A historic signature was made today by Thomas Eckelmann, Chairman of LSCT and Mario Sommariva, President of the Eastern Ligurian Sea Port System Authority on the replacement agreement between La Spezia Container Terminal S.p.A. ("LSCT") and AdSP.
The event, also sealed by the presence of Cecilia Eckelmann Battistello, president of Contship Italia Group, is in fact a revision of the previous agreement signed in 2016. A non-substantial revision, aimed at updating its contents, and already preceded by a procedural agreement of July 2021, made necessary in view of the needs of both signatories, due to the changing global scenario that has occurred over the past few years.
With the new agreement, an update of the Business Plan by LSCT and the related work schedule was shared, keeping both the traffic targets (up to 2 million TEUs) and the percentage of rail use (up to 50 percent) unchanged, as well as the employment plan. Remodeled the time sequence of investments, bringing forward the Ravano terminal expansion work from the Garibaldi East pier expansion. The signed act includes a new Economic and Financial Plan (PEF), related to the new modulation of investments.
The main investment concerns the Ravano extension in the amount of approx. 220 million euros (110 for civil works and 110 for equipment). Considering other new investments to be made and those already made since 2012, the total planned investments of the business plan are 277 million euros.
Positive is the Employment Plan, which has already started in 2022, from the 595 units committed in 2021, and which foresees an increase in direct employees to about 694 upon completion of the works, starting in 2026, while the total of indirect and induced employees will increase from the current 2256 units up to about 2900 units at the regime of the increase in traffic volumes, starting in 2033. The Employment Plan considers a new model of work organization that envisages, in the newly built areas, the "semi-automation" of handling activities, requiring the employment of more specialized operational and maintenance personnel in the mechatronics area.
Regarding traffic, it is planned to gradually increase it to an annual traffic volume at full capacity of approx. 1,900,000 TEUs with a quay capacity of approx. 2,000,000 TEUs.
Infrastructure investments include the expansion of Terminal Ravano, which includes the Marina del Canaletto area; the internal rationalization of Terminal LSCT, with the construction of the new electrical cabin at Fornelli pier, facilities for the expansion of activities on Ravano pier and the construction of the new Terminal access "Gate"; and the automation of Terminal LSCT, with the construction of the Terminal access gate automation and the upgrade of the Terminal Operating System (TOS).
LSCT's new business plan also envisages the realization of any other infrastructural rationalization and expansion works, particularly the construction of the new rail hub on the Garibaldi pier; the rationalization of the areas of the Fornelli Terminal; and the expansion of the Garibaldi pier on the east side. These are all, the latter, investments the size of which may vary according to market developments. Moreover, the same, may be redefined temporally and dimensionally by December 31, 2032.
LSCT will then be able to submit a request for a variation in extension of its concession title, aimed at asking the ADSP to incorporate the relevant Business Plan update and assess its possible impact on the duration of the concession.
"Today we are sealing the future of the Port of La Spezia with a business plan with certain programs and related investments. For LSCT, today means starting with a complex project of interventions that will redesign our Terminal and strengthen La Spezia's port of call nationally and internationally," comments LSCT President Thomas Eckelmann. "An achievement that will mean a substantial relaunch of the Terminal's operational activities, which will see a strong push for automation and digitization of processes, a significant upgrading of infrastructure and equipment, but also a massive intervention in human resources. In fact, the project includes a significant increase in existing employment levels and training plans and initiatives to increase the specialization and professionalism of workers. It is an agreement that testifies to cohesion, collaboration between public and private," Eckelmann continued, "capacity and stubbornness of Entities and Enterprise on common goals, in the name of a revitalization of the Port of La Spezia and a future that also looks to the community: the return of the Calata Paita to the city is in fact an action that aims at a more massive port/city integration through the realization of the new waterfront project."
"The new replacement agreement lays the foundations for building a future perspective for the Port of La Spezia, based on a strong investment commitment from the concessionaire and a similar commitment from the public side related to dredging, rail infrastructure and backport areas. Fundamentals are the commitments on the employment front that guarantee both direct and indirect workers. The signing definitively unlocks all the works foreseen in the Port Master Plan starting with the urban reuse of Calata Paita and the new cruise pier. We can say we have written, together with LSCT, a new page in the history of this port and this territory," said Mario Sommariva, President of the Eastern Ligurian Sea Port System Authority.