The construction time is foreseen to be two years, according to the environmental impact study, which is in the public consultation phase.
In the case of the project being approved, the infrastructure would offer four docking posts with the capacity for four cruise ships of 80m in length. An extra docking on the lower post is planned for maintenance, cargo, and other purposes.
The terminal will comprise of two contiguous platforms, one to support the port building and the other for the docks. The building platform will have a width of 35m and 205m in length. The docking platform will have a front dock of 343m in length, 10m wide. The dock and unimpeded platform total an area of around 6200 sq. m. The support nucleus for nautical recreation will have capacity for 55 boats between 6 and 15 metres in length.
The terminal building, built with an outer layer of naked brick, will have two floors with 180m in length and 27 in width. On the ground floor is the entrance and reception, departures and arrivals, and support areas. On the first floor is a bar/restaurant, a kitchen and an office.
The project was studied for its environmental impact by the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA). According to Renascença, the study approved the project and its now in public consultation until June 14th.
As far as downsides go, the environmental impact study mentions that most of the negative impacts will occur during construction. “These impacts are of low to moderate importance. In general, they’re temporary and reversible impacts, associated with the increased heavy vehicle traffic that could generate sound and air pollution.”
The terminal has faced complaints from residents of the area, whose view of the Douro River will be impeded. The study classifies this as “a permanent negative impact of the views over the river from the residential building on the terminal’s avenue, involving about three dozen apartments.”
The residents of Edifício Destilaria also raise questions over environmental concerns. “Are there no alternatives to building a new 6200sq.m. structure in the Douro River through restructuring an already existing dock? Is it sustainable and does the Douro really have capacity to welcome trips from 37 cruise ships, as the study shows?”, they ask.
The residents have already solicited meetings with the authorities, claiming that “the process has to be open to various entities to consider carefully all the environmental, patrimonial and other risks to APDL’s proposal.” “We’re here to defend the rights reserved for the inestimable environmental and historical heritage of the Douro and the city,” they assure in the same note.
On the other hand, in the construction phase, the positive impacts are associated with the creation of new job posts in construction and the dynamization of the local economy.
According to the press release shared last year by APDL, in architectonic terms, “the terminal building looks to minimise its impact on the Douro River’s margins, allowing a view of the escarpment, integrating itself naturally into the landscape.”
The APDL announced its intention to build the new cruise terminal in November of 2022. At the time it was revealed that the new terminal for touristic maritime vessels would be designed by architect Álvaro Siza Vieira, holder of a Pritzker prize.