Mr Guerrieri gives update at Livorno Municipality works commission

Darsena Europa, the progress so far

by Port News Editorial Staff

Late Summer, September at the latest. This is the timeframe that should mark the transition from project to reality for the Darsena Europa, the second most important port investment in Italy after Genoa’s new breakwater. Darsena Europa a strategic infrastructure with which the Port Network Authority aims to increase the volume of containers Livorno handles, and simultaneously improve the port’s organization.

Speaking  in front of  the City Council’s Third Council Committee (Labour and Economy), the president of the port authority and commissioner of the project, Luciano Guerrieri, took stock of the progress of the procedures and works.

President Guerrieri said he was confident that he would be able to close the EIA procedure by the end of the summer: ‘This is a complex process,’ he said. ‘In December we sent the complete documentation to Rome, receiving, in the weeks that followed, multiple requests for clarifications and additions from various institutions and associations, Parco San and Tuscany Regional Administration.

The environmental observations  the Ministry received, 293 in all, prompted the Darsena Europa commission body to produce new documentation, which Mr Guerrieri hopes to be able to send to the EIA Commission by mid-July: “We hope to have the final pronouncement by the end of summer. After that we will be able to officialize the kick-off of the work to be done seaward  as soon as possible,” the Darsena Europa Commissioner points out, reiterating how the integrated tender contract for the construction of maritime defence works and dredging operations was awarded in March 2022 to the temporary company consortium led by Sidra as group leader with Società Italiana Dragaggi, Fincantieri Infrastructure Opere Marittime, Sales and Fincosit.

The soaring cost of materials is undoubtedly a concern for the Port of Livorno’s leading figure. He hypothesizes a potential 40% increase  in the cost of carrying out the work to be done seaward side. This means an additional 100-120 million Euros to be added to the 450 million budgeted for the public part.

“However, the government has allocated funding that can be disbursed at the request of the bodies entrusted with awarding contracts,” Mr. Guerrieri added. “Priority will be given to commissioned and NRP projects. We will rely on it.”

High cost of  materials aside, Mr. Guerrieri also stated how the Port Network Authority is not only committed to the environmental impact assessment procedure. It  is also working on completing wartime debris removal operations, i.e. the first major step to be able to definitively open the entire construction site. It’s a mammoth operation, especially if one considers that a large part of the current stretch of sea to the west of Darsena Toscana will need to be dredged in order to deepen the seabed, i.e., over 16 million cubic metres of sediment. The reclamation operation will involve  a total area of 200 hectares.

Translation by Giles Foster

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