The Port of Marin is located in the Province of Pontevedra in Galicia, Spain, about 37 kilometers north of the border with Portugal and about 125 kilometers southwest of the Spanish Port of Ferrol. Spain’s School for Navy Officers is located there, attesting to its importance as an Atlantic naval port. On the southern shores of a large natural harbor, it is also important for its ship-building facilities. About 4600 people live in the Port of Marin.
Archaeological evidence supports the notion that both Greeks and Romans used the Port of Marin as a sea-route. In 1112, Queen Urraca granted a royal estate there to Diego Arias, who bequeathed the property to the Monastery of Osera in 1151.
During the 18th Century, the Pontevedra estuary became more important as a trade route and industrial center, and its rich fisheries stimulated the establishment of salting and preservation plants and other sea-related businesses in the Port of Marin.
During the 19th Century era of emigration, the Port of Marin was an important starting point for people traveling to the Americas. In 1861, the Transatlantic Company started direct passenger services to Montevideo and Buenos Aires. In 1868, the Port of Marin was designated a maritime district, and several European and South American consulates were opened in the city.
In 1907, a Royal Order created the Board of Governors and the Port Authority for the Estuary of Pontevedra. The Port Authority had responsibility for the development and maintenance of the ports at Marin, Buea, Pontevedra, and Sanxenxo. All ports but Marin were consolidated under the Galician regional government in 1964 and 1982. In 1992, the Port Authority of Marin and Pontevedra Estuary was created to manage the Port of Marin.
The first facilities of the modern port were constructed in 1896 by Narciso Puig de la Bellacasa, including a jetty and quay and, later, the Estribela pier. Through the Board of Governors, the state undertook further development in 1913, creating new docks, service roads, bridges, and a sheltered pier.
In 1916, the Port of Marin was the site for a new naval base and the Janer Firing Range. When the military installations were expanded in 1929, a new commercial wharf was designed in constructed. In 1943, the San Fernando Naval Officers School was established with authority over the town and port lands.
In the 1960s, new landfills created more area for the Port of Marin’s shipyards. New commercial docks and a new fishing port were constructed. In the early 1970s, a new four-thousand-square-meter Sales and Packing Hall and cold storage facilities were built to support the fishing fleet. Today, those facilities cover 11.5 square meters.
Major expansions of the Commercial Sector in the Port of Marin were begun in the 1950s. Two covered shed were built, and modern electric cranes were installed. The Commercial Wharf was paved in 1986, and a new ship repair area was completed in 1987.
In the 1990s, new port facilities were constructed. Floating mooring posts were installed for recreational vessels and for the ship repair workshops and training centers. The new Southern Commercial Wharf was completed, and the Ceferino Nogueira’s cereals terminal was opened in 1993. The Fish Sales Hall was improved to meet standards of the European Union in 1995. New cold storage for fruit and refrigerated merchandise were opened in 1996.
In 1997, the Promenade opened along the Commercial Wharf, leaving room for the new All-Weather Terminal that was completed in 2002. Since 1998, Port of Marin development has focused on two areas: the ship repair area and the container storage area. Between 1998 and 2003, two new mooring lines were opened with plans for a new container terminal. Work in the latter half of the 20th Century saw the port area grow from 370 square meters in 1959 to 800 thousand square meters today.
La Autoridad Portuaria de Marin is responsible for developing, managing, operating, maintaining, and marketing the Port of Marin. An important part of their mission is to protect the delicate estuarine environment of the Ponteverde while also supporting the growth of the local economy.
Today’s Port of Marin contains 11 commercial docks serving a wide range of cargoes and activities. The commercial dock expansion, at 250 meters long with alongside depth of 12 meters, handles containers and general goods. The east dock expansion (120 meters long with alongside depth of 9 meters) and the traverse Leiros dock (90 meters long with alongside depth of 9 meters) specialize in handling frozen fish.
The commercial dock, handling solid bulk and general merchandise, is 195 meters long with alongside depth of from 5 to 7 meters. The new commercial dock, dedicated to containers, is 180 meters long with alongside depth of 9 meters.
Manuel Leiros 1 dock is 125 meters long with alongside depth of 9 meters, and it handles solid bulk cargoes that require special handling and general goods. Manuel Leiros 2, at 242 meters long with alongside depth of 12 meters, handles solid bulk cargoes and general merchandise. The south commercial dock, handling general goods, is 161 meters long with alongside depth of 9 meters.
The All-Weather Terminal handles wood pulp, and its dock is 90 meters long with alongside depth of 7 meters. The repair dock is 107 meters long with alongside depth of from 5 to 6 meters is devoted to ship repairs. There are also 10 docks dedicated to supporting the fishing fleet. The inner port is served by 3300 meters of rail track both along the docks and at the warehouses.
The Port of Marin’s new Container Terminal covers 700 square meters and has a 250-meter-long dock with alongside depth of 12 meters. The terminal can store 100 thousand TEUs of containerized cargoes and is equipped with two Pontainer Panamax cranes. The Bulk Animal Fodder Terminal has 367 meters of berthing space with alongside depth of from 9 to 12 meters. The Fruit Terminal, with covered and cold storage, has 160 meters of berthing space with alongside depth of 9 meters. With fish as a major cargo category, the Port of Marin has cold storage with capacity for 200 cubic meters.
The Port of Marin’s infrastructure also includes two shipyards, a dry dock, two ice plants, export and ship-owners offices, fuel supplies, and repair facilities.
In 2007, the Port of Marin handled almost two million tons of cargo, with the highest growth area being containerized cargoes of 410 thousand tons (46.5 thousand TEUs). Being an important distribution port for bulk animal fodder, the port moved 552 thousand tons of cereals and over 311 thousand tons of animal fodder in 2007. The port moved almost 970 thousand tons of general goods, including paper pulp of 423.9 thousand tons, wood, and iron and steel products. During 2007, the port unloaded 142 thousand tons of frozen fish, and 3.6 thousand tons of fresh fish was sold at the Port of Marin’s fish market.