In 2016, Ghent Port Company was flying high. The port registers this year as the best year ever.
In the economic field, seaborne cargo traffic achieved a record with 29.1 million tonnes. Moreover, Ghent again booked a record for its conventional general cargo traffic and registered a never witnesses volume of liquid bulk. Ghent again sees its position as a bulk port and as the biggest dry bulk port of the country confirmed. In 2016, Ghent port noted a total waterborne cargo traffic of 51 million tonnes or 9.8% more than in 2015.
As for its port infrastructure, Ghent Port Company invested no less than 11.8 million euros in the restoration of docks, the construction of new quay walls, the development of industrial sites and roads. For the realisation of the New Lock, the Planning Decision was approved and the tendering procedure was started. This is a big step to finally get to know who the contractor will be after the summer of 2017.
Besides economic development and the expansion of its infrastructure, the Port Company also puts the principle of corporate social responsibility first. Initiatives that spread knowledge, sustainable energy, sustainable enterprise, cleantech, improving the air quality and a Port of Ghent chair at the UGent are just a few examples. Moreover, Ghent Port Company further tightens the relationship between city and port. The restoration of the House of the Free Skippers in the very heart of Ghent – at the Graslei – makes this even more special. As a matter of fact, in 2018 an exhibition on the port will be opened there.
Finances. Ghent Port Company realized a profit of 16.6 million euros, the biggest one ever, as appears from the 2016 annual accounts. The largest part of this will obviously be put aside for financing the New Lock. A decisive but cautious and sound financial policy enables Ghent Port Company to gradually continue working on a big financial independence in order to further develop port of Ghent.
In November, the Port Company announced a merger investigation with the port authority of Zeeland Seaports. A historic step for a new future. At the end of May the result of this investigation will be announced.
You can read more about the past year in the enclosure Ghent Port Company 2016 annual report.