BARCELONA, Spain, July 4 (Xinhua) — A new vehicle terminal built at Spain’s north-eastern Port of Barcelona will facilitate the import of Chinese-made electric vehicles (EVs) into the European market, a logistics manager from car manufacturer Omoda told Xinhua on Thursday.

Following a surge in demand for China-made EVs on the European market, permission was granted for the construction of a third terminal at the major Spanish port, a move which has been praised by players in the Chinese and Spanish automotive and logistics sectors.

Last week, the board of directors of the Barcelona Port Authority gave the green light to issue a call for tenders until 2027 for the contract to build the new terminal on the port’s Prince of Spain pier.

Emilio Gomez, logistics manager of Omoda Spain, part of China’s Chery auto group, welcomed the news, noting that Barcelona is the ideal place to import cars made in China.

“Here in the Port of Barcelona we have a rail link with Central Europe, we have port connections with the rest of Europe: Italy, Greece, Turkey, France, etc., and here in Barcelona we are close to the French border, with access to the central European markets, including Poland, Austria, Hungary, etc,” said Gomez.

Last year, the Port of Barcelona imported a record number of 246,615 cars, 54 percent more than in 2022, of which a third were electric and mostly from China. Popular Chinese brands include Omoda and MG and the port will also serve to import cars made in China for Western automakers like Volvo and BMW.

The Omoda logistics manager told Xinhua that his company has imported over 2,500 Omoda 5 models since January, and that they are now increasing their operation in Barcelona to begin imports of the Jaecoo 7 model.

“We have told our partners here in the port what our critical points are, they know them, they respect them and they help us achieve our objectives day by day. So for us in logistics it’s a delight to be able to work here in the Port of Barcelona,” added Gomez.

The Barcelona port authorities say that the new 104,938 square-meter vehicle terminal will be finished in 2027 and will have direct access to the port’s railway terminal.

One condition laid down by the Port of Barcelona is that the new terminal must be environmentally sustainable, and the future concession holder will have to use zero-emission vehicles in the facilities, encourage the use of electric trucks, and install solar panels.

“The development of this terminal reinforces our commitment to sustainability and intermodality, and to the future of the port and the automotive sector in Barcelona,” a spokesperson for the Port de Barcelona said in a statement.