Terminal Catalunya (TERCAT), a subsidiary of Hutchison Port Holdings (“HPH”), yesterday celebrated the grand opening of its new semi-automated deep-water container terminal – Barcelona Europe South Terminal (“BEST”). The opening was presided over by His Majesty the King of Spain Juan Carlos I.
BEST, located in the Port of Barcelona, is the first semi-automated terminal in HPH network of 52 ports in 26 countries. The terminal, which forms HPH’s expansion of its port operations at the Port of Barcelona, will start operation with 1000 metres of quay, dredged to 16.5 metres, and eight ship-to-shore gantry cranes. When phase I is fully complete, BEST will have 1,500 metres of quay, 100 hectare of yard and 18 ship-to-shore gantry cranes.
John Meredith, Group Managing Director of HPH commented, “BEST is the most technologically advanced port development project and has the biggest on-dock eight-track rail facility in Southern Europe. It is capable of serving multiple mega-vessels simultaneously. This terminal will change the offering that Barcelona can provide to its customers as well as open a new Mediterranean corridor for European trade.”
Commenting on the new terminal, Sixte Cambra, President of the Port Authority of Barcelona, said, “The opening of BEST is the most important event of the year for the Port of Barcelona. The new terminal represents the qualitative jump in technology being deployed in a container port facility in the Mediterranean, and it effectively marks the start of our big expansion at the Port of Barcelona. We are very honored to be working with global port operator HPH in implementing our strategy to reach further into the hinterland, both in the Iberian Peninsula and Southern Europe.”
Alejandro Kouruklis, General Manager of TERCAT, affirmed, “BEST will significantly change the role of the port of Barcelona. This new terminal will allow us to serve the local market, extend our hinterland connectivity to the rest of Spain and Europe, and increase the transshipment we are handling in Barcelona. This terminal has a combination of state-of-the-art equipment, systems (nGen), operational methods and people that will ensure we are a terminal of reference regarding productivity and efficiency in Europe.”
BEST is powered by HPH’s award-winning nGen operating system, which will increase both the efficiency and productivity of the terminal, especially when servicing mega-vessels.
In July, BEST successfully achieved an average productivity rate of 30 moves per crane per hour.