Portugal’s new oceanographic survey vessel is to be donated by Norway and equipped by funding under the EEA Grants programme.
The announcement was made recently by Portugal's Assunção Cristas, Minister for Agriculture, the Sea, the Environment and Land Planning.
Speaking at the launch of the EEA Grants programme, Minister Cristas explained that this was a better solution than had originally been foreseen for replacing the current vessel the ‘Noruega’, that is coming to the end of its operational life.
“At this moment, Norway has a proposal on the table that means we get one of their vessels that is being replaced and that would prove excellent for Portugal and the programme funding would serve to equip the vessel,” said Cristas.
The EEA Grants programme is providing the largest chunk of funding, over €19.2 million, to maritime-related issues, with the remainder of the funding divided up into health, climate change, renewable energies, culture, gender equality and support to NGOs.
Minister Cristas added that while the broader content of the programme was still being ascertained, the oceanographic survey vessel had already been pre-defined.
The EEA Grants programme is funded by Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein in part-exchange for their membership of the European Economic Area. TPN/Lusa