Genoa - 2019 promises to be the absolute record year for the port of Genoa on the passenger side. Msc Crociere will bring about 1.1 million passengers in 2019 with 196 airports to which are added, among others, those of the Costa Crociere ships. 257 calls are planned with around 1.3 million cruise passengers, of which 750,000 arriving and departing, with 600,000 remaining in transit. The ferry traffic instead last year remained stable with two million passengers, about 2,000 more than in 2017, and for this year there are no expected changes: the decline of Sardinia does not stop, compensated however by the boom of Corsica while the routes for North Africa they recorded a slight decline.
Savona will handle 885,000 passengers, slightly down compared to 2018, but will benefit from the positioning at the end of the year of the new flagship “Costa Smeralda” and above all an investment of 24 million euros to adapt the Palacrociere and dredge the seabed: the system Authority port of the Western Ligurian Sea extended to the end of last year in Costa the concession of the areas and services until 2044, confirming the works necessary to strengthen structures and infrastructures of the Palacrociere.
In Genoa Edoardo Monzani, the president of Stazioni Marittime (whose majority shareholder is the MSC group), calls for caution: it is true that 2019 is a record year, but the impact of ever larger ships has its effects on an infrastructure as intensely used as that of the Genoese passenger terminal. After the targeted interventions by the terminal operator last year, the structure awaits dredging up to 9.5 meters of seabed to be able to host the World Class of the MSC at the Mille and Doria wharves, in addition to the restoration of the cracked wing of the historical building at Mille Wharf: operations that however with the Genoa decree no longer fall within the operational sphere of the ADSP, but rather the commissioner management for the restoration of the Ponte Morandi.
There is also a problem with bollards: those installed just over 10 years ago have a pulling capacity of 100 tons, but the continuous growth in size of the moored ships makes these structures insufficient, so much so that last year at the Mille wharf three of them remained damaged just for these reasons. So, in view of the installation of the new bollards, a study was commissioned at Cetena: «There are about 20 years of research behind those kind of studies - explain Sandro Scarrone and Matteo Codda, respectively President and Head of Ship Platform Business Unit of Cetena, the research and consultancy company of the Fincantieri group - and which we have developed primarily for offshore plants, but later for the same moorings in the areas of Fincantieri, where these mega-cruise ships are realized: among other things it must be remembered in the yard the ships are not yet such. If a unit unites in port, it will always be safe with the engines, but when the ship is under construction ... it’s definitely a different situation. Precisely for this reason we worked on a model that put together mathematical calculation with the mooring men and seamen experience: the goal is not to understand the best arrangement of bollards on the quay, the correct positioning of cases, so that the loads are distributed in the manner as fair as possible.”
While the wound of Calata Zingari (where part of the quay collapsed years ago) is still open, the work carried out by the terminal operator over the course of the year was about one million euros for the restoration of Ponte Doria and the replacement of bollards, while the inconvenience caused by the closure of this infrastructure during the summer season of passengers and baggage on ferry bridges has cost the terminal operator around half a million euros.
“I want to remind - commented Paolo Emilio Signorini, president of the Adsp - that under the commissioner management are not only the dock for the passenger ships will be dredged, but the whole commercial port. In any case it is true, in some parts I have inherited difficult situations, but many interventions have been made. And surely there will be dredging to guarantee the latest generation of ships reach the port.”