifestos and the respective location of goods throughout the logistical chain;
  • Make "Certification" in terms of Security of the Agents (Logistical Operators) of the Transport chain identical to that required by the Transporters Authorised by Customs with regard to justification Manifests of the Community Statute of Commodities, through connection to the New Computerised Transit System - NSTI, and identical to that being developed in the scope of the Container Security Initiative - CSI;
  • Reduce the control and staying times of the ships and goods at the port.
  • Improve the alarm communications for risk or accident situations.

VILPL – Internal Connection Road to the Port of Leixões

At an estimated total cost of over 17 million euros, this investment project applied to POAT - Operational Programme for Access and Transports, and was funded with 45% by the programme. Its main initiatives are as follows:

  • building of the VILPL – Internal Connection Road to the Port of Leixões, which is part of the connection between the Port of Leixões and the VRI – Interior Regional Road, constituting a strategic alternative road link to the IP1 North-South highway and the IP4 highway connecting to the interior of the country. This new road will separate the port traffic from the local traffic, improve the traffic flow around the Port of Leixões, increase the operational safety, and optimise the integration and articulation of the port activity with the surrounding urban fabric;
  • creation of a Single Entrance, which will be the only access to the Port of Leixões for heavy vehicles and their respective cargos, thus enhancing control. It will enable automatic control of entrance and exiting of vehicles, backed up by information systems that guarantee the issue of legal documents and integration of information with the Port Business Management System (GCP). A commodity control area will be created, equipped with a container scanner.
  • Creation of a lorry park, with capacity for around 50 vehicles. The aim is to guarantee that lorries can enter the Port of Leixões, even on a temporary basis or in extraordinary adverse conditions.

The building of the VILPL has the following aims:

  • Minimise the conflicts between the port and urban traffic, by separating it into specialised lanes;
  • Ensure that the forecast increase in traffic on the IC1/N107 does not constitute, in the medium term, a factor that blocks access to the Port of Leixões;
  • Create a strategic alternative road link to the North-South highway (IP1), and the Highway leading to the interior of the country (IP4);
  • Create an alternative road access to Freixo Bridge for traffic coming from and going to the Port of Leixões on the IP4, through the creation of the Interior Regional Road (VRI). The construction project for the road, which will be a non-toll road, is currently out to tender. This road will undoubtedly play a big role in alleviating traffic, as no tolls will be applied, in accordance with all the roads in the area of Greater Metropolitan Area of Oporto;
  • Reduce the waiting time of lorries at the gates of the Port of Leixões, improving the operational efficiency by funnelling heavy vehicle port traffic to a single entrance. This entrance will be equipped with the most up-to-date technological devices and software applications to obtain the data usually gathered at the Port of Leixões entrance/exit;
  • Increase the average traffic speed in the vicinity of the Port of Leixões, not only for port traffic but also for the motorists on the IC1, which is an extremely congested road with a current daily throughput of over 80 000 vehicles;
  • Reduce the transport times of commodities that pass through the Port of Leixões, by improving the road accesses to the port;
  • Make it possible to create a road for exclusive access from the Port of Leixões to the multimodal and logistical platform to be built at Freixieiro, interconnecting areas geared towards multimodal transport;
  • Contribute to a higher standard of living in the urban surrounding zones of the Port of Leixões;
  • Enhance the function of the Port of Leixões as a large-scale interface in the North Portugal transport chain.

With a cost slightly over 16 million euros, the project to build the VILPL – Internal Connection Road to the Port of Leixões was finished in 2004. It is a road giving exclusive access from the Port of Leixões to the VRI – Interior Regional Road, and is made up of two stretches of a total length of around 3.1 km. The first stretch is used for circulation inside the port, starting under the IC1 bridge and ending at the port zone, measuring 779.25 metres (the gateway includes five exits and six entrances). The second stretch begins at the future gateway, at the end of the previous stretch and ends after crossing under the Póvoa Railway Line, immediately before the junction with the VRI, measuring 2 329.26 metres.

The Port of Leixões Single Entrance Project was adjudicated in November 2003 and contracted in March 2004. Phase I of the project is currently being developed, which involves the prior study in which the design and specification of the functional model will be prepared and the requirements for functioning of the system defined. After approval of Phase I, Phase II shall begin – Purchase of the Specialist Systems. In Phase III – Execution Project, software shall be developed and execution projects and General Contract Conditions drawn up for execution of the infrastructures. Phase IV of the project involves Technical Assistance for the building of infrastructures and implementation of systems.

Cooperation Projects

Promotion of Short Sea Shipping in the Atlantic Arc

APDL has begun a cooperation project as part of the INTERREG IIIB Atlantic Arc Project. The "Promotion of Short Sea Shipping in the Atlantic Arc" Project consists of a study that aims to define strategic actions to promote short distance maritime transport as a crucial facet of the economic, social and environmental improvement of the Atlantic Axis. The creation of new Short Sea Shipping lines involves well-known difficulties that must be overcome to optimise the reliability and operability of short distance maritime transport.

The EU goal to reduce road congestion and to improve the environmental performance of the group of transport systems by transferring the transport of commodities from road to short sea shipping constitutes an opportunity for the Port of Leixões.

In this context the Study to be carried out as part of the "Promotion of Short Sea Shipping in the Atlantic Arc" Project will make a vital contribution to the identification of the development potential of Short Distance Maritime Transport at the Port of Leixões. This cooperation project involves, in addition to the Port of Leixões, entities from Spain, France and England:

  1. Basque Government Department of Transport and Public Works
  2. Bilbao Port Authority
  3. Pasajes Port Authority
  4. Basque Economic and Social Council
  5. Aquitaine Regional Council
  6. Poitou Charentes Regional Council
  7. Vigo Regional Council
  8. Gijón Port Authority
  9. Gloucestershire County Council
  10. British Waterways Board


The two projects ATMOS (Atlantic Arc Motorway of the Sea) and PLACA 4S (Sustainable Short Sea Shipping in the Atlantic Area) incorporate studies and networks of private and institutional partnerships organised to promote Short Sea Shipping and Motorways of the Sea and are partly funded by the EU INTERREG IIIB Programme.

These projects aim to "build" new Short Sea Shipping transport lines. The studies proposed will tackle the issue from the supply viewpoint (ship-owners/maritime transport operators) and from the demand viewpoint (loaders), considering the public institutions as catalysts of the system, intermediaries and testers of the infrastructures and of the regulatory processes. A further goal is to develop an information structure to track commodities.

The two projects will be carried out in conjunction, given that they are identical albeit they are focussed on different geographical areas: the ATMOS on the Atlantic Arc and the PLACA on Southwest Europe (Mediterranean).

The work packages (WP), i.e. the tasks to be carried out in the projects, are as follows:

  • Project management;
  • Inventory of Logistics Infrastructures, by the end of the third quarter of 2005;
  • Inventory of Studies undertaken in the Atlantic Arc and Southwest Europe, by the end of 2005;
  • Design of SSS (Short Sea Shipping) and MOS (Motorways of the Sea) Lines in the Atlantic Arc and Southwest Europe, by the end of the second quarter of 2006;
  • Application of Technological Solutions between the first and the third quarter of 2006;
  • Pilot Project: design of a Business Plan carried out over 2006;
  • Disclosure and Dissemination of the Project, to take place in the six months after the completion of the project, i.e. by the end of the second quarter of 2007.

The overall investment sums planned for the ATMOS and PLACA projects are €1,808,493.65 and €1,614,376.46 respectively.

The estimated investment for the Port of Leixões in the ATMOS and PLACA projects is respectively €217,991.59, of which the EU shall fund 57.87%, and €186,987.72, of which 75% will be EU funded.

The main partners and associates of each of the two projects are the following:

ATMOS Project

Main Partners

  1. Ente Público Puertos de Galicia, the project leader (Spain)
  2. Autoridad Portuaria de Gijon (Spain)
  3. Autoridad Portuaria de la Bahia de Algeciras (Spain)
  4. APDL – Administração dos Portos do Douro e Leixões, S.A. (Portugal)
  5. APS – Administração do Porto de Sines, S.A. (Portugal)
  6. Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie de la Rochelle (France)
  7. Port of Cork CO. (Ireland)

Associated Partners

  1. Naviera Alvargonzalez (Spain)
  2. Associated British Ports (United Kingdom)
  3. Puertos de Andaluzia (Spain)
  4. Euro Ferries Limited (Ireland)
  5. Port of Waterford (Ireland)
  6. Port Autonome de Bordeaux (France)
  7. Portel Servicios Telematicos (Spain)

PLACA Project

Main partners

  1. Autoridad Portuaria de Gijon, the project leader (Spain)
  2. Ente Público Puertos de Galicia (Spain)
  3. Puertos de Andaluzia (Spain)
  4. APDL – Administração dos Portos do Douro e Leixões, S.A. (Portugal)
  5. APS – Administração do Porto de Sines, S.A. (Portugal)
  6. Autoridad Portuaria de Tarragona (Spain)
  7. Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie de la Rochelle (France)

Associated Partners

  1. Naviera Alvargonzalez (Spain)
  2. Autoridad Portuaria de la Bahia de Algeciras (Spain)
  3. Port Autonome de Bordeaux (France)
  4. Port of Waterford (Ireland)
  5. Mediterranean Ports Community, A.E.I.E. (Spain)
  6. Port of Cork CO. (Ireland)
  7. Portel Servicios Telematicos (Spain)

For further information see the projects' web page:

European Sea

The Port Authority is taking part in the Interregional Cooperation European Sea project, as a collaborator of CCDRN (North Region Coordination and Development Commission) in the Transports, Logistics and Maritime Safety Working Group.

This project is coordinated by CRPM (Conference of European Peripheral Maritime Regions), and is to be undertaken until June 2006. It involves a network of regions, cities and specialised research entities, made up of 43 partners aimed at promoting the sea as a factor that can make Europe more competitive, and is organised into five working groups:

  • Transports, Logistics and Maritime Safety;
  • Research, Development and Innovation;
  • Sustainable Development;
  • Governance;
  • Economics and Employment.

The main aims of the project are as follows:

  • contribute to the publication of the European Commission Green Paper on the European Sea;
  • contribute to the creation of an data base on the European maritime activity (analysis of the impact of maritime activities on the economy and the job market, including the human and social aspects);
  • based on exchange of experiences and good practices, to identify the pertinent cooperation topics to be focussed on in the 2007/2013 period, among which the bilateral maritime cooperation will be of particular importance.

Each of the working groups will be overseen by an expert, which in the Transports, Logistics and Maritime Safety Group is Prof. José Manuel Viegas.

The main task of the Transports, Logistics and Maritime Safety Group is to analyse how the Peripheral Maritime Regions can encourage maritime transport, identify the market segments (products and geographical relations) in which short sea shipping transport can be used instead of road haulage, and analyse the respective logistics needed. Another topic to be discussed by the working group is the issue of safety.

PIPE – Electronic Port Procedures and Information

This project, constituting a total investment of 3 million euros, was approved for European Union Funding through the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T) Budget. The EU thus funds 50% of the costs of the project.

The PIPE Project, carried out by the Portuguese Ports Association (APP), has the overriding goal of simplifying and harmonising procedures in all the Portuguese Ports, by standardising information.

The tasks to be carried out involve:

  • survey of the current situation and practices in place at the different ports;
  • simplification, standardisation and harmonisation of procedures in the national ports;
  • definition of national regulations that explicitly outline the procedures, information needed and service standards of each entity;
  • study of solutions for provision of electronic service delivery, taking into account:
  • The official procedures required to comply with national legislation and EU directives, identifying the constraints and proposing a plan of action;
  • The regulations, edicts and other decrees issued by public authorities that supervise the ports, identifying the constraints and proposing a plan of action;
  • Requirements with regard to information exchange in business transactions among and with private entities, given that these entities are also partly responsible for the current high volume of paper bureaucracy in the national ports.

The main aims of the project are as follows:

  • encourage trade among EU countries and with third countries;
  • contribute towards improved mobility, helping to decongest land routes with heavy traffic and to reduce external costs of European transport, increasing the proportion of maritime transport, mainly through the promotion of short sea shipping;
  • improve access and strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union, encouraging the development of maritime connections within the EU, especially in relation to islands and peripheral regions of the EU;
  • integrate the traffic into the multimodal transport chain;
  • develop the use of non-polluting transport methods.

The initial study was adjudicated by APP to the company PricewaterhouseCoopers.

PORTMOS – Integration of Portugal's Ports and Maritime System into the Sea Motorways

This project, constituting a total investment of 2.5 million euros, supervised by the Portuguese Ports Association (APP), was approved for European Union Funding through the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T) Budget. The EU funds 50% of the costs of the project.

This project, which can constitute a benchmark model of how sea motorways should work, not only in Portugal but also in Europe, includes three main phases:

1st Phase

In-depth definition of the articulation and functioning model of maritime motorways in Portugal.

This phase aims to detail the definition of the articulation and functioning model of the sea motorways with regard to procedures, technology, structure and organisation. It also intends to help the European Commission to define the quality criteria regarding the maritime motorways and to assess the risks and impacts of integration of the national logistics and transport system into the sea motorways.

This phase was originally forecast to cost €500 000. At the moment it is forecast that €399 000 will be spent in this phase, on consultancy services adjudicated to Fordesi.

2nd Phase

Design and development of the info-structure underlying the sea motorways

In this phase the sea motorways will be designed and developed, taking into account current developments, particularly with respect to satellites - the Galileo programme.

The forecast investment for this phase is 1.2 million euros.

3rd Phase

Pilot initiatives

This final phase, forecast to cost 800 000 euros, has the overriding goal of defining and demonstrating the new activities. These will involve international partners in the establishment of new innovative maritime services. These services will enable articulation of the national maritime-port system with the European sea motorways.

In this phase a group of partners representing the 4 maritime motorways will become involved to draw up the pilot initiatives. Cooperation protocols shall be prepared for the structuring of pilot initiatives with the following zones:

  • North Europe
  • Baltic
  • Atlantic
  • Mediterranean

The pilot initiatives will focus of the following issues:

  • Identification of the investments required,
  • Establishment of cooperation protocols between the ports and strategic partners,
  • Structuring of safety the associated requirements and protection,
  • Design of promotional and marketing components (articulated among the ports),
  • Tests and exercises to guarantee the protection processes,
  • Involvement of other partners in the logistical chains,
  • Integration of information systems,
  • Collection of measurements (business and services).

SEAROAD (possibility of start and formalisation of Marco Polo application)

There are now nine shareholders of the new company set up (Sea Road – Serviços de Transporte Combinados, S.A.) to carry out the Sea Road project. The aim of the project is to create a Ro-Ro Line from the Port of Leixões. Among the shareholders of the new company are Garland, Transnáutica, Portocargo and Transportes Sardão.

The company is currently working on attracting new investors to the project, including foreign companies with influence in the ports of Zeebrugge and Southampton. Two interested business groups have already been identified with influence in the Benelux countries.

Short Sea Shipping Project between Zeebrugge, Cherbourg, Leixões and Setúbal (possibility of formalisation)

The French company Sens Développement presented a project programme for construction of a shipping route that involves Portuguese, French and Belgian ports, and would take the lead role in running and pushing forward this project.

The parties involved in the project would be follows:

  • The ports of the European Atlantic Arc that are able to develop a network and control their transport chains;
  • National and regional authorities;
  • European shipbuilders;
  • Shipping agents;
  • Cargo loaders;
  • Investors.

The first phase of the project would consist of building the network of institutional and private partners. This would be monitored by a "Piloting Committee", with decision making powers, which would essentially have a technical mission, such as identifying the local actors and setting up a project management committee to ensure the defined aims of the project are achieved.

The ships would be sized according to the characteristics of the Atlantic Front ports. Their characteristics and specificity would be adapted to the intermodal transport.

The data supplied by the French consultancy company, although interesting, was considered sparse. Meanwhile, the port authorities, including Leixões and Setúbal, expressed their disagreement with regard to the proposal presented by the consultancy company based on the creation of an association funded by the port authorities.

SUDEST - Sustainable Development of Sea Town

This project has applied to the URBACT Programme and its partners are the Municipalities, Port Authorities and Architecture Universities of the cities of Naples (the project leader), Bastia, Livorno, Le Havre, Siracusa and Oporto.

The aim of the project is to exchange experience and develop studies about integration of the port areas in the respective cities.

Representatives from the University of Oporto, more specifically the members of the team led by Prof. Rui Braz Afonso, from the Oporto University Architecture and Urbanism Centre of Studies, will undertake the studies of the Portuguese facet and will involve the following local entities in the project:

  • SRU Porto (Oporto Urban Renovation Company);
  • Municipal Council of Matosinhos;
  • APDL (the Port Authority), in line with its area of jurisdiction, the initiatives outlined in its Strategic Plan and the positive previous collaboration between he Port Authority and the University.

The Port Authority will allocate €12 000 to the project, €6 000 in each of the two years of its duration.

Consortium Research Projects

Centre of Business Excellence for enriching of Marine Resources, from the North Region (The Port Authority as an associate partner)

This Centre has the following Mission:

"To promote excellence of the North Region of Portugal, exploiting the opportunities afforded by the Ocean, by encouraging cooperation between the university system and the business fabric and stimulating the transfer of knowledge in the area of Marine Resources, with a strong emphasis on Information and Communication Technology"

and the following Main Partners:

  • ANJE – Business catalyst, highly skilled in Training;
  • ESB – Highly skilled in the area of Biotechnology Research;
  • Microsoft – ICT skills;
  • CIIMAR – Marine Resources Skills;
  • CMM (Matosinhos Municipal Council) – Representative of Region's interests.

Emerging Engineering Systems Centre of Excellence

This Centre (CEEE) is short-listed for the Centres of Excellence initiative organised by UMIC – Knowledge Society Agency, and is managed by the ADL Innovation and Financing Agency of the Knowledge Society Operational Programme. It involves 17 entities: 3 Universities, 2 Polytechnics, 2 R&D Institutions and 10 companies.

The pre-project documentation identifies the following partners of the Centre: Oporto University, Oporto Polytechnic, Minho University, Technology and Management College, CIIMAR – Multiple-skilled Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, INEGI – Institute of Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Management, Aveiro University, APDL – Administração dos Portos do Douro e Leixões SA (the Port Authority), SIEMENS SA, Industrial Solutions Operating Group, Ericsson Telecommunications and EFACEC – Sistemas de Electrónica, SA.

The activities of the Centre involve national and international development of a nucleus of emerging technologies and engineering systems.

Emerging technologies:

  • networks of distributed intelligent vehicle networks and systems;
  • public, personal and territorial security;
  • viewing and interaction technologies (human intervention in automatic systems);
  • sensor networks;
  • embedded systems.

The total investment in the period from January 2006 to December 2007, was budgeted at €1 735 500, of which 58% was funded through a grant. The Port Authority funding on the Centre will reach €10 000 in each of the two years.

In organisational terms, the network structure will be implemented with the world's leading research institutions and networks, such as the EURON network (top robotics network), the ARTIST2 network (top embedded systems project), the MARBEF network (top marine biodiversity and ecosystem sustainability network), University of California at Berkeley (UCB), Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Ericsson AB (Sweden) and IBM Almaden Research Centre (USA).

Contributions therefore take advantage of the experience and international activity of the Research members of this Consortium, and the results of the IES project, which has brought about a big leap forward in terms of technology, operations, inter-institutional cooperation and university-company-ADI cooperation, leading to the current situation, which can be described as follows:

  • In technological terms, capacity to design and develop complex vehicles with multiple uses;
  • In terms of inter-institutional cooperation, a multi-skilled engineering know-how niche has been created (covering electronics, control, automation and mechanics);
  • In terms of university-company-ADI cooperation, technological transfer opportunities have been created.

IES Project – Underwater Infrastructure Inspection System

The partners of this project, which has now been completed, were FEUP – Oporto University Engineering Faculty, ISR – Systems and Robotics Institute, Pairing of Oporto and APDL – Administração dos Portos do Douro e Leixões, SA (the Port Authority).

The aim of the IES project was to design and implement a low cost and easily operated underwater inspection system. The system is made up of a remote-control underwater vehicle, an operating console, a positioning system, a vehicle movement system and a battery of specific sensors for each kind of application. The vehicle transports the appropriate inspection equipment, and is controlled remotely from the surface, using an umbilical cord.

The total investment of €196 990 was partly funded through EU grants, which contributed approximately 60% of the costs.

The project arose out of the need for several national entities to have an appropriate system at their disposal for underwater inspection tasks.

One of these entities is the Port Authority as it has many infrastructures widely distributed underwater, which need to be inspected when they are being built and during maintenance. As well as this need, the experience and know-how in underwater technology of the research team of FEUP and ISR, led to the creation of the consortium to develop the system in question.

The main innovations of the IES System compared to commercially available Remotely Operated Vehicles are as follows:

  • On-board computation and energy systems - The physical design requires very few wires in the umbilical cable, thus minimising the drag effect and improving performance;
  • Two operating modes: remote-control and programmed - Remote-control operation is usual in these kinds of systems. The remote programming option allows the operator to programme automatic operations, such as following routes, transport to a given location, method of movement, etc.
  • Integrated navigation - The IES navigation system integrates all the data coming from an external acoustic system with those from a set of internal sensors in order to obtain high-precision positioning and performance in the control;
  • PC-based control - User-friendly COTS technology, with low development and maintenance costs.
  • Advanced control system.

For more information visit the web page of the project here

KOS Project – Underwater Operations Kit

The partners of this ongoing project are FEUP – Oporto University Engineering Faculty, ISEP – Oporto Engineering College, VERIMAG – Institut d'Informatique et Mathematiques Appliquées de Grenoble a UBC – University of California Berkeley and APDL – Administração dos Portos do Douro e Leixões, SA. (the Port Authority).

The aims of this project are to design and implement an underwater operation and inspection system for different operating settings. The system will be based on the prototype developed as part of the IES project, which consists of an underwater vehicle operated remotely, an operation console, a positioning system, a vehicle movement system and a battery of sensors.

The system to be developed will work on the potential shown by the prototype, endowing it with a set of new functionalities. The intention is to obtain a modular system that can be set up for use in multiple operating settings, namely in ports, reservoirs, effluent discharge systems, as well as underwater archaeological applications. Different sensors and inspection systems will be integrated on board, as well as a mechanical system that allows underwater intervention operations to be undertaken. These systems will be commanded on a daily basis through the operating interfaces that will be developed within the scope of the project. The vehicle control system will also be further developed, so as to satisfy the requirements of the system applications.

The innovative features of this project are the design and development in Portugal of a configurable and multi-application system for underwater inspection and operation based on an underwater vehicle operated remotely. The developments will be undertaken in an open system, so as to facilitate incorporation of new functionalities that may become necessary.

This project is part funded by POSI (Information Society Operational Programme), through Consortium Research and Development, involving a total investment of €364 314 of which 70% was funded through a grant.

Pcom – APDL/APL/APS Common Platform of Port Management

This project resulted from a cooperation agreement between the three Port Authorities (Leixões, Lisbon and Sines) and aims to develop a common application solution, by contracting the necessary services for its development.

This common solution aims to serve the interconnection platform of the Port Administrations and all the companies and agents that carry out their activities in the respective ports, as well as meeting the internal information needs.

The goal is to achieve a historic mark in the relation between the State mechanisms in the ports and the different companies, by implementing innovative communication systems in the port sector and making the interests of all parties compatible and bringing about the following benefits:

  • Customs clearance of commodities prior to their arrival;
  • Effective support of control and combat against fraud and tax evasion;
  • Reduction in the number of contacts between the intervening parties;
  • Reduction in investment and direct costs of the companies and shipping lines;
  • Standardised forms and procedures in the three largest national ports, resulting from harmonisation and simplification;
  • General free access to information for all interested parties, including importers and exporters;
  • Productivity gains, helping the partners to overcome technological and procedural barriers, providing innovative solutions that allow communication with any of the ports, reception and integration of responses to dispatches and organisation of the respective client relations.

This project was based on the following assumptions:

  • The technological development platforms of the management applications for ships, commodities and trade are similar in the three ports;
  • The adaptation needs are the same, to comply with the specifications of the SDS project defined by DGAEIC and DGITA;
  • The companies involved in the port activities are interested in using the common solutions that will lead to an immediate reduction in direct costs and investments made by the ports and by the lines or shipowners that they represent. They are committed to a single system to communicate with the Port Authorities and Customs, in particular with regard to containerised cargo;
  • The willingness of Customs to develop the SDS system in five months, in time for the opening for business of the Terminal XXI in Sines, is an opportunity for a joint response to build a common solution, shared by the three entities (APDL, APL, APS), achieved by developing the parts of the system currently in operation;
  • It is essential to guarantee that the Ports' systems have sufficient capacity to build a common platform for reception and exchange of information with other systems, namely with the systems of the Customs, SDS, and the rest of the port users.
  • The Common Port Management Platform is technically based on previous experience;
  • in APDL (the Port Authority of Leixões), which already had an application up and running (GCP – Port Business Management) that is used for the electronic relations between the Container Terminal Concessionaire (TCL), the Port Authority and Customs, enabling in particular automatic authorisation for departure of containers.
  • in APL (the Port Authority of Lisbon), which has for some time run an application that enables the electronic transmission of Shipping Agents' manifests to the Port Authority.
  • The Common Port Management Platform began at a forecast total investment of 8.3 million euros. Of this sum the Port Authority is to pay 2.8 million euros. The intention is for this project to apply to POAT (Operational Programme for Access and Transports,) for funding, but this has not yet taken place.
  • There is a partial overlapping between the Pcom and SCOPe projects.

Pcom covers:

  • the entire transport process (associated with the ship), which is not included in SCOPe and which has been identified as a complementary investment of SCOPe;
  • the entire commodities process (associated with the commodities handled), but limited to the direct links of the transport chain related to the Port of Leixões. SCOPe will only cover the commodities process, but integrated into the transport logistical chain, i.e. analysis of the process includes, beyond the Shipping Agent, the following links of the transport chain: Forwarders and Loaders/Cargo Receivers.

PISCIS Project - Prototype of an Integrated System for Coastal Ocean Intensive Sampling

The partners of this ongoing project are FEUP – Oporto University Engineering Faculty, CIIMAR – Multi-skilled Centre of Marine and Environmental Research, VERIMAG – Institut d'Informatique et Mathematiques Appliquées de Grenoble, UBC – University of California Berkeley and APDL – Administração dos Portos do Douro e Leixões, SA. (the Port Authority)

The main technological goals of the PISCIS project are as follows:

  • Demonstration of an innovative approach for real-time underwater exploration using multiple underwater vehicles. This approach will allow the detailed study of dozens of square kilometres of ocean area with a spatial resolution never before attained.
  • Demonstration of the technological basis for a family of low-cost automatic underwater vehicles, which are easily programmed and reconfigured.
  • Design and construction of a demonstration system of an automatic underwater vehicle for operation at low cost in Portuguese coastal waters. This modular vehicle can be set up for several kinds of missions.
  • Demonstration of the operational capacities of the PISCIS system in oceanography, bathymetry, maritime archaeology and waste monitoring applications.
  • Demonstration of cooperation capacities with other autonomous vehicles, namely aircraft of the University of California Berkeley.

This project requires parallel developments in various technologies that therefore constitute other technological aims:

  • Acoustic positioning system - This system, which can be used separately from the rest of the PISCIS system, is a further development of previous projects for the simultaneous positioning of multiple vehicles.
  • Inertial navigation system - In addition to the most common solution based on an acoustic network, it will be important to develop vehicles able to operate in wider ocean areas, where it is impossible to use acoustic beacons. Hence the decision was made to install a high-precision inertial navigation system in one of the vehicles, together with ADCP with capacity to measure absolute velocities, which will allow precise navigation without using acoustic signals for long periods of time.
  • Underwater mooring system - This system will allow remote monitoring of data with sporadic intervention triggered by the occurrence of phenomena.
  • Control of formations of vehicles with low communication rate - This is an extremely important topic, not only for the underwater applications in which low communication rates are a technological constraint, but also for other applications where a low rate is required for environmental preservation or for military purposes.
  • Operation interfaces - The success of the system is heavily dependent on its user-friendliness, both with regard to specification of missions, and concerning analysis of results. This technology is essential for the success of the project and will also enable integration with oceanographic databases.

This project is part-funded by POSI (Information Society Operational Programme), through Consortium Research and Development. The total investment of €1 062 902 is approximately 75% funded by POSI.

For further information visit the web page here.

SCOPe - Electronic Port Community System

The SCOPe – Electronic Port Community System project consists of the design of an integrated organisational model for the management of the processes related to the transfer and electronic circulation of data concerning the Loading and Unloading Manifest of commodities that pass through the Port of Leixões . It covers all the actors of the Port Community, namely APDL, SA (the port authority), Leixões Customs, Transporters, Shipping Agents, Forwarders, Shipowners or Maritime Transport Operators and Cargo Loaders and Receivers.

The main purpose of the project is the Standardisation of the Manifest, Harmonisation and Simplification of Processes and Electronic Circulation of the Manifests among the different actors of the Leixões Port Community.

This transmission model to be developed and implemented in the main partnerships of the consortium intends to meet the information and organisation needs of the whole Leixões Port Community, in terms of interoperability and modernisation of the regulatory mechanisms, optimising the use of telematics in the Leixões logistical chain.

The intention is to create an open, critical model, which can inter-operate with the heterogeneous, flexible and scalable environments and is compatible with the models being standardised as part of UN/DEFECT. The new system is being designed to overcome the limitations of the current solutions, namely by implementing intelligent monitoring of the processes, performance assessment and compensation and certification services.

This project clearly addresses the innovation of processes (linked to the Loading/Unloading Knowledge and Manifests in the logistics chain) so as to guarantee the Customs value, stimulate innovation of products (software associated to the processes), ensure interoperability (design of the certification process to regulate new parties registering into the system) and encourage the national distribution of the solution, through clear separation of the standard national subgroups and local specifics.

The main partners of this project constitute a sufficiently representative sample of the organisational reality of the Leixões port sector:

Coordination: APDL (the Port Authority), Customs, INESC Porto, AGEPOR (Shipping Agents Association) and APAT (Portuguese Transporters Association)

Port Operators: TCL and TCGL;

Shipping Agents: Burmester, E A Moreira, Euronave, Ibero Linhas, Navex, Garland, Sofrena, Pinto Basto and David José de Pinho;

Freight Forwarders : Portocargo, Rangel and Trevomar;

Custom Brokers: Laroze, Nascimar and Intermesum;

Cargo Loaders: Soporcel;

Software Houses: APIE, Atlanta, Maeil, FCR and IBS.

The project also encompasses a considerable number of associated partners:

Shipowners: Cosco Europe, Holland Maas Shipping, NYK Line, Vieira Silva, Mutualista Açoriana, Andrew Weir Shipping and Portlink;

Cargo Loaders/Receivers: Corticeira Amorim and Invicta Comércio Internacional;

Shipping Agents: ASECO, ALPI Portugal, AMI, ATN, Box Lines, Knudsen, Guinave, ICC, IBESMAR – SAGEMAR, Keller, Lusofrete, Marax, Ninfetrans, Orey, Portmar, Rawes and Transtráfico;

Freight Forwarders : MacAndrews, Speditur, Olicargo, Eurolis, Cargolândia, Morais, Napoleão Soares and NCL.

This project, at a total investment of 1.9 million euros, applied for a Consortium Research grant, as part of the POCTI and POSI operational programmes, managed by the Innovation Agency. The grants attributed to most of the main partners of the project varied between 55% and 60% of their respective costs.