CARLOS BOTANA LAGARÓN TAKES OFFICE AS PRESIDENT OF THE PORT AUTHORITY OF VIGO

Jul 10, 2023, 8:43:00 AM

CARLOS BOTANA LAGARÓN TAKES OFFICE AS PRESIDENT OF THE PORT AUTHORITY OF VIGO

Carlos Botana Lagarón was sworn in as the new president of the Port Authority of Vigo at the Vigo Maritime Station this afternoon, replacing Jesús Vázquez Almuiña at the helm of the institution.

Hundreds of attendees wanted to show their support for the new port authority leader, including the President of Xunta, Alfonso Rueda; the President of Ports of the State, Álvaro Rodríguez Dapena; and the Conselleiro do Mar, Alfonso Villares. Alongside them were former presidents of the Vigo Port Authority, mayors from the port's service area, and a wide representation of the city's business, economic, social, and political sectors.

After taking his oath of office, Botana Lagarón referred to the beginning of "a new era" that will be marked by dialogue and consensus, where he will prioritize "active listening" to "design innovative solutions" and create "the port of the future." He emphasized, "All of you are essential, and without you, this port of the present and future would not be possible." He expressed pride in the port, stating that there are significant challenges and much work ahead, which he will approach with enthusiasm, passion, and determination.

According to the new port president, Vigo has "a unique fishing port with infinite potential," excels in the automotive industry, and is a reference point on the Atlantic coast. Additionally, it has a naval sector "with extensive experience and great opportunities with the energy transition."

He emphasized the need to preserve what needs to be preserved to continue working tomorrow and expressed his optimism and desire to spread that optimism to the sector. He stressed the importance of maintaining the splendor of the fish market and highlighted the possibilities of the younger generation taking over.

Botana also mentioned the importance of guaranteeing the best infrastructure to benefit the logistics and employment of one of the most important companies in Vigo and its port, referring to Stellantis.

He also emphasized the significance of the construction and shipbuilding sector for Vigo, Galicia, and the opportunities presented by the energy transition. He stated that the ships of the future are green and will be built in Vigo.

Commitment to Blue Growth

To this end, the port chief advocated continuing to support the European strategy for a sustainable blue economy, which has been led by the Vigo port since 2016, and to strengthen the inclusive and social aspect promoted by his predecessor in the post, Jesús Vázquez Almuiña.

"At the Port of Vigo we have been working on environmental sustainability for years," he emphasised. "We are a European example and the Port of Vigo's climate change office will become a reality".

In this context, Botana committed himself "personally" to ensuring that any action carried out in the Estuary has the minimum environmental impact. "Always in a sustainable, efficient way and as a result of dialogue and consensus with companies and administrations".

Connectivity: necessary and a priority

However, he considered it "necessary" and a "priority" to improve the connectivity of the port. "We cannot and must not give up on having a port connected by rail with the PLISAN and the Atlantic Corridor, but we will do it through innovative and imaginative solutions and with the maximum dialogue and consensus".

"Between all of us, we must build the port of the future". A port that is "efficient, sustainable, respectful of the environment and adapted to new technologies" and, for this, "we must go hand in hand with universities and technology centres". "We believe in talent and we want it in our port".

Likewise, he advanced that from the institution that he presides "we will continue to commit ourselves to internationalisation", for which "we will reinforce this positioning and leadership", for which "we offer Europe a joint and loyal work, but without renouncing our essence: fishing", he asserted, whilst recalling that "we have amply demonstrated that we know how to do things in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way and this must continue to be our flag".

Work, humility, consensus and dialogue

To achieve these challenges, and "aware of the great responsibility that I am taking on today", he offered "work, humility, consensus and dialogue". "We want to be a port where its workers feel proud to be so" because "the Port of Vigo is what it is because of them". A port in which more than 50,000 people work, both directly and indirectly, among whom he highlighted the work of the 200 people who, from the Port Authority, "make the day to day running of the port possible". Workers such as the Port Police, the lighthouse keepers, the colleagues in port operations, maintenance and infrastructures, environment and security and many others. "Without them, the daily running of the port would not be possible". "I promise you that I will make you proud of the Port of Vigo", he concluded.

Profile of the new president

Carlos Botana Lagarón was born in Vigo in 1972. He holds a degree in Marine Sciences from the University of Vigo, a Master's in Environmental Management from the University of Vigo, and a Master's in Business Administration from the National University of Distance Education (UNED).

He has over 20 years of experience in managing the commercial, fishing, and port environment of Vigo. He started his career in the Quality and Production department of a fishing company and later worked on projects related to public administration and ports at a management consulting engineering firm.

Since 2002, he has held various positions at the Port Authority of Vigo, including head of the Fisheries Operations and Environment divisions. From 2015 to 2023, he was responsible for the Sustainability Department of the Port of Vigo.

He has worked on more than twenty European projects related to the environment and development under various programs (Life+, H2020, Interreg Atlantic Area, Horizon, POPTEC, among others).

He is the coordinator of the Atlantic Space Ports Pillar for the European Commission. He is a member of the Sustainability and Development Committee and the Energy Committee of ESPO (European Sea Ports Organisation), the Climate and Energy Committee of IAPH (International Association of Ports and Harbours), and served as president of the Blue Ports Network from 2019 to 2022. He is an expert in Blue Economy and has coordinated the Blue Growth strategy of the Port of Vigo since 2016.

 

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