Port of Setúbal
PORT OF SETÚBAL - history
The importance of the Port of Setúbal goes back to pre-classic antiquity, known by the first Phoenician navigators that frequented our shores and established their commercial factories, as we can see in archeological findings. In the place of Abul, on the right bank of the Sado river, they built the first port infrastructure – which is the first port of Setúbal.
Existing ruins from the roman era on both banks of the Sado river, are widely known. The place were the city of Setúbal is (right bank of the Sado river) will have been an important roman village, caetobrix ou Cetobriga.
The villages of Cetobriga and Troia, by the mouth of Sado, as well as the coast of Arrábida were occupied by factories of dry salted fish and garum, a sauce made of fish and fine herbs.
The cargo transport by river originated the contruction/adaptation of Sado’s typical ships. The first cargo ships resulted from the conversion of small fishing boats into galleons for salt transport. The galleon was a wooden ship that, in the Sado river and with the necessary adaptation, had two main uses: fishing and cargo transport (cargo galleon).
By APSS’ initiative, the memory of one of the last galleons of Sado was recovered – the “Fundação de Portugal” (Foundation of Portugal).
The Port of Setubal was considered the most important fishing harbor in Portugal and, consequently, the most important center for fishing conservation. In 1916 there were 791 fishing boats in Setúbal.
As to the planning of port infrastructures, the first works project for the port of Setúbal dates from 1793. It regarded a dock or boiler, designed by colonel Chermont, destined to give harbor to small ships, located between the Livramento and Conceição bulwarks.
Not until 1836 did the City Hall grant a private party the concession of the building of the first dock, located near Ribeira do Livramento delta, named Delpeut Dock. This dock is, for a full century the only safe harbor that the port had for small boats.
The need for creating a proper organism for carrying out works to the port is recognized on 18 th December 1923 with the approval of Law 15/7 which created Autonomous Board for the Setubal and Sado river Port and Entrance Fairway Works.
The first great works on the port were assigned on 27 th June 1930 to Hojgaard & Shultz, from Copenhagen, with the collaboration of Van der Bosch & De Vries, from Ultrecht, for the dredging works.
These works comprehended:
Regulating the right bank of the river (4 km) between Vila Maria and Albarquel;
Building of 2170 m of stoned taluses, destined for small boats;
The embankment of the Delpeut Dock and the increase of the cover of Ribeira do Livramento;
The embankments in a total area of 600 000 m2;
The building of three docks destined for support to fishing, leisure and commerce;
Building of six berthing weirs.
In the 60’s and 70’s, we can see the building of several private wharves and the installation of major industries in Setubal, allowing for the Port of Setubal to be positioned as an Industrial Port.
With the building of the first stage of the Roll On/Roll off terminal, in 1985, which is currently included in the Zone 1 Multipurpose Terminal, the first investment in port infrastructures dedicated to this segment of traffic. The works consisted in building 220 m of mooring wharf and slope, with drafts of – 10,5 m (CD).
In 1992, APSS finalized another decisive investment for the development of the Port of Setubal, through the conclusion Roll-On/Roll-Off terminal and building of a Container Terminal, which represented more than 320m of mooring wharf.
With the setting up of the AutoEuropa factory in Palmela, the port is once more called to play a fundamental role in the development of the region. In 1994, the works for concluding of the Roll-On/Roll-Off terminal for AutoEuropa, with 370m of wharf front, a slope and drafts of 12m (CD), where a great part of the factory production is exported.
The building of the multipurpose terminal (enlarging of the Container terminal), in 2002, which represented an investment of 29 million euro, was a significant strategic bet of APSS for the future in the container market, allowing for the Port of Setubal to currently be positioned as an important Iberian port.