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Game-changing container expansion project edges forward


Europe Platform appears to be nothing short of a sure way to safeguard the future. The recent gathering of shipping finance stakeholders at the presentation conference in Livorno demonstrated the increasing appeal of the new €870 m container terminal that will be built in part through project finance loans (€530 m), in part thanks to a public work contract (€340 m).


Over 200 delegates coming from Italy and Europe gathered at the Ancient Fortress of the city to get knowledged with the details of the tender that had been published on 21st January.   The Tuscan port seems to be an attractive spot for international companies looking to foray into the boxship sector and the lucrative Mediterranean market.


As Private operators have time till to the 22nd of March to respond to the international call for expressions of interest published in the European Official Journal, nobody in Tuscany wants to sit back and content himself with watching from the sidelines, nor the Livorno Port Authority Commissioner, Giuliano Gallanti, who wants the port to be big ship-ready and opened to the trades with the Far East Market, neither the president of Tuscany Region, Enrico Rossi, who said Europe Platform is essential for Livorno, cause the cascading of larger vessels onto regional routes is having an increasing effect on smaller ports and terminals and those ports which are not able to receive ULCS risk to be cut off from the map.


Tuscany Region, which will contribute to realize the new facility with 200 m euros, is directly involved in the game changing container expansion project: «There’s a ports race to be big ship ready – said Rossi -, and this trend is going to increase. Everybody is making upgrades, and this is the reason why I have asked Mr. Gallanti to realize an ambitious infrastructure, with 20 meters basements».


In the meanwhile, MR Gallanti is enjoying ongoing success with the record year for container traffic. The Port of Livorno handled 780.846 teu last year, representing a 32,9% rise in tonnage terms to 9m tonnes, to mark its third consecutive year of volume growth. In addition to record container volumes at Livorno, the port has also reported a 15.4% rise in total cargo volumes for 2015 against the previous 12 months to 33m tonnes.