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Monday, February 13, 2006

Portugal’s artificial island

A Dutch businessman wants to build Europe's first holiday resort on an artificial island off Portugal, in a project that would cost 1.5 billion euros and include a casino and underwater hotel. Story from REUTERS NEWS SERVICE.

The project would comprise of a 100 hectare island built about 300 meters off the coast of the Vale de Lobo Resort in the Algarve tourist area and be connected to the mainland by means of an underwater tunnel, businessman Sander van Gelder said. The island would also have an 18-hole golf course, beach, harbor, heliport and between 700 and 1,000 holiday homes.

"This exciting project would be one of the most innovative to be undertaken in the world," van Gelder told Reuters.

Van Gelder, who is chairman of the Vale de Lobo Group of Companies, said the project could actually be good for the environment by blocking erosion of the beaches and cliffs along the mainland's coast. He is already planning to restore the beaches along the resort with 400,000 cubic meters of sand in March because of erosion. The island would be built on an underwater plateau and based on similar examples of artificial islands in the Middle East, Australia and the Caribbean. An island in front of the beaches could be a permanent solution to end erosion.
The next step will be to present the plan to the government. "The models will show the action of the waves and tides and how the island will protect the coastline from erosion," stated Van Gelder.

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