Barcelona Port becomes the largest oil logistics platform in the Mediterranean
The Russian company Lukoil has reached an agreement with the Catalan company Meroil to build 13 new oil tanks at Barcelona Port, which are able to store 360,000 cubic metres. Furthermore, Barcelona Port is the only Mediterranean port ready to host the largest and deepest oil tankers. The Catalan President, Artur Mas, unveiled the infrastructure and emphasised Catalonia is strengthening its position as “Europe’s gateway for goods coming from Asia and North Africa”. He also noted Catalonia’s attractive position for foreign investment. Barcelona Port is linked by international width standard railway with Central Europe and has the Zona Franca logistics and industrial district next to it.
Barcelona (ACN).- The Port of Barcelona has become the main oil platform in the Mediterranean Sea with the investment made by the Russian company Lukoil. The Catalan company Meroil reached an agreement with Lukoil to build 13 oil tanks with a capacity to store 360,000 cubic metres of oil at the Catalan capital\u2019s port. Furthermore, Barcelona Port has enlarged and deepened its docking capacity, becoming the only Mediterranean centre able to host the largest and deepest oil tankers. The new facilities will supply 400 trucks per day and will be used to distribute petrol, fuel for aviation, and biodiesel throughout Spain. The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, unveiled the facilities on Friday and noted that Catalonia is strengthening its position as \u201CEurope\u2019s gateway for goods coming from Asia and North Africa\u201D. In fact, Barcelona Port is linked by international width standard railway with Central Europe and has the Zona Franca logistics and industrial district next to it. Furthermore, Mas praised Catalonia\u2019s attractive position for foreign investment. Besides being the main platform for oil in the Mediterranean, Barcelona\u2019s Port is also the first European Port for passenger numbers with a significant percentage coming from cruise ships. Barcelona is the world\u2019s 4th leading cruise port. The top 3 are all located in Florida.
Meroil Tank is the result of a joint venture, created in July 2010, by two equal shares: 50% belonging to LITASCO, a company from Lukoil\u2019s group, and the Catalan company Meroil. The new oil terminal has been built as part of a project to enlarge Meroil\u2019s facilities at Barcelona Port. The new terminal is made up of 13 new tanks with a total storage capacity of 360,000 cubic metres, with individual tank capacities ranging from 40,000 to 6,500 cubic metres. They occupy 40 hectares. The new terminal is connected to CLH\u2019s oil pipeline network. It has 8 offloading points, with a capacity to operate 400 trucks per day. LITASCO will use the new terminal to distribute petrol, fuel for aviation, and biodiesel throughout Spain.
The deepest harbour in the Mediterranean Sea
Barcelona Port has built the deepest harbour for oil tankers in the entire Mediterranean Sea, able to dock the world\u2019s largest and deepest super tankers. These super tankers can be 275 metres long and weigh 175,000 tonnes. The President of the Catalan capital\u2019s port, Sixte Cambra, stressed that Meroil\u2019s new terminal and other current investments that are being developed in the Energy Dock reach \u20AC1 billion. These investments will permit Barcelona Port to increase its capacity to handle oil products by 50%, reaching 8 million tonnes per year. These figures, according to Sixte Cambra put Barcelona\u2019s Port as \u201Ca first class economic engine\u201D and foreign investment.
\u201CEurope\u2019s gateway for goods coming from Asia and North Africa\u201D
Artur Mas emphasised the strategic importance of the alliance between the Russian Lukoil and the Catalan Meroil. This collaboration demonstrates that \u201CCatalonia and its capital, Barcelona continue to be attractive for investors\u201D, despite the opinion of the rating agencies. Mas pointed out that the success of such an operation is based on \u201Cthe existence of a local strong industrial network\u201D, an \u201Cambitious\u201D Port of Barcelona, and having \u201Ca country like Catalonia and a capital such as Barcelona that are very attractive for their geographical location\u201D. The Catalan President emphasised that Catalonia is becoming \u201CEurope\u2019s gateway for goods coming from Asia and North Africa\u201D.
The Catalan President asks for the Mediterranean Railway Corridor
Mas pointed out that Catalonia and Barcelona would truly become a gateway if the Mediterranean Railway Corridor becomes a reality, which would link Barcelona with Central and Northern Europe by international standard width rail, as well as with the Gibraltar area. In fact, the Catalan President said that because of poor railway infrastructure, currently 70% of all goods coming from Asia are arriving in Northern European ports, instead of using the Mediterranean harbours, \u201Cwhich are nearer and would be cheaper\u201D. Mas said it is a \u201Cnecessity\u201D in order to ensure economic growth and job creation.
The Mediterranean Railway Corridor would allow 750 metre long trains to transport goods from Barcelona to Lyon, Stuttgart or Stockholm, and vice-versa. Passengers could also circulate with high-speed trains. Currently Barcelona Port is already linked with France by an international standard width line, but the solution is temporary and does not allow for large trains.