10 Nov 2021
Global Ports Holding Plc ("GPH"), the world's largest independent cruise port operator, is pleased to announce that, following a public tender process, the Port Authority of Las Palmas has awarded preferred bidder status to Global Ports Canary Islands S.L. ("GPCI"), an 80:20 joint venture between GPH and Sepcan S.L. ("Sepcan"), to operate cruise port concessions for Las Palmas Cruise Ports.
The concessions cover the port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, port of Arrecife (Lanzarote) and Puerto del Rosario (Fuerteventura), which have tenures of 40 years, 20 years and 20 years respectively. Following successful execution of the concession agreements, GPH, as part of GPCI, will use its global expertise and operating model to manage the cruise port operations in Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.
Global Ports Holding, GPCI and the Port Authority of Las Palmas will now work towards agreeing on the terms of the concession agreements. The concessions are expected to commence before the end of the current financial year, although there can be no certainty as to the timing or that the final conditions will be satisfied. Las Palmas Ports (including the 3 islands), with C. 1.5 passengers annually, is ranked 3rd busiest ports in Spain after Barcelona and the Balearic Islands and in top 20 of Europe.
Las Palmas Ports are a key destination for Southern Atlantic itineraries with great airlift connectivity. During the pandemic in 2020 unlike other European ports that were closed to cruise traffic, the 3 ports in Las Palmas welcomed over 500,000 passengers with the “bubble cruises” around the islands. There is a huge demand on winter cruising in the region due to the mild climate during this period of the year compared with other regions in Europe and the cultural and outdoor activities.
GPH owns 80% of GPCI and Sepcan S.L. owns 20%. Sepcan is a Canary island family-owned company that has been providing services to the port of Las Palmas since 1936 and since 1998 has been focused on mooring/unmooring, luggage handling, ship's provisioning and passenger services. They also specialise in environmental services and maritime pollution prevention.
Emre Sayin, Chief Executive Officer, said: "I am thrilled that Global Ports Canary Islands has been awarded preferred bidder status for Las Palmas Cruise Ports. We will work closely with the Port Authority of Las Palmas towards successful conclusion of the concession agreements. Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, GPH is continuing to deliver on its strategic ambitions of growing its cruise port network. The addition of Las Palmas Cruise Ports will take the total number of cruise ports GPH operates to 22, increasing the cruise passenger capacity to over 15 million passengers per year. "