On Wednesday 12 June, the president of the State Ports Authority, Salvador de la Encina, made his first visit to the Port of Tarragona. The highest representative of the Spanish port system, accompanied by the secretary general of the State Ports Authority, Álvaro Sánchez, and Joan Sabaté, the subdelegate of the Spanish government in Tarragona, were welcomed by the president of the Port of Tarragona, Josep Maria Cruset.
The visit began at 12.30 am with the arrival of the president at the Port of Tarragona, where he signed the distinguished visitors book and chaired the first working meeting with port’s management team. During the meeting, the Port president, Josep Maria Cruset, explained the current situation of Tarragona’s port and set out the major projects it is working on.
The second working meeting, in the afternoon, was with representatives of the TPA unions, in which the president of the State Ports Authority emphasised “the high level of professionalism of the staff in all the ports and the essential role they play in the efficient operation of the Spanish port system”.
Mr de la Encina also met with representatives of the dockers’ unions with whom he spoke of the reform of the sector recently approved by Royal Decree.
The visit ended with a meeting with representatives of the port community in the TPA conference room. Nearly sixty delegates from the port community heard Mr de la Encina speak of his desire to foster lines of “cooperation for the future development of the Port of Tarragona”, especially in those infrastructures that provide improved overland connections with the markets of inland Spain and the rest of the European continent.
In a statement to the press, Josep Maria Cruset expressed his gratitude for the visit by the president of State Ports Authority. The president of the Port of Tarragona considered this first visit by Salvador de la Encina to have been “a great opportunity to inform him of the strategic projects promoted by the Tarragona Port Authority, to request his collaboration and to facilitate the progress of these projects with other administrations where necessary”. Mr Cruset highlighted the “new 160-MEUR investment cycle instigated by the Port of Tarragona for the coming four years in order to consolidate our positioning as a first-class infrastructure on the Mediterranean”. Among the planned investments, in addition to the new ZAL and the Puerto Centro intermodal terminal, Mr Cruset highlighted the future inauguration of the Balears Wharf as a multifunctional terminal that, in its first phase, will serve as a new provisional terminal for cruise ships, work on which will begin at the end of this year or the beginning of next year.
For his part, Mr de la Encina congratulated the Port of Tarragona, which is considered as a “fundamental and strategic axis, widely diversified and with an excellent human team”. The president of the State Ports Authority recognised that “Tarragona is a major logistics gateway for southern Europe that has been conditioned by the delay in the development of overland transport infrastructures, such as the new section of the A-27 dual carriageway to avoid the Coll de l’Illa pass or the Mediterranean Corridor rail freight transport infrastructure. On the part of the national government we will work to provide the Port of Tarragona and the territory with the infrastructure it needs for future improvement”. Salvador de la Encina also reminded those present that a new collective agreement was recently signed with the State Ports workers to establish the labour framework up to 2026 and allowed salaries to be restored after a 10-year wage freeze. This agreement is due to be published in the Official Gazette of the Government of Spain (BOE) in the next few days.