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Vasco Gallega opens new offices in Angola and expands its centre in Porriño

The Vigo based company, which has 42,000 metres in Namibe, will now operate out of Lobito and Cabinda. The Vigo based company Vasco Gallega de Consignaciones, a leading shipper of granite blocks in Vigo –accounting for over 80% of shipments-, has started a new investment plan to promote its business in Angola, where the company already boasts several offices and a logistics centre and in Galicia, where it will enlarge its facilities in O Porriño with an additional 10,500 square metres of space as well as renovating its infrastructures at the Port of Vigo. “We have to keep up with the times” says the company’s President, Juan Martínez. The total investment, which will be made over a three-year period, amounts to 7.9 million euros.
Vasco Gallega has been doing business with Angola for ten years, and the company currently has a 42,000 metre logistics centre near the Port of Namibe, where it stores granite, containers and machinery. They also have commercial offices with 13 employees. The company said that in 2008 they will open two new headquarters in Lobito and Cabinda, other terminals in Angola, to strengthen their granite business and to enter into other market sectors linked to maritime trade. The investment is set at 1.8 million euros.
According to Juan Martínez, Angola is a market “with a lot of potential”where civil construction is undergoing a boom, which has caused increased imports of machinery for the construction sector. “Equipment to generate electricity is also in demand, as are food products, but only sporadically”, he adds.
In addition to Angola, Vasco Gallega trades with all the other African countries through commercial subagents and associated companies.
Similarly, this consignment company will invest 3 million euros more to expand their facilities in O Porriño, where they have some 45,000 square metres earmarked for the storage of granite blocks, parts for the automobile sector, granite machinery and containers. They plan to enlarge the area by 10,500 gross square metres.
Moreover, the Vigo based company will invest an additional 3 million euros to purchase new machinery for the port terminal where they operate –i.e. for cranes, forklifts, etc.- and to upgrade the industrial facilities in Porriño. The main reason for the purchase of new cranes and port machinery is the increased size of the granite blocks which can weigh up to 50 tons.
Last year Vasco Gallega had a turnover of 32.1 million euros and consigned 207 vessels. It is the leading shipper of raw granite, with exports reaching 520,000 tons and imports, 570,000 tons. The company employs 92 people in Galicia and has 13 employees in Angola. In addition to granite, the company deals in wood, iron and steel products, automobiles and machinery.
Proposals to collaborate on the monastery of Santa María de Oia
In 2004 Vasco Gallega de Consignaciones sold their participation in Vidriera del Atlántico and invested this capital in the purchase of the Cistercian monastery of Oia from the Banco Pastor –their partner in Vidriera-. The consignment company plans to build a hotel complex and a thalassotherapy spa at the monastery site, which will include the construction of 271 apartments earmarked for medical or health tourism and targeting senior citizens. “This diversification seemed to be the right thing to do at the time and now the only thing that is holding us up is the approval of Oia’s general development plan”, explains Juan Martínez, president of the consignment company. Since the purchase was made three years ago, Vasco Gallega has received a number of different offers from companies who would like to collaborate in the project. “There are companies who want to offer English courses for foreigners in our facilities, others offering therapy using natural medicine, beauty treatments, and so on”, Martínez continues. In his opinion, the attraction of low-cost airlines will help boost the business as will the improved communication infrastructures with the north of Portugal. “We believe that the recession will affect the real estate sector, but not tourism,” he concludes. (Source: Faro de Vigo).

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