The Tuscan Region welcomed the partnership between Onorato and Altmann
President Rossi ‘accompanied’ Manta Logistics’ application to the Livorno Port Authority for the new automotive hub of Piombino. “We are currently focusing on the terminal. As concerns car carriers vessels, we will see”
Florence – “It was the Region that paid some 600 million euro for Tuscan ports. Therefore it is its right-duty to take care of their development”. This statement of the Governor Enrico Rossi sums up the protocol recently signed by Tuscan Region, Municipality of Piombino and Manta Logistics to “favour” the execution of the project for a new motor vehicle terminal in the port of Piombino submitted by the newco jointly controlled by Moby (Onorato Group) and by the German automotive giant Ars Altmann.
This regional initiative is definitely a political move, and it is revealing about the relationship between Rossi and the Northern Tyrrhenian Sea Port Authority, which is required to implement the Region’s investments in Piombino. However, despite all the promises related to the investments of Nuovo Pignone (General Electric) and PIM-Piombino Industrie Marittime, nothing has been done. “As concerns Manta, the basic difference lies in the fact that an application for concession was already submitted to the Port Authority, which is expected to examine it during the next Management Committee. The placement of the entity under administration might speed things up”, Rossi pointed out.
Moreover, Onorato Group CEO Achille Onorato observed that “our two requests (application and expansion) have not been issued yet (therefore the granting procedure, which will imply also a public tender, has not even started, ed.)”, while Vincenzo Onorato criticized the Corsini-Provinciali management of the Port Authority.
“Though it was ignored by the MoUs with Beijing, Tuscany aims at its own Silk Road”, the Governor argued. “We applied for 70,000 sm and submitted an expansion request for another 215,000 sm, for 20 years. The project, providing for the handling of 230,000 cars per year, implies the exclusive use of a quay”, Manta managing director Massimo Ringoli explained.
The 17 million euro investment provided for by the business plan and the use of local manpower were approved, in particular Article 16 Compagnia Portuali, being already a partner of Moby in Tuscany Terminal (Vincenzo Onorato often referred to his “friend Stelio Montomoli”, former secretary of the Piombino Port Authority as well as politician and local trade unionist who passed away in 2016).
“Manta is ready to start working as soon as it will be granted the concession, even before the completion of the Italian Railway Network RFI’s works to install tracks in the quay”, Ringoli concluded.
Railway accessibility in Piombino was one of the factors that attracted Maximilian Altmann, Chairman of the German group which boasts a fleet of over 3,000 railway wagons and 650 trucks, with an annual handling of 3.5 million new cars and operational headquarters in 19 European locations amounting to over 4 million square meters and 1,000 employees: “We still did not have an outlet in the Mediterranean, and Piombino is the ideal location, in particular as a maritime headquarter to export 10 million vehicles manufactured every year north of the Alps, but also to achieve a target of 100,000 vehicles”.
“FCA group is already our customer, although I believe that for the Cassino and Melfi plants other ports are better located, while Maserati’s areas are very attractive”. While land activities are an Altmann’s prerogative, maritime ones are carried out by Achille Onorato, who recently met with a Chinese delegation (as disclosed by his “enemy” Mauro Pili): “For now, we need to become automotive terminal operator. As concerns investments in car carriers, we will see”.