Brexit, intermodality, innovation and sustainability were the main issues discussed by the respective heads of the Port Authority of Bilbao and Puertos del Estado (Spanish State Ports Authority), during the first visit to the port of Bilbao by Mr. Álvaro Rodríguez Dapena, President of Puertos del Estado.
At the meeting, the President of the Port Authority of Bilbao, Mr. Ricardo Barkala, and his management team had the opportunity to discuss matters of interest with the representatives of Puertos del Estado, such as short sea shipping and the actions taken by the port community of Bilbao to prepare for Brexit and to continue to be the main gateway for Spanish maritime traffic with the United Kingdom and Ireland. They also exchanged views on other matters such as intermodality, the dry ports in which the port of Bilbao has an involvement and the need to promote the Atlantic corridor. On the legislative and management side, the situation of stevedoring, the new strategic framework and HR competences were some of the issues under discussion.
Mr. Rodríguez Dapena learned first-hand about the development of the port and the main challenges it faces, including the drawing up of a new strategy plan and an energy transition plan, due to be presented this spring. Mr. Barkala highlighted the efforts being made in three areas: innovation, digitalisation and sustainability (economic, social and environmental).
Later, on a tour around the port facilities, the representatives of Puertos del Estado had the opportunity to chat with port operators and to see at first hand some important works, including the new central breakwater and the development of its first 200,000 m², and the extension of the AZ1 Quay by 50,000 m². They also visited the Brittany Ferries terminal, where the freight and passenger ferries that link Bilbao with the United Kingdom and Ireland dock. In March, this terminal will receive the company’s first LNG-powered vessel and Repsol will have completed work on the LNG filling station.