The logistics zone (ZAL Port) of the Port of Barcelona is receiving a loan from the EIB to finance the construction of new logistics and warehousing facilities enabling it to both increase its capacity and improve its efficiency and sustainability.
This agreement was made possible by the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The EFSI is the central pillar of the European Commission’s Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called “Juncker Plan”.
The Port of Barcelona is one of the biggest in Spain and occupies a strategic position on routes within the Mediterranean Corridor. Increasing its logistics capacity will therefore have a positive economic impact for Barcelona, but also Spain as a whole.
Specifically, the project will enable the Port of Barcelona to increase its warehousing capacity by around 1,000,000 m². This important expansion will help to enable the Port to increase its capacity to keep pace with growing demands. With the development of new facilities, the Port Barcelona will be able to reduce costs in the management of transport connections and be more competitive. The project will enable the creation of some 4,000 new direct jobs and some 6,000 indirect jobs in the logistics and transport sectors.
The project, which will be built over the next two years, will also contribute to tackling climate change by promoting intermodality, which will in turn serve to reduce road. All of the new buildings to be constructed in the expansion of the port’s logistics zone will see the application of energy efficiency measures.
Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “Upgrading our transport infrastructure so that it is capable of meeting future environmental and economic demands requires significant and sustained investment. This is where the Juncker Plan can play an important role. I am delighted that, with today’s agreement, the European Commission is facilitating crucial upgrades to a port facility that is strategically important for both Barcelona and Spain.”
“The EIB financing for this project will help to facilitate investments at the Port of Barcelona that will generate sustainable economic growth and employment throughout the area” said EIB Vice-President Román Escolano at the signing ceremony in Barcelona today. “The project’s impact will also reach the Mediterranean Corridor, which will benefit from both the expansion of logistics at this major port and the increase in its services offer enabling it to access more customers”.
For his part, Alfonso Martínez, Director General of CILSA, stressed that “this new EIB backing for the ZAL Port project will enable us to carry out 100% of our development plans for the next four years, turning us into the benchmark logistics zone of the Mediterranean”.
The Investment Plan for Europe
The Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called Juncker Plan, is one of the European Commission’s top priorities. It focuses on boosting investments to create jobs and growth by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources, removing obstacles to investment and providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects.
The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is the central pillar of the Juncker Plan. It provides a first loss guarantee, allowing the EIB to invest in more, often riskier, projects. The EFSI is already showing concrete results. The projects and agreements approved for financing under the EFSI so far are expected to mobilise more than EUR 183 billion in investments and support over 425,000 SMEs across all 28 Member States.
In September 2016, President Juncker proposed to extend the EFSI by increasing its firepower and duration as well as reinforcing its strengths.
You can find more information about the results of the Investment Plan for Europe here.