Dry dock concession deed signed

by Port News Editorial Staff

The concession contract awarding Livorno port’s dry dock compendium to Azimut Benetti was signed last night.

After announcing it on April 8th during a lengthy face-to-face meeting with Propeller Club president Gloria Giani, Port Network Authority President Luciano Guerrieri moved from words to deeds, putting an end to a nearly seven-year-long  controversy that began with the sinking of the Urania and the tragic death of a worker in the Summer of 2015.

The ensuing investigations and disputes that arose among the insurance companies resulted in the procedure being held up for years. Further delaying it later were legal initiatives by the Jobson ship repair company, aimed at challenging the validity of the provisional allocation of the dry docks to their competitor Azimut Benetti.

After freezing the call for tenders, with a  suspension pending a decision on the dispute, in June 2021 Tuscany Regional Administrative Court ruled against the appeals, declaring them partially improper and partially inadmissible.

Nearly a year after that ruling, after completing all the necessary investigations and waiting for the end of the deadline for Jobson to file a possible appeal with the State Council, the Port Network Authority has taken the final step towards awarding the concession to Azimut.

Port Network Authority managing director Matteo Paroli expressed his satisfaction: “Awarding the concession to the Azimut-Benetti shipyard with  approximately 92,000 square meters of water surface area between the berths 76 and 78 has enormous historical value for the port of Livorno. As state property senior manager, I prepared, in 2014, the tender procedure which marked the beginning of a troublesome process  that  has finally come  to an end today.”

According to Port Network Authority president Luciano Guerrieri, the signing of the concession deed was the missing link for  “finally leaving  years of tragedies, legal disputes and operational difficulties behind.”

“Now,” he added, “we can look to the future with greater serenity. The hope is that getting the concession activity back in full swing will ensure wide-scale involvement of businesses and the local area. I also expect the company to follow up on its expected commitments to increasing employment.”

Translation by Giles Foster

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