The Port of Valencia approves its northern expansion with an investment of up to 1,200 million

The Board of Directors of the Port Authority of Valencia (PAV) has approved this Friday, initially and provisionally, the specifications of the bases and conditions for the construction and operation, under the administrative concession regime, of the new terminal of containers of the northern extension of the Port of Valencia.

The execution of this infrastructure, which will have an area of adjacent and compacted esplanade of about 137 hectares, will suppose an investment of about 1,200 million euros between public contributions - among 400 million - and private –from 800 to 900 million-, according to the president of the PAV, Aurelio Martínez, and its general director, Francesc Sánchez.

Aurelio Martínez thanked the work carried out for months by all the team of this entity to conform what has been considered "the most important" project in the coming years, given that "in other projects there will be none involving 1,200 million of investment ".

Martinez and Sanchez have considered that it is an important infrastructure not only for the PAV but also for the Valencian economy and society since the container traffic that will lead, will place the port area among the first three in Europe. The terminal is designed to take advantage of the strengths of Valencia as an import / export and transit port with a capacity of about 5 million TEU and to accommodate the expected container traffic in the horizon of 2050.

The general director of the PAV has stated that "a terminal is not created suddenly" and has highlighted, in this sense, that the new proposal is "a consequence of a well-made analysis of the market," of the capacity of current terminals, of the projections of demand, freights and transshipments ", of the sizes - to have in a future capacity to give service to the larger ships - and of the intermodal connections.

Sanchez has pointed out that in response to these trends, which are conservative, and with current facilities it is estimated that the port of Valencia could have a capacity problem in 6 or 7 years or in 10 or 12 years. Thus, he added that this terminal, which will be open to general traffic, “has not been thought for the next few years but for decades".

Aurelio Martínez has indicated that an initiative of this importance requires "a peaceful approval" and a decision that "is not taken lightly," which has justified that this day has proceeded to the "initial approval" and that the final occurs in November after all the members of the Board of Directors have been able to study the specifications and make the appropriate observations and clarifications.

The future container terminal of the northern extension of the port of Valencia will have a berthing dock of up to 1,970 meters in length with a draft of 20 meters on the side of the ship and throughout the dock, an area of adjacent and compacted esplanade of some 137 hectares and a maritime access channel with a depth of 22.50 meters. The PAV will make the road and rail connection vials of the plot with the port's general network.

Those who choose the tender for the construction and operation of this infrastructure may offer the size of the terminal that fits their business plan, which "at least and to the maximum of its development" must include 800 meters of berthing line and 49 hectares. Sánchez has asserted in this regard that has opted for an open document to "provide all operators - those that are new and others - the possibility of submitting offers."

However, has specified that current operators "are required to increase the capacity of the current terminal," 50 percent, and "return the current concession" – he said that in this case will "facilitate the resolution of the concession "- to bring it back to tender.

Automated

The general manager of the PAV and its president have also stressed that a "terminal of the future" as the new requires, also for reasons of security, the possibility of being one hundred percent automated for loading, downloading , service to trucks and railroad . In this way, it is asked to have "cutting-edge technological advances for sustainable operations" and to provide "high performance and more competitive services to strengthen the role of the port".

Among the requirements for the new terminal, as pointed out by Sánchez, it will also have a rail terminal, to guarantee the protection of the environment and use non-polluting energies. "We are designing the terminal that this port needs if it wants to continue being the leader of the Mediterranean," he insisted.

Asked about the deadlines and the date on which the construction project could be awarded, Aurelio Martinez said he would like to award it before the end of his term in July 2019. "This is a topic to which we have dedicated a lot of time and we are very excited about”, he underlined. Sánchez added that "if there are no incidents, it is estimated that the last council in July 2019 could be awarded to start building”.

The CEO has calculated that after that, "in two years a first phase could be delivered to the concessionaire" and the rest, "progressively in more phases until the final development of the project". The concession period is set at 35 years for proposals for partial occupation, with the possibility of reaching 50, and 50 for those that propose full occupation.

Northern Access

Aurelio Martínez has defended that the works of the new terminal can be paced with those of the northern access -an infrastructure that has been considered "absolutely essential for the port", whose business plan is included- to avoid "a circulatory chaos in Valencia".

The president of the PAV said that although for the north access there is "no constructive project or technical solution", the "simplest" would be "enter the tunnel before Alboraia, go by the sea, and exit at the port" without affecting València. He added that the north access project would cost 400 million and that the PAV has "financial muscle" for it and for the new terminal.

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