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The road access to the Puerto Seco Antequera is in place. Antonio J. Guerrero
Antequera's giant 'dry port' logistics park is all set to be a mini-city

Antequera's giant 'dry port' logistics park is all set to be a mini-city

This central Andalusian goods hub next to the Malaga-Madrid Ave train line has all the basic infrastructure for phase one now in place

Ignacio Lillo

Friday, 1 December 2023, 16:24

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Pulling up at the huge dry port development near Antequera at the moment is like arriving at a city before it even exists: there is a whole, finished road network with wide interchanges and car parks; electricity and water supplies; and even a sewage treatment plant to serve a future population of well over 1,000 workers. All are in place, ready to go.

Work on the first phase of this giant, future logistics park that is set to revolutionise the local economy in inland Malaga province is practically finished and should be signed off this month. Some 17 years of planning and preparation, including 2.5 years' construction, have passed since businessman Domingo de Torres had the vision of developing on La Vega (the flat plains near Antequera) what has now come to be known as Puerto Seco Antequera (PSA).

The logistics park, alongside the Malaga-Madrid high-speed line and line to Algeciras, will provide: rail links down to the coast and to the rest of Europe (the freight terminal is not built yet); goods transport by road to the main maritime ports; massive warehouses (from 5,000 to 100,000 square metres are planned); its own electricity through the use of renewable energy sources and its own water capture system for irrigation and cleaning.

It has taken 17 years of planning and preparation for businessman Domingo de Torres to see his vision become a reality

French multinational Groupe Idec and the De Torres family currently have joint stakes in this so-called Andalucía Megahub park, although this is a public-private initiative with the regional government and its public ports directorate.

SUR recently joined those responsible for the project, along with Antequera's mayor, Manuel Barón, and fifty other professionals, on a visit to the park organised by Ángel García Vidal, provincial representative for the College of Civil Engineers.

The new hub is being built to be as sustainable and as environmentally friendly as possible.
The new hub is being built to be as sustainable and as environmentally friendly as possible. Antonio J. Guerrero

"This is out of this world, like seeing a dream come true, it has taken a lot of work but, thanks to the efforts of Domingo de Torres and Idec, the commitment of the regional government and Guamar and Rofez shouldering a major responsibility as our builders from Malaga, it has all worked out in the end. And, speaking for the town hall, they have our total support, as we try to unite the wishes of all concerned due to the importance of this project," said the Antequera's mayor.

The park plans to have warehouses ranging from 5,000 to more than 100,000 square metres for storage and distribution of goods

Antonio Troya, engineer and construction manager on site was our guide during the tour of phase one of the park, which includes the creation of a super-sized logistics and industrial zone covering 102.26 hectares next to Bobadilla, within Antequera municipality. The area was previously farmland, almost completely flat and open to flooding. This has meant it was necessary to raise the level of the road network and to install a levee system around the edge. This required a lot of infill to be brought in from local quarries - in excess of one million cubic metres.

Water treatment plant on tap

Three pumping stations transport waste to the park's own water treatment plant, which uses the sequencing batch reactor (SBR) process to filter and clean the water. It has the capacity to manage greater volumes of waste once more people are based on site.

Drinking water supplies will come from Antequera, thanks to a 13km pipeline starting from a tank sited at Antequera Golf. Another two have been built within the park: one for drinking water, storing up to 2,000 cubic metres, and another for storage of well-water (500 cubic metres), sourced from three capture points along the water table in the area, to be used for irrigation and cleaning.

For power supplies, the dry port has its own substation. A fundamental part of this project is to produce renewable energy via photovoltaic solar panels on all warehouse roofs plus the use of wind generators, rendering the whole site practically self-sufficient. It should even produce surpluses to convert into green hydrogen, which will be the next milestone in the race for sustainability in transport and logistics.

One-of-a-kind construction

Access to the logistics and freight area of this inland port is via the A-384, a major regional road (Antequera-Arcos de la Frontera), which the regional government plans to unveil shortly and which also makes a direct connection to the A-92 motorway. At the intersection with the A-384, a 34-metre-long overpass has been built, allowing for traffic flow from different directions.

An extended bridge has been built over the railway lines alongside.
An extended bridge has been built over the railway lines alongside. Antonio J. Guerrero

But the most imposing structure on the whole site is the viaduct that has been built over five railway lines - two high-speed tracks and three standard width tracks. The road bridge is 160 metres long and 21 metres wide, with two lanes in each direction, a central reservation and pavements on both sides. As Antonio Troya explained, the railway lines have remained in service throughout the build, thanks to early morning overhead work.

Lastly, a third 78-metre-long bridge has been built to protect the Villalta stream bed. This is just one of many corrective measures to minimise environmental impact, with many steps taken to recover riverside flora and fauna, especially birdlife. The work also made possible the discovery of a necropolis from the Roman period, in particular a lead sarcophagus now housed in Antequera's museum.

De Torres, the brains behind the project, summed up the project so far: "This is a magnificent project for Antequera. In December it will be ready and fully open for business; then we just need January and February for planting the garden areas, connecting to the power and completing the finishing touches, so I hope that the president of the regional government, Juanma Moreno, will be able to lead the opening in March".

Maite Palomino of Groupe Idec added "It's going to be a revolution, people cannot begin to imagine what's there; there's a real sense of before and after"..... "This project sets Antequera apart as a leading light in logistics, not only in Andalucía but also for Spain."

  1. Building on a large scale

    Building big involves taking up lots of space when it comes to logistics. Here are the headline figures that such a construction project entails:

Land covered by Phase One:102.26 hectares.

Budget: Approx. 40 million euros.

Hardcore fillers: The fact that the location is on a flood plain has forced significant infilling to be done to raise the ground level, which adds up to a total of 1,028,065 cubic metres of quarried materials.

Flood prevention: In addition to the above, and for the ecological regeneration of the Villalta waterway as its restored channels run through the land, some 46,615 cubic metres of materials (also acquired from nearby quarries) were needed to build embankments and levees..

Artificial gravel: 58,312 square metres.

Concrete paving: 45,216 square metres.

Kerb edging: 44,926 metres.

Concrete pilings (1m): 3,225 metres.

Concrete: Building all key structures, including the bridges, roads, substation and water treatment plant, soaked up 38,220 cubic metres of wet concrete.

Corrugated steel bars: As with the previous product, all buildings needing to be raised up from ground level also required 1,017,094 kilos of this material.

Prefab beams for the bridges: 1,671 metres.

All piping: 13,278 metres.

Water manholes: 360 units.

Scuppers (rainwater outlets): 321 units.

Cast-iron piping for drinking water distribution: 24,035.87 metres.

Conduits for all lighting, power and telecomms: 45,392 metres.

Circuit wiring: 53,273 metres.

Planting/ landscaping: 80,320 individual trees and plants, selected for their decorative value (on such as the roundabouts), as well as being native to the area (as part of repopulating the Villalta riverbank). A lofty nest box has also been installed to encourage the Lesser Kestrel to set up home.

Area covered by the archaeological dig: 37,324 square metres, with important finds now in the local museum.

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