The President of the Government of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès i Garcia, announced today that the Catalan Government has agreed to promote the creation of a joint working group between the ports of Busan and Barcelona to introduce hydrogen as an energy source in the field of maritime transport.
President Aragonès made this announcement after a visit to this Asian port, the main port in South Korea and the sixth most important in the world, and a meeting with Busan Port Authority president and CEO, Joon-suk Kang, and the members of the Board of Directors.
As the President explained, the use of hydrogen in the port sector would contribute to “the reduction of polluting emissions” and also to “making the transport of goods by sea much more sustainable and reducing the carbon footprint, and, therefore, to the fight against climate change”.
The group will be put together over the coming months, with the Port of Tarragona also taking part. It is worth noting that Busan has had a cooperation agreement with the Port of Barcelona since 2020 to manage and operate a logistics centre in the city’s logistics platform (ZAL).
Meeting with K-water
On the third day of the President’s institutional trip to the Republic of Korea, Aragonès also met in Busan with K-water, the Korean government agency in charge of handling water resources and water supply, with whom he discussed issues related to water management and the drought that Catalonia is experiencing.
The President assured the media that, with the visit, “we have ratified the good decision we took two years ago, when we anticipated the drought situation and took preventive measures”. The activation of the Special Drought Plan “has allowed us to delay the emergency situation for more than a year”, the President stated, and this fact has meant that “the actions that could have the greatest effect on the citizens have been delayed”.
The President stressed that Catalonia is now focusing on infrastructures that allow alternative sources of water to be obtained, as well as on actions to improve the efficiency of consumption. However, the Government foresees all scenarios, including that of carrying water in on boats. “If the drought situation, unfortunately, continues as it has in recent months, we are close to having to use ships to bring water, although we do not have a set date for that”, he said. With regard to this measure, the President underlined that he is in “permanent contact” with the Spanish Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, because “their collaboration will be essential” and because it will be the Ministry that will set the price of this water.
“All water that does not come from rain has a much higher cost. And, therefore, in these cases, such as the water that comes in on ships, the fact that a much more affordable price can be obtained will also allow us to face the drought situation and the alternative water supply with greater economic capacity”, he said.
K-water has become a global benchmark in water management, with initiatives such as low-cost, high-efficiency water treatment to supply water for industrial purposes.
Eco Delta Smart Village
The President also had the opportunity to visit and learn first-hand about the Eco Delta Smart Village project, a public project consisting of the construction of a smart city in the city of Busan. It is the first smart city experiment in the Republic of Korea and is one of the most ambitious in the world, expected to occupy some 11.9 square kilometres and be home to 76,000 people.