The Port Network Authority is investing in the sustainability and digitalization of its port network, with a series of measures designed to develop agri-food logistics. Last November, the Authority took part in a call for proposals from the Ministry of Agriculture, with two projects, AGRO-LI and Cold Chain Livorno, eligible for funding. The Authority is currently waiting for the decree authorizing the definitive allocation of resources, from NRRP (National Recovery and Resilience Plan) funds.
The projects aim to make the agrifood logistics chain more efficient with dedicated infrastructure and service measures to set up new facilities or modernize existing ones. With this in mind, AGRO-LI and Livorno Cold Chain will contribute to Livorno port’s overall growth by positively impacting operational areas that need new investments to keep up with logistics decarbonization and digitization processes taking place internationally.
AGRO-LI, with a budget of 14.5 million euros, 10 million of which funded by the NRRP, will, in particular, contribute to the quality of Livorno’s port connections. This will be done by implementing a series of measures, including the modernization of berths No. 34 (Grandi Molini Italiani) and No. 35 (Reefer Terminal), in the industrial canal. It will also involve modernizing the Porto Nuovo stretch of railway line; upgrading and extending the port telematics network(RTP); and developing road and rail corridors to decongest port areas.
At the same time, the Authority aims to further digitize goods services. The extension of the port telematics network to areas that are not covered at present directly caters for this need. 10 kilometers of port fiber optics will be added to the current 12 kilometers. Finally, the Call will fund two digital services that streamline and speed up boarding and unloading procedures and new services in the truck village at the Tuscan freight village in Guasticce.
The second project, Cold Chain Livorno, involves measures dedicated to the fish supply chain and the cold chain in the port of Livorno and Guasticce freight village. The investment program is worth 14 million euros, including 10 million from PNRR funds.
The project proposes setting up two new facilities dedicated to the re-sale and storage of fish, in Darsena Vecchia, i.e. 5000 m2, with cold-storage deposits, eco-recycling units and, above all, zero-emission facilities, hence totally sustainable, which will replace the current ones and redevelop areas in a prestigious part of the city. The sector will benefit in terms of operating costs and location with modern facilities able to cater for top-quality products, with a potential in terms of food-and-wine tourism that has yet to be fully exploited.
The second operation will take place at Guasticce freight village’s ‘Cold Village.’ It will involve doubling the capacity of the current cold-storage warehouse with a new facility that will reduce emissions and is energy-efficient. The new warehouse, covering an area of just over 2,000 m2 will strengthen the North Tyrrhenian logistics hub’s position in the cold chain, with highly specialized facilities (temperatures reach – 28°C) offering good growth potential in the frozen food market.
The Port Network Authority is currently waiting for funds, which hopefully should be allocated in the first 4 months of this year. However, it is already preparing preparatory documentation for opening construction sites. This means that the project can be started in the second half of this year and be completed in 2025, with a timeframe in line with the NRRP.
Translation by Giles Foster