The European Investment Bank (EIB) announced on Wednesday an allocation of a loan in the amount of EUR 75 mln to ZAL Port (Zona d’Activitats Logístiques), the logistics platform of the Port of Barcelona. The loan is backed by the guarantee of the Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called “Juncker Plan”, and was made possible with the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).
With the loan ZAL Port plans to finance the construction of new logistics and warehousing facilities increasing its capacity up to 1 mln sq.m., thus expanding its economic activity, as the occupation rate of the existing facilities is already at 97%. The new logistics infrastructure will also enable the creation of some 4,000 new direct jobs and some 6,000 indirect jobs in the logistics and transport sectors.
ZAL Port is an intermodal logistics hub of Barcelona, the first port logistics platform ever established in Spain. Its aim is to attract maritime traffic with value added services of logistics infrastructure. ZAL Port is adjacent to BEST (Barcelona Europe South Terminal) container facility of 2.6 mln TEU capacity, developed and operated by Hutchison Port Holdings. On its immense area of 239 hectares ZAL Port offers land concession for development and warehouse rental. Its customers include manufacturers and distributors (42%), like Carrefour, Decathlon, LIDL, DHL; logistics operators (37%) – Kuehne + Nagel, DB Schenker, Rhenus Logistics, Yusen Logistics; freight forwarders (16%): Agility, Nippon Express, Hellmann.
ZAL Port is operated by CILSA (Centro Intermodal de Logística, SA), a state corporation formed by Autoritat Portuària de Barcelona – APB (63%), Merlin Properties (32 %) and public company SEPES (5%).
Alfonso Martínez, Director General of ZAL Port, highlighted 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”.
European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “Upgrading our transport infrastructure along the Trans-European transport network requires significant and sustained investment so that it is capable of meeting future environmental and economic demands. I am delighted that, with this agreement, the European Commission is supporting crucial upgrades to a port facility that is strategically important for the EU”.
According to the European Commission, the Juncker Plan “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 EFSI provides a first-loss guarantee, allowing EIB to invest in riskier projects.