Bilbao, Spain, prepares for OPS to be operational by 2025
Bilbao Port Authority’s BilbOPS project to deploy OPS technology based on renewable energy – wind, solar, wave – via 11 connection points on seven quays at an investment of €51.8 million is underway and is due to be operational by 2025.
Investment amounts to €47.5 million, 30% (€14.2 million) of which is co-funded by the EC through the CEF Transport 2021-2027 programme. The project has also secured a €5 million grant for the new A5 Quay through the Recovery and Resilience Facility.
The project also provides for the setting-up of a PV plant for self-consumption purposes. In addition the port will offer alternative fuel services from Petronor including hydrogen and an e-fuel plant. LNG will also be available and there will be a floating mobile OPS for a wider reach. There will be 48 charging stations for electric cars.
BilbOPS states that there will be a direct improvement on the quality of life of 125,000 citizens, 116,000 passengers and 10,000 workers through better air quality – greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 40% – and reduced noise and vibration levels.
“This is further proof of the progress and commitment of the port to providing an optimum service for cruiseships,” says Gloria Frau, cruise manager Port of Bilbao. Adding: “This strategic investment positions the Port of Bilbao at the forefront of the network of European ports deploying this sustainable technology at the service of its customers, and in line with the EU ‘Fit For 55’ objectives”.
The 2023 season began on April with the arrival of Princess Cruises’ Sky Princess, which will call four times this year.
Around 80 calls are expected with Ambassador Cruise Line coming for the first time and 14 cruiseships making inaugural calls to the Spanish port.
There will be two turnaround calls during the season: Oceania Cruises’ Sirena to Israel in May and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Gem to Northern Europe in September.
Highlights include Disney Cruise Line returning with Disney Dream; Royal Caribbean International’s Anthem of the Seas making four calls and MSC Cruises making six calls, one of them with MSC Fantasia.
Once again this year, the port authority will provide a shuttle service for those companies requesting it.