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New concession to PSA VENICE – VECON: investments of 78 million in Porto Marghera

The Management Committee of the North Adriatic Sea Port Authority, having heard the Advisory Commission, unanimously decided to grant the state concession and related authorization for the operation of third-party port operations (pursuant to art. 16 and 18 of Law no. 84/1994, as amended) to Vecon S.p.A.

The concession represents an important achievement by implementing the Regulation for Maritime State Concessions, adopted by the Management Committee in February 2022, which incorporates the evaluation criteria set by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport: traffic objectives and development of railway modalities, as well as the ability to ensure broad access conditions to the terminal for users and interested operators; sustainability and environmental impact of the proposed industrial project and level of technological innovation; initiatives for partnerships with research centers and university institutions; definition of infrastructure and superstructure investments, equipment, and technologies, also in line with national planning and programming instruments in the sector; the ability to ensure adequate operational continuity of the port; an employment plan that includes indications regarding the use of temporary labor.

The conclusion of the concession granting process, which was particularly complex due to the considerations of cruise-related needs, aims to define a port, logistics, and operational planning in line with the planning instruments of the Authority (primarily the 2022-2024 Port Master Plan) and the long-term market demands.

Specifically, the concession concerns a state property complex totaling 282,800 square meters at the Commercial Port of Marghera – Molo B, comprising areas, buildings, railway facilities (for a total development of 3,200 meters), and quays (Emilia Quay with a length of 510 meters and Liguria Quay with a length of 350 meters).

The concession focuses on the maintenance and development of the complex for third-party operations such as container and roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) cargo handling, as well as providing complementary and ancillary port services.

The state concession has a duration of 25 years, starting from October 1st, 2024, and expiring on October 1st, 2049. The annual nominal fee is slightly above 2 million euros, subject to adjustment based on national indices and depreciation for infrastructure investments made by the concessionaire.

Vecon S.p.A., as the concessionaire, will be responsible for the ordinary and extraordinary maintenance of the facilities and infrastructure. They aim to achieve a feeder and intra-Mediterranean traffic volume of 500,000 TEUs by the end of the concession period. Additionally, they plan to achieve a modal shift from road to rail of 6% of their volumes and continue accommodating cruise ship calls as necessary for the commissioner structure.

The total investments, amounting to 78.6 million euros, will mainly focus on environmental sustainability. This includes the replacement of internal combustion engines with electric or low-impact engines for container handling equipment, the installation of photovoltaic panels, and the installation of LED beacon towers. Additionally, investments will be directed towards the development of the operational and logistical capacity of the terminal, with over 55 million euros allocated, including 24 million euros for the acquisition/upgrading of cranes and primarily dedicated to acquiring new equipment or upgrading existing ones.

“This is a decisive step forward that concretely opens the season of new concessions on the island of Marghera and propels our port system into the future,” said Fulvio Lino Di Blasio, President of the North Adriatic Sea Port Authority. “I would like to thank the employees of the Port Authority and the Secretary-General who have made this long-awaited achievement possible. VECON is part of the international group PSA International, the world’s leading terminal operator in terms of volume handled, managing 66 terminals around the world. With this concession, we provide prospects for traffic, port work, sustainability, and the transition to a more modern and efficient port, and we contribute to the growth of the entire economic, logistical, and port system of Veneto and Northeast Italy.”

During the session, the Management Committee, after consulting the Advisory Commission, unanimously decided to grant a state concession and related authorization for the operation of port operations for their own account (pursuant to art. 16 and 18 of Law no. 84/1994, as amended) to Veneta Cementi Srl for cement loading and unloading port operations. The concession, with a duration of 20 years (01/07/2023 – 01/07/2043), pertains to a section of state-owned land in the southern portion of the Brentella port canal and the adjacent water area to establish and operate an operational berth of approximately 188 meters. The annual fee, already depreciated, amounts to just over 120,000 euros.

The company, which markets high-quality and environmentally sustainable cement, commits to constructing a quay capable of accommodating self-unloading vessels. The unloading of cement will be carried out automatically 24/7 without generating emissions. The new Regulation for Maritime State Concessions has also been applied in this case.