Valencia is a major Mediterranean port city in eastern Spain, located close to the mouth of Tura River. The city is the capital of the autonomous Valencian Community (Spain's 4th most populous autonomous - after Andalusia, Catalonia and Madrid) and Spain's 3rd-largest city by population (around 1,6 million, metro around 2,5 million) following Madrid and Barcelona. Port Valencia is currently ranked Europe's 5th largest and Mediterranean's busiest containership port.
The city has art school, fine arts museum, two gates (from the 14th-century city walls), Gothic cathedral (13th-15th century), silk exchange (15th-century), Lonja de la Seda (14th-century), Peniscola Castle. The settlement was founded by the Greeks and later occupied by Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, Arabs. Valencia is best-known for its involvement in every Spanish war during 19th-20th centuries. During Spanish Civil War (1938-39), the Republican forces fled to Valencia after Catalonia's fall.
The seaport is Europe's 5th and Mediterranean's largest. The amount on annually handled cargo shipping volumes is around 55 million tons (cargo) and over 4,2 million (TEU-containers). It annually handles over 7,500 vessels. The annual number of handled passengers (ferry and cruise) is around 0,5 million. The port is also a major employer (with over 15,000 employees) and generates over half of country's GDP.
Port's history dates back from 1483 AD, when Kking Ferdinand II of Aragon (1452-1516) granted permission for building a wooden bridge (named Pont de Fusta). Followed numerous construction projects, but mainly due to Turia River floodings the port remained unsuccessful. With the increase in shipping traffic over the years, in 1679 King Charles II of Spain (1661-1700) granted the port trading privileges with other kingdoms and states. In 1791, King Joseph I (1768-1844, brother of Napoleon Bonaparte) granted the port trading privileges with the Americas. Then Valencia became Spain's 6th maritime province.
In 2017, the port was visited by Silk Road International (SICO), one of China's most important non-governmental organizations promoting commercial, economic and cultural relations with other countries. SICO studied the possibility of opening its Mediterranean headquarters in the city.
Until November 2017, port's total (direct) cargo shipping volume with China was 6,48 million tons (3,18% increase over 2016). The container ship cargo volume with China was 532,000 TEUs / containers (4,87% increase).
As of 2018, seaport's traffic with China is 48%, making the country its main commercial partner. Port Valencian currently is linked with 80 Asian ports, the largest of which are Shanghai, Ningbo, Yantian, Qingdao, Xiamen, Tianjin, Hong Kong, Shekou-Shenzhen, Chiwan, Nansha-Guangzhou.
Valencia Port Authority manages a total of 3 seaports - Valencia, plus the satellite ports Sagunto and Gandía. All are on Mediterranean Sea (Spain's eastern coastline), along an 80 km / 50 mi stretch of the coast. The port has a total quay length 12 km ( 7,5 mi) and total storage area 1,2 km2 (0,5 mi2).
Port Sagunto has around 10% of valencia's total annual cargo shipping traffic capacity and specializes in LNG (liquefied natural gas), as well as iron and steel products. Over 3 million tons of LNG are shipped annually to supply the nearby regasification plant. Around 2/3 of the port's traffic is iron and steel products. The other 1/3 are fertilizers, construction materials, timber.
Port Gandía has around 1,5% of Valencia's total annual cargo shipping traffic and specializes in forestry products export and import (timber, reels, pulp and paper, furniture).
In 2018, Port Valencia surpassed Port Barcelona in terms of total handled vehicle units. Port’s all car terminals (including those at Sagunto and Gandia) handled 818,225 vehicles (3,17% increase over 2017). Barcelona's volume was 809,158 (3,26% decrease). Spain's total vehicle shipping traffic was 3,395338 million units (-2,55% over 2017's 3,484212 units). Spain's other major vehicle ports (handled units in 2018) are Santander (488,144), Vigo (451,111), Pasajes (254,673) and Tarragona (194,958).
In 2020, the Spanish passenger shipping company BALEARIA launched an LNG-bunkering facility (liquefied natural gas) at Port Valencia. The new facility uses MTTS (Multi Truck to Ship) bunkering system that enables several gas trucks to simultaneously bunker (refuel) the berthed ferries. The equipment was manufactured by Kosan Crisplant (Denmark). The bunkering speed ranges between 80-120 m3 LNG per hour. The first LNG-fueled ship here was Hypatia de Alejandría with crossings between Valencia-Ibiza-Palma de Mallorca.
On July 2, 2020, BALEARIA submitted a tender bid (the only one) for a new passenger terminal construction and operation under concession. The new terminal (located between Poniente Quay and Espigon del Turia Quay) will be built in the area of a former shipyard (Union Naval de Valencia), which is sized ~100,000 m2 (~0,04 mi2). The concession rights for the new facility will be for 35 years, extendable to max 50 years.
- The new passenger terminal will serve cruise ships, regularly scheduled ferries (linking daily to the Balearic Islands and Algeria) and RoRo ships (wheeled cargo and car carriers). The terminal will have 4 berths (minimum), at least one of which will have capacity to serve world's largest cruise liners (max LOA length 360 m / 1181 ft) and one berth for ships with max LOA length 250 m (820 ft).
- All berths will have shorepower supply capabilities. The cruise terminal will have capacity to handle two ships simultaneously (1x homeported, 1x transitting) and two cruiseferries (RoPax ships).
- All the electrical energy used at the new facility will be produced at the terminal and of renewable origin (photovoltaic, wind, hydrogen, biofuel).
- The new BALEARIA Terminal has estimated annual capacity ~370,000 passengers (the first 5 years / 2023-2028) and ~1 million passengers in the following years (projected annual growth 2%). BALEARIA estimated that during the terminal's concession, the Port Authority will collect ~EUR 70 million (~USD 83 M) from port taxes, passengers and goods.
Valencia cruise terminal
On March 4, 2020, PAV (Port Authority of Valencia) put out to tender the new passenger terminal (construction and operation) concession. The new cruise and ferry terminal covers land area approx 100,000 m2 (~0,04 mi2) and is located between Poniente Pier and Espigon del Turia Pier. The area was previously occupied by a container terminal operated by Union Naval Valencia SA. The 35-year concession will be extendable for max 50 years. The deadline for submitting the tender offers is April 17, 2020.
The new passenger terminal will serve cruise ships, regular passenger ferries (linking to the Balearic Islands and Algeria) and Ro-Ro vessels (transporting wheeled cargoes). The terminal is planned with at least 4 berths, including at least one with LOA length 360 m (1181 ft) and the shortest to be with min LOA length 250 m (820 ft). All berths will be fitted with shoreside power supply. The terminal must have capacity to handle (dock) simultaneously two cruise ships (one homeported, one transiting) plus two ferries.
As amenities, the new facility will have entrance hall, waiting area, luggage storage, cruise ship check-in area, WiFI Internet, security control (X-ray and metal detection points, CCTV cameras), spaces for Customs clearance and police forces, public restrooms, boarding bridges, tourist office, crew lounge, PAV office, warehouses, VIP area, shopping area, vending machines, ATMs, car rental kiosks, prayer room, accessibility for passengers with reduced mobility, short-stay car parking (min 100 lots), bus parking (min 10 lots), taxi rank, kids playground, restaurant.
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