Port of Bilbao to invest in sustainability

Port of Bilbao releases 2023 annual report

The Port Authority of Bilbao has issued its 2023 annual report, which shows a traffic volume of 32.8 million tonnes – a 0.11 per cent increase over 2022.

According to the port, the primary projects for 2024 are the tender for the second phase of the central breakwater and the continued electrification of docks so that ships may connect to the electrical grid and turn off their engines, reducing CO2 emissions, sounds, and vibrations.

The first phase of the BilbOPS project, which focuses on pier A-5 of the Central Pier, was granted in December 2023 for €4.7 million ($5 million) and includes a €4.3 million ($4.6 million) subsidy from the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism.

The BilbOPS plan, which is anticipated to begin operations in 2026, requires a €78 million ($83 million) investment, €14.2 million ($15.2 million) of which will be subsidised by the European Commission under the CEF Transport 2021-2027 aid programme.

READ: Port of Bilbao gains US East Coast direct link

The project involves 20 per cent of the energy generated being renewable with the intention of rising to 50 per cent in 2028.

At the end of 2023, turnover stood at €68.8 million ($74 million), up 5.93 per cent on 2022 figures of €64.9 million ($69 million).

According to the Port of Bilbao, the €3.8 million ($4 million) rise is due to the port’s increasing occupancy rate, larger vessel sizes, and a greater frequency of calls.

READ: The Port of Bilbao reports an upward container volume trend

Port costs have stayed unaltered from 2021 to 2023 to enhance company competitiveness, despite a cumulative general inflation rate of 15.3 per cent over the same three years. In 2024, the prices charged to port clients will stay constant.

Furthermore, for the first time in 2023, pioneering vessels powered by alternative fuels (LNG and hybrid vessels) will receive a 50 per cent reduction on vessel rates.

The debt with the European Investment Bank stands at €40.4 million and cash balances amount to €55.9 million. Cash and cash equivalents (EBITDA) stand at €31.7 million ($34 million).

In accordance with the above figures, this economic-financial situation will enable the Port Authority to make new and important investments in 2024 in the areas of energy transition, basic infrastructure, intermodality, digitalisation, innovation and port-town relations.

In November 2023, representatives linked to the Port of Bilbao and its hinterland took part in the inauguration ceremony of the six new eco-efficient hybrid RTG cranes acquired by CSP Iberian Bilbao Terminal.

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