The port of Taranto restarts dredging to have more container traffic

The port of Taranto restarts dredging to have more container traffic

The port of Taranto restarts the dredging of the seabed in front of the multi-sectoral pier where the container terminal of the Turkish group Yilport is located. The goal is to bring the seabed to a draft of 16.50 meters to allow larger ships to dock at the terminal and therefore have greater movement. The works were reassigned to the companies ranked second in the ranking, the Italian Fincosit and the Dutch De Nul, after the Ionian Sea Port System Authority terminated the contract with Partecipazioni Italia of the Webuild group, which in turn took over from Astaldi, the initial contractor of the contract.

The state of the works

The works involved the construction of the reclaimed basin, where to deposit the marine sediments of the dredging (a quantity of 2.3 million cubic metres), and the intervention on the seabed. The tank was built but not tested and therefore since there was no evidence of its tightness, dredging did not start. The amount of completion is estimated at 35.080 million euros and, through various commitment resolutions issued from 2014 to 2021, there is the availability of 15.061 million.

The foreseen phases

The assignment to Fincosit and De Nul will proceed in stages. We start with the tests of static functionality and sea margining. Trials last 98 days. Two other phases follow: the updating of the executive project based on the outcome of the tests and, following the testing of the previously performed works, the start of the completion of the contract. At the moment there is no estimate of the execution times of the dredging because we first need to see how the preliminary phase of about 3 months is going, ie the 98 days of the tests. If these close positively, dredging can start immediately afterwards. The case, however, is different if other works are required on the reclaimed tank.

Yilport's requests

A deeper seabed is also included in what the terminal operator Yilport has asked the Authority. The agreement reached between the two in fact foresees that Yilport undertakes to bring more traffic and to complete the investments on the terminal and the Authority to carry out the dredging. The Maersk group is one of those contacted by Yilport. The Danish operator has already come to the port, tested its organization with some test loads, but then the discussion was put on hold pending infrastructural developments as well.

Decline of 8.2% in the semester

Meanwhile, the first six months of 2023 of the port of Taranto close with a negative sign. Compared to the same period in 2022, there was a decrease of 8.2% and the total goods handled amounted to 7,072,301 tons compared to 7,702,080 a year ago. Solid bulk, i.e. raw materials destined for the former Ilva, contributed to the decrease with -13.3%, goods in containers -58.4%, other various goods -8.1%.

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