BIZKAIA COUNTY COUNCIL | Provincial Deputy for Infrastructures and Territorial Development
BIZKAIA COUNTY COUNCIL
Provincial Deputy for Infrastructures and Territorial Development
1. Port activities are one of the principal sources of wealth in Bizkaia. Can Bizkaia be understood without the port?
Bizkaia is a small territory, but it has significant economic importance thanks to a competitive industrial sector and a business fabric that has been able to adapt to changes. In this context, the port of Bilbao and the professionalism of the logistic-port community play a fundamental role in the growth and economic development of Bizkaia.
Without the sea, its door to the world, or without the port, Bizkaia would not be what it is today. The sea as an industry is a key element to understand our history and what we are today. The port of Bilbao plays an important role in that history; it is one of our oldest “companies”, which enables the internationalisation of the Basque business fabric as well as with the rest of Spain, one of the most signiifcant contributors to our GDP, creating more direct and indirect employment in the surrounding areas. Therefore, due to its potential, the port of Bilbao will continue to play a crucial role in our future.
2. How do you see the future of this infrastructure and the sector that invigorates it?
I see it as clearly very positive because it is a sector that has overcome crises of all kinds and has always been up to the circumstances, even in difficult times such as the pandemic. Moreover, the cooperative culture it works with, either with the association/cluster, the companies or the administrations, is a guarantee to be even more competitive and adaptable to the future. The companies in the port were able to prepare and adapt, for example, to the transport and embarkation of wind turbine elements, and now they are a global benchmark in this field. This adaptation is always in collaboration with the authorities, and in this case, the County Council has worked closely with Uniport to facilitate this transport to the port, the same as we do when planning or improving roads or accesses to the port. Collaboration is always present and provides added value.
3. Looking back, the Southern Metropolitan Bypass was a landmark and transcendental investment. The second phase was recently completed. What advantages does it offer?
The new connexion of the Supersur with the AP-68, Bizkaia has added a new high-capacity road that is better connected, safer, more convenient and more fluid. It is also a strategic infrastructure from the point of view of competitiveness, thanks to which we can connect some of the largest infrastructures and production centres of the territory: such as the port, the airport, the technological parks, the BEC and the industrial and business estates.
It will be a fundamental communication hub for Bizkaia to and from central Spain. Implementing the Supersur also brings us closer to the great relief road of Bizkaia, which the Supersur and the tunnel under the estuary between Getxo and Portugalete will complete.
4. Does the DFB foresee a new access to the exterior port once the enlargement of the port in the Abra is finished?
The port of Bilbao is one of the ten core ports of the Trans-European transport network and the European Atlantic corridor due to its multimodal capacity to link Portugal, Spain, France, Germany and Ireland; although from the point of view of connectivity, it is much more than a link with Europe for the companies in Bizkaia and surrounding regions, regarding foreign trade with the whole world. We know what this means, and the County Council of Bizkaia will continue to be attentive to the port’s needs for terrestrial connections. This is contemplated in the 2nd Road Plan we are currently processing.
5. The County Council has always had a close relationship with its port. How do you see the sector?
The port is a strategic infrastructure, and it also has a dynamic and modern business ecosystem. Buy beyond this; it has an incalculable value; it has become a prime actor in territorial development at many levels, not only economic. And this has been done with collaboration and always acting with generosity towards citizens. The Port faces the challenges of the energy transition, digitalization, the relocation of specific activities in Asia, new competitors, etc. But I see a dynamic port and a team of professionals who are eager to continue growing. I have complete confidence in the port of Bilbao, the port sector and its future g