The historic steamship began to sink in 2019. / sur

Benalmádena Marina continues to make a profit despite the Willow paddle steamer crisis

The accounts for the past year show a profit of 117,229 euros, although 50,000 are being set aside in case the vessel, which partly sank in 2019, has to be removed from the port

Ivan Gelibter
IVAN GELIBTER

Puerto Marina in Benalmádena made a profit of nearly 120,000 euros last year, an upward trend it has maintained for six consecutive years despite some difficulties, such as the situation with the Willow, the historic paddle steamer which partly sank in 2019.

Announcing the figures for last year, the Councillor for the Port, Encarnación Cortés, said the council has been involved in legal wrangles about who is responsible for removing the ship, but she believes there is sufficient reason to assume that in the end Puerto Marina will have to do it, so the board of directors has set aside 50,000 euros from these profits to cover that eventuality.

Refloated

“Last year we also had to pay for another boat to be refloated (La Morena), and that was not a problem thanks to the income and the fact that the marina is being well-managed,” said Cortés.

There has been a “sustained growth” in income between 2016, when it was 3,708,000 euros and 2021, when it reached 4,230,000 euros, apart from the year 2020 when earnings dropped because of the pandemic.

The councillor pointed out that in March this year the berths in the port were 88 per cent occupied and she believes the marina may be completely full in the near future because demand is so high.

"An exciting new phase"

The concession for managing the port comes up for renewal in May, and Cortés said that once that has happened there will be “an exciting new phase, with a series of projects which we will announce once the Junta de Andalucía has given them the go-ahead, to turn Puerto Marina into a benchmark for nautical training,” she said. The port will be the “seed” for a future training centre in Benalmadena, which will attract many complementary activities “ and become a motor for job creation and wealth," she added.