ALICANTE Port is set for a big future… in more than one sense.
Late in July, the French group Eiffage were awarded the contract for the construction and management of the terminal for the next 30 years, and was the first step in implementing the new Strategic Plan 2018 to 2022 which headlines two main objectives.
One is to improve the competitiveness of the docks so that by 2022 the Port will be moving 4 million tons of merchandise annually, in addition to targets of 200,000 containers and 350,000 passengers.
The challenge for the new company is there as current figures show that the movement of goods has fallen by 15.4 per cent in the first half of this year to just 1.483,687. This is less than half of the 3,446,770 ton figure with which it ended 2017.
The figures for 2022 foresee a growth of 16 per cent when compared to those of last year.
The planned growth for cruise passengers is even more ambitious as it aims to multiply by eight the numbers who arrived in 2017.
Although this year so far has seen some remarkable figures, (42,201 so far) they are likely to end 2018 somewhat short of the record for Alicante in 2011 which stands at 108,435… and a third of the 2022 target.
The second aspect of the project is to open more leisure activities in the Port near to the fish market and the dry dock area, to accommodate the growing sport and hotel trade.
A further objective is boosting the traffic to North Africa, with new links to Morocco being a key factor, and encouraging more imports and exports to the province to prevent businesses using other ports instead.