Terminal operating giant APM Terminals (APMT) has signed a EUR150 million (USD171 million) deal for the construction and delivery of four ship-to-shore (STS) gantry cranes and 14 automated rail-mounted gantry cranes (ARMGs) for its new Savona-Vado box terminal being built on Italy’s Ligurian coast.
The first new major port construction in Italy for several decades, Vado is scheduled to open in January 2018, initially with a 20 ha yard, 700 m of quay, and an annual throughput capacity of 800,000 teu.
It will handle both containers and liquid bulk cargoes and will be integrated with the existing 275,000 teu capacity Vado Ligure reefer terminal – the largest refrigerated terminal in the Mediterranean – that APMT bought in August this year.
Vado CEO Carlo Merli told IHS Maritime that the order for both the STS and ARMG cranes had been signed with Shanghai-based manufacturer ZPMC and that the container terminal, with 17 m alongside depth, would be able to handle 18,000 teu vessels.
While the 14 rail-mounted gantry cranes will be automated, the terminal itself will be semi-automated, Merli said. “That is, yard operations will be automated while the STS cranes will be manned. The IT/automation packages will be provided by ZPMC upon our operational specs.”
The Italian government is investing EUR300 million on civil works, which will cover about 86% of the whole cost of civil infrastructure, including dredging and quays, while APMT will contribute to it with a fixed EUR50 million lump sum.
“Further to building the new infrastructure, we have to demolish and/or relocate existing oil and coal jetties, which had a significant impact on the construction timeline,” Merli said.
The STS cranes are expected to be delivered in March 2017, with the ARMGs scheduled to arrive the following month, he said. “This crane order is a very important milestone in Vado’s development and the future of the Savona-Vado area – it’s infrastructure that is essential to the development of new logistics networks and inland transportation possibilities for Italy as the Ligurian coast becomes accessible to the global shipping fleet’s largest vessels.”
Merli pointed out that in 2014 Ligurian ports – including La Spezia, Genoa, and Savona-Vado – handled a combined 3.5 million teu, representing an increase of about 6% compared with the previous year. Vessels of up to 14,000 teu capacity are currently calling at those ports as larger container ships are introduced into the Far East/Europe trade lane, the world’s busiest.
The largest terminal operator in the Mediterranean Sea, APMT is expanding into the Ligurian coast as part of the overall port masterplan to create new global supply chain access to markets in northern Italy, southern France, Switzerland, and Germany.