Eleven ports have submitted a project for the ESPO Award 2021. Guadeloupe Port Caraïbes (France), Hamburg Port Authority (Germany), Piraeus Port Authority (Greece), Dublin Port Company (Ireland), Port Network Authority of the Northern Central Tyrrhenian Sea (Italy), Port Network Authority of the Ionian Sea – Port of Taranto (Italy), Port of Gdansk (Poland), Port Authority of Ceuta (Spain), Port Authority of Valencia (Spain), Port Authority of Vigo (Spain), and Ports of Stockholm (Sweden) (in alphabetical order by country), are all in the running for this year’s Award.

The theme of this 13th edition of the ESPO Award is “Role of ports in the recovery of the city and the local community”. The ESPO Award 2021 will go to the port managing body that succeeds best in playing a role in the recovery from the current crisis and in contributing to enhancing the prosperity of the city, local community and region. The winning port will demonstrate to what extent its focus and activities are essential for the recovery of the surrounding city and local community and which successful steps it is taking to assist in the social, cultural and economic recovery and prosperity of the city, local community and region.

ESPO members could send their applications until Thursday 1 July. The ESPO Award winning port will be selected by an independent jury of international experts, under the Chairmanship of Dimitrios Theologitis, former Head of Unit of Ports and Inland Navigation in DG MOVE at the European Commission. The winner will be announced at the ESPO Award Ceremony and Dinner taking place on 9 November in Brussels.


About the ESPO Award

The ESPO Award was established in 2009 to promote innovative projects of port authorities that improve social integration of ports, especially with the city or wider community in which they are located. In this way, the Award aims to stimulate the sustainable development of European ports and their cities.

Previous winners of the Award are the Port of Gijón (2009), the Port of Helsinki (2010), the Ports of Stockholm (2011), the Port of Genoa (2012), the Port of Antwerp (2013), the Port of Koper (2014), Port of Dublin (2015), BremenPorts (2016), Guadeloupe Ports Caraïbes (2017), Port of Rotterdam (2018), Port of Dover (2019), and Algeciras Port Authority (2020).

The Port of Ceuta reopens the city to cruise tourism.

The Port of Ceuta established a joint health protocol together with the Government of the Autonomous City for cabotage cruises with port of calls in Ceuta.

Ceuta continues with the processes to reactivate cruise tourism in the city. The Governing Council approved the health protocols established jointly with the Port Authority for cruises from other national ports. This is the first step for the reopening of the Autonomous City to the cruise market, which will allow the ship calls following all the indications to protect passengers and citizens against COVID-19.

The action protocol approved by the Government determines the way in which the crew and cruise passengers will make the calls and it also establishes the requirements to guarantee health security inside and outside the ship. The measures will only be valid for ships coming from other national territory, since the restrictions imposed by the Directorate General of the Merchant Marine that prohibit the entry of international cruise ships will continue in force. In the same line, passenger ships with an exclusively national itinerary that start, end or make calls at the port of Ceuta must follow the prevention and control procedures specified by the City to minimize the risk of transmission of the SARSCoV-2 virus.

According to this new framework, the crew must present three negative PCR tests before boarding and respect a period of preventive isolation. Besides, cruise passengers must have a negative PCR to be able to board and will attend a talk on the ship in which the prevention measures and the protocols that must be followed on board will be explained.

In addition to this, the ships will have laboratories enabled to carry out tests on crew members and cruise passengers who will also have a medical insurance policy that guarantees hospitalization if it was necessary during the itinerary.

Likewise, the capacity will be reduced to 60-70% of the total, reserving cabins for preventive isolation of any of the passengers. Furthermore, meals cannot be a buffet, but will be served directly at the table. Outside the ship, controlled excursions can be made in the cities where there is a port of call, maintaining the distribution and the formation of “bubble groups”.

All the measures adopted follow those published by the “Junta de Andalucía” with the aim of establishing a common framework regarding health protocols in the area. With this step, Ceuta joins other cities that have already begun the procedures to open their ports to national cruise routes.

The Port Authority of Ceuta organizes a conference to present a study based on the tax advantages that Ceuta offers to bunker operators.

To explain this analysis, the entity counted on the presence of Alberto García Valera, manager of “Ernest and Young” in Andalusia and Extremadura.

The president of the Port Authority, Juan Manuel Doncel; highlighted the importance of planning joint actions between the different local operators so as to promote Ceuta as an attractive destination for bunkering operations.

The Port Authority of Ceuta organized a conference yesterday morning to present the study and analysis of the competitive advantages regarding bunkering activity taxes in the Port.

In order to explain this analysis, Alberto García Valera, as an associate of the aforementioned company “EY Spain” and former Minister of Finance, Industry and Energy of the Junta de Andalucía, offered the results on how the supply of fuel is essential to foster the economy of a city, for which the use of local resources is very important, highlighting the fundamental role of fuel supply for the economy of the autonomous city. The event was held in the main hall of the Tourism School, with limited capacity, and had a total duration of two hours, in which, in addition to the planned presentation, the debate among the attendees was very interesting.

The meeting began with a presentation of the port reality of Ceuta, carried out by the president of the Port, Juan Manuel Doncel. During this time, he talked about some of the competitive advantages Ceuta has compared to the surrounding ports. He also dealt with the importance of taking advantage of the benefits of the territory, such as its privileged situation or the consolidated experience in passenger, freight, traffic, and bunkering.

During his presentation, the president stated that bunkering is a tool that boosts the economy of Ceuta directly and also indirectly through other services thanks to the attraction of new companies to the city. He also highlighted that Ceuta is one of the main Spanish ports in terms of bunker traffic, constituting one of the main business lines of the local body and being one of the reference supply points in the Mediterranean. Its privileged geographical location, in the middle of the Strait of Gibraltar, through which more than 100,000 ships cross every year, provides Ceuta with a huge potential market.

For this reason, the president of the Port Authority of Ceuta explained that nowadays, regarding the plans of the entity, there are two lines of business which are a priority. On one hand, with regard to internal trade,we will continue with the Port-City integration, which is a project that began jointly with the Government several months ago. And, on the other hand, within foreign trade, the Port will continue to invest in the promotion of bunkering, as well as in strengthening new services and analyzing opportunities that benefit all the agents involved in the port community.

With this general image, Doncel gave way to the presentation of a study that was created to boost activity in the area of influence of the Port of Ceuta, to attract new investment and to plan joint actions between the operators and the Port Authority. A very important report because of the geostrategic location of Ceuta and its special tax regime to promote bunkering in the territory.

Apart from that, García Varela highlighted that Ceuta has the capacity, the infrastructures and the companies prepared for the supply and storage of fuel. For this reason, for the former politician it is necessary that all the operators have an impact on the benefits and strengths of the city, with special detail on the tax advantages that other sectors took advantage of, such as online gambling. In addition to this, he insisted on the need to trust in the local virtues and in the great possibilities of Ceuta within the bunkering sector.

These opportunities extracted from the study were compared with those of nearby ports. With all this, some of the business lines that Ceuta can currently take advantage of compared to other cities in the Strait were taken into account, such as offering Ceuta to those companies that operated from Gibraltar and that, due to Brexit, will be left soon if they want to continue trading within the European Union.

The event ended with a round of questions in which the representatives of the different operators were able to present their suggestions to the speakers. Among the attendees, the Port Authority wanted to invite representatives of the Confederation of Employers, Chamber of Commerce, Procesa, different ship agents, mooring services, waste collection, and especially the storage companies and fuel suppliers in the Port of Ceuta such as Dúcar, Vilma and Cepsa.

The high participation, despite the limited capacity due to sanitary restrictions, allowed conversations and discussions on the concerns of the different agents and on short and long-term solutions. Furthermore, the representatives of Cepsa and Vilma took advantage of this moment to ensure that their interest in continuing to work in Ceuta is maintained and they hope to increase their business figures in the future.

The Port of Ceuta considered this day a success, since it allowed to talk to different operators and the first steps were taken so as to advance together in the search for commercial opportunities in Ceuta.

Within the promotional plans, the Port also committed to carrying out a market analysis to study the possibility for the setting up of some new operators, seeking ways of collaboration with those already working today. Besides, if the sanitary situation allows it, it is planned to organize a conference on Ceuta during the next celebration of the IP Week (International Oil Week), taking advantage of the annual meeting organized by IBIA in London.

The port assures that it will continue working in this regard, fostering conversations so that members of the port community benefit from the suggestions and proposals and they move in the same direction.

The port of Ceuta receives a ship to discharge 24,000 tons of diesel oil at its facilities.

The Port Authority of Ceuta continues to make important efforts for the supply of fuel and for creating new business opportunities to face the difficult situation caused by the pandemic.

The vessel ‘Ciego di Gaeta’ is discharging 24,000 tons of diesel at the Poniente dock. The ship arrived in the city on March 24, and is still completing the fuel discharge process at the port facilities, due to the large amount of diesel it carries. An operation of great importance for the port of Ceuta, which seeks to continue to be one of the main reference destinations for bunkering operations in the Strait of Gibraltar.

The diesel discharged these days is being stored in the Ducar I tanks, with the Vilma Oil company in charge of carrying out the process, which is expected to last until today. The diesel oil collected is intended for fuel supply operations for ships in the port of Ceuta, both (berthing) and on vessels at anchor (in the bay), to which the diesel is supplied by barges. The product is previously stored in the tanks of the aforementioned oil company until the request for supply from the different shipowners who come to the port.

The ship arrived this Wednesday at the port of Ceuta from Amsterdam with a total of 34,000 tons of diesel. Of this amount, 24,000 are being discharged in Ceuta and being deposited at the Ducar I facilities, located in San Amaro. Likewise, it is important to highlight that this operation has been carried out by the ship agent Miller y Cía.S.A., which operates for our port.

The discharge carried out in recent days has been a success, to a large extent, due to the port’s new docking infrastructures, which have facilitated the reception of this long-draft and long-draft ship. The operation is being completed in the new berth of the Poniente dock, discharging the product through a system of deployment and collection of hoses by reels.
This constant modernization of the facilities is a commitment that has been developed in the Port over the years to promote the entity’s competitiveness and thereby make our city a point of reference for the transport of oil products and supply operations.

In mid-April another large fuel discharge is planned in the port of Ceuta. This will be of greater quantity, with around 40,000 tons of fuel to store, which will also be destined to the supply of fuel to vessels in berths and in bay.

The Ceuta Port Authority continues to develop commercial policies focused on increasing this traffic, with particular force in recent months to deal with the pandemic. In this sense, the appropriate steps have been taken to achieve this objective, through the increase in the supply capacity and the specialization of port services, which entails a gradual increase in traffic and, therefore, an improvement in the future port results

The Port of Ceuta meets with exclusive cruise shipping companies in the ‘Seatrade Cruise Virtual’.

The Port Authority of Ceuta participated in the online meeting “Seatrade Cruise Virtual: expedition cruising”, a world event focused on cruises that every year meets the main agents of the sector.

On March 8th and 9th, the Port of Ceuta participated in the international event ‘Seatrade Cruise Virtual’. The event was held only online due to the influence of COVID-19. During the two days, the evolution of the industry regarding the pandemic, the experience of passengers, health protocols, the safety of passengers and some new technologies applied to ships were discussed.

This event is shown as an alternative to the traditional world Cruise event, which every year meets the main agents of the sector in Miami. A virtual meeting with the intention of generating new business relationships and, in turn, obtaining the most relevant information on the cruise area. Thanks to this new appointment, attendees have been able to investigate the most innovative products and services of the suppliers, contact other members of the community and check how to face the future after the pandemic.

At this time, the crisis generated by COVID-19 paralysed many economic sectors, such as tourism, of great importance for our country and for Ceuta. In Spain, since the central government decreed the state of alert and prohibited this activity (as in all of Europe), there has already been a year without cruises, with the exception of the Canary Islands where they began operations this winter with coastal traffic cruises. An inactivity that, if it started again, would boost activity in shops, museums and restaurants in the city, etc. In addition to these sectors, the transport sector, security and port services such as supply companies, companies in charge of managing of waste, pilots, tugboats, auxiliary services, ship agents, tour operators, in addition to the Authority itself are great beneficiaries of the arrival of tourists.

The Ceuta Port Authority is aware of the great virtues of Ceuta as a destination and wanted to expose it during these days to show the benefits of making a call in our city, which has port facilities specifically prepared to offer the best service to customers, with a new terminal fro cruises at the Spanish dock, near the city center, with simple and fast access for boats and passengers.
These values and the great attractions of the city of Ceuta stand out in the line of work that the commercial team of the Port Authority has maintained in 2020 and that now they continue to promote a program adapted to new forms of promotion with close contact with the shipping companies to provide them with all the updated information, enabling a virtual meeting managed by State Ports. The contacts focused on the itinerary planners of the respective shipping companies in the expedition sector, opening an opportunity to attract this type of exclusive tourism. The expedition cruise seeks very special destinations and experiences, counting on a more active and young passenger profile, concerned about the environment, interested in training themselves and learning more about local communities with sustainable and responsible experiences. Hence, the shipping companies that are dedicated to this sector are shipping companies with vessels of smaller size and capacity, considered luxury ones.

Despite the stop in the cruise activity, the Port Authority and specifically from the commercial area, we continued to work in a coordinated way with the sector (shipping companies, ship agents, tour operators, markets and public institutions) in a “safe tourism” that allows guaranteeing the quality of the offe with strict security protocols and new routes that diversify the offer of excursions for ships in Ceuta to prepare for the new way of travel and receive cruise passengers who arrive at the Port when the different Administrations give the authorization to these operations.

In addition to the demanding protocols established by the shipping companies to increase the safety of the destination, passengers and crew, the Port Authority of Ceuta and the Tourist Services of the City of Ceuta developed a diversified tourist offer within the city and its surroundings with “bubble” excursions when the central government authorizes the arrival of international cruise ships. These protocols establish exclusively guided excursions, small groups and more outdoor experiences, among others.

Regarding national cruises, the Ceuta Port Authority is in continuous contact with the shipping companies that carry out itineraries between Spanish ports to provide all the updated information on the measures adopted against the pandemic and to work in alignment to offer the greatest security to passengers. Likewise, the Port continues to collaborate closely with the institutions, at the local level, to adapt protection measures following the recommendations of the health authorities.

The Port of Ceuta offers a computer tool to inform in real time about the meteorological and oceanographic conditions in Ceuta.

The Port of Ceuta is part of SAMOA 2, a co-financed project in which 18 port authorities and State Ports participate and which provides ports with personalized systems for consulting and exploiting oceanographic and meteorological information.

The Port Authority of Ceuta continues to update itself to offer a more complete service to companies and users everyday. Currently, the Port has made available to the public a totally free computer program called ‘Cuadro de Mando Ambiental’ (CMA) that allows the oceanographic and meteorological information of Ceuta to be consulted in real time. The data can be searched from any other device through the web https://cma.puertos.es/

This system has been implemented in our city framed in SAMOA 2 project (Meteorological and Oceanographic Support System of the Port Authority), of which the local port authority has been a member since February 2019. The initiative is a continuation of the SAMOA project, whose objective is to improve the oceanography and meteorology systems, as well as the forecast and measurement of the physical environment.

The project, co-financed by the 18 participating port authorities and State Ports, allows each member to have an own interface adapted to each one specific needs. This system bases its operation on three key elements: real-time monitoring of the sea state, numerical forecast models to estimate its evolution and the mechanisms for accessing information and generating customizable alerts for each user.

With this tool, internal tasks of the local institution are facilitated, such as the planning of activity closures, the optimized use of moorings and esplanades, operations with cranes, pilotage tasks, the fight against marine pollution or the quality control of water, among others.

However, in addition to being a system that facilitates the work of the Port, it is also a very useful instrument for potential clients or for any citizen who loves nature. This tool has updated data on waves, currents, wind, water temperature and salinity, information that is extremely important when carrying out any task on our coast.

For this reason, the Port of Ceuta wanted to show the ease of use of this free tool. To be updated regarding oceanography and meteorology in Ceuta, you only have to register on the website and request the data you want to obtain. As of the receipt of the confirmation, the user has all the information in real time at once.

Following the resolution published in the Spanish bulletin BOE in 2019 by which the State Ports agreement with the Ceuta Port Authority became effective, some relevant investments were carried out to make the SAMOA 2 project successfully. The Port Authority of Ceuta included some items for a software applied to the local port, a very high resolution current prediction system and real-time alerts based on instrumentation and integrated into the CMA.

With SAMOA 2, six additional modules have been developed and are being integrated into the CMA, managed by the port administrators. These are: real-time alerts, high-resolution weather forecast, rebases, operational area forecast, long wave forecast and measurement campaigns.

The Port of Ceuta renews its PERS certification and remains within the ‘Ecoports’ network.

The PERS certification is the only European accreditation of specific environmental management of the port sector and is granted to those port authorities that fulfill the sustainability standards previously set by the European Commission.

The Port has renewed its certification thanks to its environmental commitment, with actions such as the acquisition of the ‘USV Vendaval’ and the approval of an instruction for the reduction of hydrogen sulphide emissions.

The Port Authority of Ceuta (APC) has renewed for two more years its PERS (Port Environmental Review System) certification given by the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO). This renewal is a new step within the commitment that the Port of Ceuta made towards an increasingly sustainable action and a policy focused on improving the environmental conditions of the city.

With this certification, the port of Ceuta remains within the ‘Ecoports’ port network, the main environmental initiative of the European port sector. The objective of this organization is to improve environmental management and raise awareness about the protection of the environment, through cooperation and the exchange of knowledge among ports. In Spain, there are currently only 8 port authorities with the PERS, being the port of Ceuta the last one to join, in January 2019.

The APC had set the objective of being re-certified before the end of the validation period, in January 2021, for which it had to comply with standards set by the Ecoports Foundation. PERS certification requires the port to propose a series of measures to demonstrate effective environmental management. These measures range from identifying and monitoring environmental challenges so as to improve communication with the local community and increasing transparency, through the creation and publication of an environmental report. In addition, obtaining the certification implies the principle of “continuous improvement”, which in turn means carrying out new actions and innovative projects of an environmental nature.

On this occasion, the APC contributed to this environmental improvement with the acquisition of the “USV Vendaval”; a vessel capable of carrying out missions in a totally autonomous way, including environmental surveillance and protection; and the approval in 2019 of an instruction for the reduction of hydrogen sulphide emissions.

The PERS certification system incorporates, in addition to the main general recognised environmental management requirements (such as ISO 14001), the specifications of the ports. This system is based on ESPO’s policy recommendations, which provide ports with clear objectives to achieve and its implementation is independently reviewed by Lloyd’s Register.

ESPO, founded in 1993, represents the maritime ports of the European Union (EU), and defends the common interests of its members, acting as an official negotiator of the enclaves before the European Commission. Its main mission is to influence the common policy of the EU, with the aim of strengthening the European port sector as a key element in the transport chain, offering greater security and efficiency, and allowing it to operate in a liberalised market, within the framework of a competitive and sustainable industry.

The ESPO structure is made up of a permanent office in Brussels, a General Assembly, an Executive Committee and 6 specialised committees in several areas of the port activity. Specifically, the APC is represented in one of these committees, which are in charge of managing and representing common interests among the member ports, as well as acting as speakers before the European institutions and their legislators.

The work of the Port in terms of sustainability does not stop, since the commitment of the APC remains firm, with the intention of fulfilling the requirements and continuing to contribute to the better development of port activities in our city.

‘Adventure Zero’ makes a port of call in Ceuta before starting its voyage around the world for the fifth centenary of the Magellan-Elcano expedition.

The captain of ‘Adventure Zero’, Jimmy Cornell, aims to be the first to complete the world tour in a fully electric powered boat.

The boat ‘Adventure Zero’ arrived this morning at the marina. The writer and navigator Jimmy Cornell is going to start the-world trip on this yacht to commemorate the fifth centenary of the expedition initiated by Magellan and Elcano, the first completed circumnavigation of the earth. The Elcano Challenge, name of the project, will begin this November 2020 and its completion is scheduled for August / September 2021, reproducing the voyage of the 1519 expedition, with calls in the same places.

One of the main novelties of this adventure is that the catamaran is 100% electric, without any type of combustion engine, so the navigation and the duration of the voyage will depend largely on the weather conditions. The ship was built in the south of France and is on its way to Seville, where the National Commission of the V Centenary is waiting for and from where the route around the world will begin.

During these days of navigation, he has taken advantage of his passage through the Strait of Gibraltar to make a port of call in our port and charge the batteries, since the boat has been sailing for several days in calm in the southern Western Mediterranean and without movement it cannot be recharged out of port.

This symbolic voyage consists of completing the historic route of the first round the world trip in a fully electric powered boat. The project, part of the list of official commemorative events of the V Centenary of the First Round the World Trip, is called “Elcano Challenge” in recognition of the first sailors who managed to complete this feat. However, the organizers also wanted with this name to represent the growing concern for the environment (Electricity. Carbon, NO!).

The project manager, Jimmy Cornell, is an experienced sailor, author, and nautical event organizer, who has sailed more than 200,000 miles in all the world’s oceans, including three circumnavigations, as well as trips to Antarctica and the Northwest Passage. The captain is also the author of 16 books on nautical matters, some of which have been translated into several languages: French, German, Spanish, Italian, Hungarian and Japanese.

The Port Authority of Ceuta promotes the Sentry Stations project in the port area.

The program is based on the control and monitoring of the quality of port waters through marine biological indicators, an action framed within the general scope of the protection of the marine environment and the healthy maintenance of water ecosystems under the influence of industrial and economic activities.

The Port Authority of Ceuta continues its commitment to environmental programs that help to understand and respect the natural resources of the marine ecology of the city. In relation to this, the Port, through the ‘Museo del Mar’ foundation, has promoted a scientific study on the ecological impacts on the marine environment. This Port environmental program has been working for more than a decade, providing consistent results in terms of marine ecology and knowledge of species and their habitats. Thanks to this, the “Fundación Museo del Mar de Ceuta” has been developing an extensive analysis for months, which has data accumulated during four years about the monitoring the Sentry Stations. New biological indicators, such as the detailed study of micro-algae and other analyzes of water masses such as sedimentation or the concentration of micro-plastics, are being incorporated into the monitoring of the mentioned stations.

The port area of Ceuta is a unique space in which, despite the polluting impacts, marine communities of great interest are developing. In such a way that currently there is no port in Spain of the same size as Ceuta, in terms of environmental characteristics. This verifiable fact constitutes a port environmental potential that has not been developed so far, but it deserves a lot of attention for the future, since a port infrastructure needs not only to take care of its waters environmentally, but also to spread the results obtained, especially if it manages an unusual marine environment compared to many other port enclaves. Therefore, it is easy to understand that the Port has a direct and indirect influence on the rich coastline of Ceuta and, furthermore, it is considered necessary to maintain and promote the conservation programs for the marine ecosystem of Ceuta.

The Sentry Stations project based on marine species and habitats is part of the general scope of the protection of the marine environment and the healthy maintenance of water ecosystems under the influence of industrial and economic activities. The Directive “Habitat y la Red Natura 2000” are considered the most interesting legal instruments for the preservation of marine biodiversity and the habitats.

Ceuta already has three protected areas within this EU regulation. In this sense, Directive 2000/60 / EC, or the Water Framework Directive (DMA), is the one that establishes the general criteria for the member countries of the EU. Therefore, it is mandatory in the field of European port waters and it is the port authorities that must contribute to the chemical quality of the waters, as well as to the good ecological status, based on habitats and marine species. The gradual expansion of the Sentry Stations has been necessary due to the diverse and varied industrial and economic activities that are being developed in the waters of the North Bay within the LICES-6310002 and the new protected space proposed to protect and help the conservation of a magnificent set of escarpments and small submerged mountains distributed from the APC control buoy to the Bay of Benzú.

The Hydrographic Confederations have implemented a system of participation in which the APC, through the “Fundación Museo del Mar”, has been an active agent. The legal protection of the Water Framework Directive has served as a foundation for the regulatory development and to study in depth the knowledge and management of water bodies. It is precisely the Hydrological Plan of the Demarcation of Ceuta, which includes the guidelines and important issues. In this sense, the aforementioned plan incorporates a considerable potential to improve the state of the coastal water mass of the Port of Ceuta, based on the study of biological indicators (precisely the main action carried out by the Sentry Station network). Consequently, any new activity in the port’s economic development zones will have to be regulated for the preservation of the environmental capacity of the region’s marine ecosystem.

Finally, the Port Authority ensures that the legislative regulation on species and habitats must be taken into account in a fundamental way, given the unique characteristics of the Port of Ceuta and its areas of influence, which are home to several species protected by the CEEA (Spanish Catalog of Threatened Species) and others included in the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). All this has been documented through the Indicators reports and general previous publications of the marine ecosystem of Ceuta.