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Port of Bilbao Thrives in 2023, Sets Sights on Sustainable Expansion

In a positive close to 2023, the Port of Bilbao celebrates a positive outcome, revealing a robust performance in its recently presented Annual Report. President Ricardo Barkala shared the news, highlighting a noteworthy traffic volume of 32.8 million tons—an incremental growth of 0.11% compared to the preceding year, primarily fueled by the buoyant liquid and solid bulk traffic.

Anchored in Success: 2023 Overview

The year 2023 proved to be a pivotal period for the Port of Bilbao, with an admirable uptick in overall traffic. The resilient performance is attributed to the thriving liquid and solid bulk sectors, solidifying the port’s position as a key player in maritime and cargo activities. The commendable 0.11% growth showcases the port’s adaptability and resilience amid dynamic market conditions.

Navigating the Future: 2024 Projects Unveiled

Looking ahead, the Port of Bilbao is gearing up for substantial expansions, underlined by President Barkala’s revelation of key projects slated for 2024. Foremost among them is the imminent tender for the second phase of the central breakwater—a critical step towards enhancing port infrastructure. Additionally, a groundbreaking initiative is underway—the electrification of docks. This transformative project aims to enable ships to connect to the electrical grid, a move set to curtail CO2 emissions, noise, and vibrations.

BilbOPS: Pioneering Sustainability

At the forefront of the Port of Bilbao’s transformative agenda is the BilbOPS project. The initiative, earmarked for full operation in 2026, boasts a significant investment of 78 million euros. Notably, the first phase, focused on pier A-5 of the Central Pier, has already been awarded at an impressive 4.7 million euros, supported by a substantial 4.3 million euro subsidy from the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism.

Financing Sustainability: CEF Transport 2021-2027

The BilbOPS initiative aligns with the broader sustainability goals of the European Commission. A notable 14.2 million euros of the project’s investment will be subsidized by the European Commission within the CEF Transport 2021-2027 aid program. This financial backing underscores the project’s significance in contributing to the environmental objectives outlined by the European Union.

Charting a Green Course: Renewable Energy Integration

A standout feature of the BilbOPS initiative is its commitment to sustainability. Envisaging a future with 20% of the energy generated being renewable, the project aspires to elevate this figure to an impressive 50% by 2028. This ambitious target underscores the Port of Bilbao’s dedication to aligning maritime activities with environmental stewardship.

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