Sines will see net largest investment in Portugal since Autoeuropa

Abril, 2021
An Anglo-American capital investment partnership is to invest €3.5Bn in a Hyperscaler Data Centre near Portugal’s container shipping port of Sines in a project that will be the largest in the country since the establishment of the Autoeuropa car plant 30 years ago.
 
Start Campus is to invest the money in a global data mega-centre in Sines which promises to create around 1,200 highly qualified jobs and 8,000 indirect jobs by 2025.
The project foresees the construction of five buildings with a useful supply capacity of 450 MW of energy to servers which will be located on plots of land adjacent to the Sines thermal electrical power station.
 
The Secretary of State for Internationalisation, Eurico Brilhante Dias, said that the project is “without a doubt the largest overseas investment that Portugal has attracted since Autoeuropa,” stressing that: “no tax sweeteners or financial incentives were granted.”
 
It is not clear, however, how much funding, if any, will come directly or indirectly from the EU ‘bazooka’ of recovery and resilience funds which has, as one of its central cores, an investment programme in non petroleum based sustainable energy projects aimed at digitalising and greening up the economies in EU countries. However, the Sines 4.0 project is being developed by the investment partnership in close cooperation with Portugal overseas investment agency AICEP, Sines Municipal Council, and the Portuguese government through several ministries including the Economy, Digital Transition, Environment and Energy Transition, ministry of Foreign Affairs, Internationalisation, Housing and Infrastructure. 
 
A joint statement from the two companies says: “the campus in the city of Sines, 150 kilometres south of Lisbon, will include five buildings with a useful capacity to supply up to 450 MW of cheap energy from renewable sources to the servers.” 
 
“Sines 4.0 will be one of the largest data centre campus projects in Europe and will address the exploding demand of large international technology companies,” the funds said. “Sines has a strategic position as it is the place from which crucial high-speed trans-Atlantic submarine cables depart to other continents, such as Ellalink, which connects Europe to South America, the funds added.
“Data has been identified as the new ‘oil’ of the digital economy, and Portugal will benefit from this large investment in Sines that will place the country at the core of transatlantic and global data network,” Sam Abboud, founding partner of Pioneer Point Partners said in the communiqué. The Hyperscaler Data Centre will meet growing demand from large International technology service supply companies for streaming, social media, e-commerce, gaming, online education, videoconferencing and other data processing and storage applications for companies. Start Campus is a company owned by the US Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP (Davidson Kempner) and the UK company Pioneer Point Partners. Pioneer Point Partners is an independent infrastructure investment firm founded by four partners with over 90 years’ of combined investment experience specialising in investing in energy transition and environment sectors across Europe.
It uses investment money to create climate neutral solutions by creating new, sustainable infrastructure.
 
Davidson Kempner Capital (Davidson Kempner) is a global institutional alternative asset management firm. The firm employs a bottom-up, fundamental method of investing with an event-driven focus and seeks to deploy capital in the best risk-adjusted investment opportunities. In addition, the firm’s culture is based on a commitment to a collegial environment, global teamwork, and the highest ethical standards. Risk management and preservation of capital are key priorities.
 
The Start Campus investment project has been classified as a Project of National Interest by the Portuguese government.