Barcelona’s port ready for becoming the main hub in the Western Mediterranean for oil and liquid gas

The new mooring station to load and offload oil and other bulk liquids is designed for large ships. It will be the deepest of all the Western Mediterranean, including Northern Africa. 275-metre-long ships, weighting up to 175,000 tons and with a 15-metre-deep draft will be able to dock in Barcelona. Barcelona harbour aims at consolidating its leadership among all Mediterranean harbours regarding goods transportation, bulk and by container.

CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

August 16, 2011 09:43 PM

Barcelona.- A new infrastructure unveiled last weekend marks Barcelona’s port as the best equipped harbour in the Western Mediterranean to load and offload bulk liquids, such as oil and gas, transported by large ships. The new mooring is part of the Energy dock, a huge facility in one of the harbour’s sides that will work as a hub for fuel transportation. The new equipment will enable the largest tankers sailing onto the Mediterranean Sea to moor in Barcelona. It will be able to host ships as long as 275 metres, weighting up to 175,000 tons and with 15-metre deep draft. The new facility will be the deepest of all of the Western Mediterranean, including Northern Africa. Last Saturday the ship ‘Cape Tallin’ unveiled the new equipment by offloading 60,000 m3 of oil. In addition, private companies such as Meroil (together with Russian Lukoil) and Tradebe are investing to enlarge their oil terminal on the Energy dock.

With this new mooring station, Barcelona aims to become the leading port in the Western Mediterranean regarding bulk liquids transportation. It would thus become a strategic asset for the European economy linking Europe to Northern African oil and gas producers. Furthermore, Barcelona already owns the first Mediterranean port with the capability to transport cars. On top of this, with a new direct rail connection with Central Europe and a new container terminal, Barcelona's ambition to be the leading transporters of containers in Southern Europe and the entire Euro-Mediterranean area is within reach. Container traffic has already grown by 15% in the first seven months of 2011. The ultimate objective is to consolidate Barcelona as Southern Europe’s main logistic platform regarding goods transportation, combining all methods of transport (rail, road, air and sea) and all forms of goods (bulk and container). In parallel to this strong industrial focus, Barcelona port is the 4th world port regarding cruise passengers, after the leading three in Florida.

A new pipe system

Barcelona's Port Authority spent 7 million euros on the new mooring for bulk liquids. In addition, private sector funds have also paid for the infrastructure. Jetty Sud, formed by Decal, Meroil, Tepsa and Terquimsa, paid for the pipe system connecting the mooring with bulk liquid terminals. Jetty Sud spent 4.8 million euros. The new 2.5 kilometre long pipe system can offload 3,200 m3 per hour, by far beating the former 1,200 m3 per hour system. The 228-metre-long tanker ‘Cape Tallin’ had the honour to be the first boat to use the equipment and offloaded 60,000 tons of oil. Besides the new facility, the Energy dock has 6 other mooring spaces, although not as deep. The new mooring stations can host 15-metre-deep draft boats, and the 6 others can sustain a 11.5 metre-deep draft.

Enlarging oil terminals

Meroil, through a joint-venture with Litasco (the international division of the Russian Lukoil), is investing 50 million euro to enlarge its oil terminal in Barcelona’s port by 400,000 m3 to host up to 1,000,000 m3. Meroil’s terminal will host oil and biofuel to distribute it to the Spanish market as well as to redistribute it to other markets by boat. Besides, Tradebe is also investing 50 million euros to enlarge its existing facilities and to build a new terminal to receive, store and re-expedite oil related products. This terminal would be ready in early 2013 and would have 30 tanks able to host a total of 450,000 m3.