Yesterday the Regional Minister for Public Works, Antonio Sevilla , met with the head of the Cartagena Port Authority, Ángel Viudes, to discuss issues relating to the ongoing development of the Port at Cartagena and its infrastructural needs.
The Port area of Cartagena is an important infrastructural investment for the Region, as the importation of liquid, gas and solid substances provides important employment in the Escombreras Industrial area, as well as being used by manufacturing industries in the region to import raw materials and export finished products.
The freight handling is a solid business, and one which the Port Authority are keen to expand, hence the projected, and indeed, controversial El Gorguel Macro-container port project which was the main subject journalists present were keen to discuss with the Port Authority head.
Ángel Viudes, said that his organization is “financially, technically and economically ready” to take on the construction of the new container macro-port at El Gorguel.
He also stated that he expects the green light for this “strategic project” for the Region of Murcia to be given in 2014, when the Port Authority hopes to receive authorization from central government for construction to begin.
In the same year, he says, the project’s environmental report will have been submitted to Brussels. The port will affect areas which come under the protection of the Natura 2000 network, but Sr Viudes is convinced that the EU will not stand in the way of the macro-terminal, and that ships will begin using it in 2020 or 2021, after construction starts in 2017.
He also confirmed that finance for the construction is completely guaranteed thanks to the port’s “extraordinarily good” performance, saying that it is “the most profitable of the 28 Spanish ports which operate in the general market”.
Ecologists are equally confident that they will be able to halt the project and that Brussels will reject the construction on environmental grounds.
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