Traffic grew 4% and stood at 35.6 million tonnes
Greatest tonnes increases concentrated in liquid bulks (+707,000) and container cargo (+343,000)
United Kingdom still the main market, both in total traffic (10%) and dry cargo) (19%)
Turnover increased by 2.6%,and investment reached 48.7 million euros
In 2018, traffic in the Port of Bilbao – excluding local traffic and supplies –stood at 35.6 million tonnes, which represents a 4% increase (+1.4 million tonnes). This further increase supposes an accumulated 23% increase since 2013, when the economic recovery first appeared in sight.
There were increases in all sections. Liquid bulks grew by 707.000 tonnes (+ 4%), representing half of the total traffic increase. General cargo, which produces more added value for the Port community, was up by 467,000 tonnes (+ 5%) and set up a new record. The number of TEUs went up by 5.5% to stand at 638,447 tonnes, thus overcoming the 2014 record. Conventional traffic also increased by 124,000 tonnes (+4%). There was also an increase in Ro-Ro traffic (+6%) and this traffic now makes up 24% of conventional traffic.
Finally, solid bulks also grew by around 5% (+ 215,000 tonnes). The main traffic was in crude oil, iron and Steel products, natural gas, chemical products and petrol. However, greatest tonnes increase were seen in crude oil, chemical products, petrol, fuel-oil, natural gas, bio-fuels, non-metallic minerals and iron and steel.
2,925 vessels berthed in all – an increase of 70. This was due to the entry of a greater number of liquid bulks and general cargo ships.
Rail-port traffic was 12% up on 2017, which means that general cargo using rail now stands at 19%.
With regard to passengers, 200,631 people entered or departed from Biscay either by ferry or by cruiser (+ 7.5%), which is a record figure. The ferry, which sails the Port of Bilbao-Portsmouth route three times weekly, made 132 calls, while 59 cruise vessels berthed.
By seaboards, 32% of Port of Bilbao traffic has its origin or destination in the European Atlantic, followed by the North American Atlantic with 17%, and the African Atlantic with 8%.
By countries, the main market is the United Kingdom, both in total traffic and dry cargo.
Turnover grew by 2.6% and Port tariffs decreased
TURNOVER rose to 70.6 million euros, representing a 2.6% increase over the previous year’s figure of 68.8 million.
It must be pointed out that in line with the strategy to make Bilbao a more competitive port, the Port Authority applied a 10% reduction in Cargo Tariff T3 in July, which has meant a 1.2-million euro saving for the Port’s clients; in spite of this, the year closed with the above-mentioned increase in invoicing.
Thus, the Port Authority of Bilbao is prepared to face the reduction in the occupancy tax after the new valuation of the lands and waters in the Port’s service zone. This is expected to be approved by the Ministry for Economic Development in 2019.
Funds generated (Ebitda) amounted to 37.4 million euros.
In 2018 a further 10-million euro debt was contracted in order to finance the First Phase of the Central Pier. Net bank debt stands at 42.5 million euros, 1.14 times Ebiitda. The entity thus maintains a medium-low debt profile as well as solid solvency indicators.
Due to its sound financial situation, and in line with its strategy to reduce the cost of goods passing through the Port of Bilbao, until 2022, the Port Authority will continue to gradually apply a reduction of 5.6 million euros in port taxes, which is equivalent to 7.5% of its invoicing, in accordance with its 2018-2022 Strategic Plan.
Further income of 794, 355 euros proceeded from the European Commission under the CEF 2015 Connecting Europe Facilities programme, corresponding to the work on the First Phase of the Central Pier.
First Phase of the Central Pier entering its final stages
With regard to its OWN INVESTMENT, in 2018, the PORT AUTHORITY invested 48.7 million euros, or 99%, of the planned 48 million. Investment planned for 2019 is 61.3 million.
Last year, two strategic works were completed in addition to a project bringing together innovation, digitalisation and sustainability: a storage unit for logistics-industrial activities (17.59 million), a Ro-Ro ramp (2.74 million) and an efficient lighting system was installed (1.9 million).
The following works are in progress:
First Phase of Central Pier– Future Proofing Bilbao and stabilisation works on the old Punta Lucero quarry.
Both related works commenced in September 2016, and in mid-October 2018, work began on extracting the sand that will be used for completing the filling in of the Central Pier. The second phase will finish in February for the later rounding off of structures and closing the perimeter. The works will conclude at the end of 2019, and in addition to stabilising the quarry, 334,000 m² of land will be reclaimed from the sea and 1,081metres berthing will be created together with 21-metre depths. The surfaces obtained will amount to more than half of the 600,000 m² of the Central Pier once completed.
The estimated cost of the work is 74 million euros and the European Commission will contribute 20% as part of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Programme. In parallel, the Port Authority is assigning 1.5 million to the environmental monitoring plan.
This pier will reduce the Port’s occupancy level, which is 87% at the present moment, and so new opportunities to take in new company projects will open up.
Filling in Udondo Basin (Erandio)The project to fill in Udondo Basin at Erandio will create a new 22,700m² esplanade along the River for industrial activities with dock accesses. The works, which commenced in February 2018, will cost 2.7 million euros, and will be completed in spring 2019.
Development of Arasur rail freight sidings. The works have an estimate of 4.82 million euros and will also finalise in spring.
The following PRIVATE ENTERPRISE INVESTMENT PROJECTS were completed:
The Haizea Wind plant for manufacturing marine wind towers and structures for offshore installations (42.4 million).
Noatum Container Terminal Bilbao installation of an automatic gate system at their container terminal (2.6 million).
DBA Bilbao Port fuel storage terminal (2.3 million).
Progeco logistics pavilion for pallet cargo (873,000 euros).
Projects to be completed in 2019:
Extension of Noatum Container Terminal rail terminal (9.4 million).
Fitting out of Consignaciones Toro y Betolaza new general cargo terminal (5 million)
Second phase of ASK Chemicals plant. (5 million).
Cespa Gestión de Residuos industrial waste processing plant (1.4 million)
Saisa Port solid bulks warehouse (1.3 million).