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Brand new “CLIMPORT” research project will investigate the effects of climate change on the design and construction of port infrastructures


As one of CLIMPORT benefits, the Spanish port industry will strengthen its role as a leader in climate change-ready design and construction technologies.

Due to their long lifespan and coastal location, port infrastructures are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Given this evidence, new methodologies for the design and construction of ports that take consider the effects of climate change are needed.

To address this problem, the project “Modeling system for the design and construction of port infrastructures adapted to Climate Change” (CLIMPORT) has been launched, co-financed within the call for Public-Private Partnership Projects 2022 call.

The execution of CLIMPORT is being carried out by a public-private consortium, led by FCC Construction, and formed by the Institute of Environmental Hydraulics of the University of Cantabria (IHCantabria), three large construction companies (FCC Construction, DRAGADOS and ROVER Maritime) and three large engineering companies (the ACCIONA Engineering area, the Sener engineering and technology group and the Amper Group engineering area, PROES Consultores), which have extensive experience in the field of engineering and maritime works. The execution period of this project covers from October 1, 2023, to September 30, 2026.

This project aims to design and build port infrastructures adapted to climate change, so it will research and develop an innovative system that considers the effects of climate change in the design of resilient port structures, which is essential to guarantee a more sustainable mobility.

It will generate an innovative modular system that will incorporate new professional methodologies for the design and construction of port infrastructure, integrating statistical tools, databases, international regulations, and state-of-the-art construction procedures.

One of the innovative elements of the CLIMPORT project is that it explicitly adds the analysis of risks associated with climate change. Another innovative element is the integration of variables to design and build ports, considering different temporal and spatial scales, which represents a unique approach in the international arena.

Key aspects of the CLIMPORT project include: the analysis of climate risks in the design and construction of ports, incorporating the effects of climate change and quantifying the uncertainty of the results; the development of the digital twin of the port’s hydraulic behavior, for different phases of its life cycle; cooperation with the BIM philosophy; the modular system that allows for great versatility and scalability and the characterization of the potential of renewable energy in ports.

Participation in this project demonstrates the corporate social responsibility of all partners of the public-private consortium. This can be seen because the execution of CLIMPORT is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially with SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure) and with SDG 13 (Climate Action). Furthermore, the system to be developed will be a benchmark in the design and construction of resilient port infrastructures, which will reinforce the international competitiveness of the Spanish Science, Technology, and Innovation System.

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