Wärtsilä made its first move to become terminal operator in Trieste
Waiting for the twenty-year concession, the Port Authority grants immediate occupancy of Italcementi's quay, though the latter lodged an appeal with the Regional Administrative Court
Wärtsilä is determined to stop using other people's terminals to supply its Trieste plant with over 1,000 employees and a 550 sqm area, one of the most important within the Finnish engine manufacturer's international network.
A few weeks ago the multinational corporation submitted a request to Trieste Port Authority asking for a twenty-year concession, pursuant to art. 18, of some 13,000 smq (including quay, rear area and expanses of water) on the northern bank of the Zaule canal, as well as for an authorisation, pursuant to art. 16, to carry out on its own (entrusting only part of the cycle to PSM Logistica) all loading, unloading and handling operations of components and semi-manufactured products for its own plants, and of finished products manufactured by the latter.
Wärtsilä also requested authorisation to advance occupancy (i.e. before the outcome of the concession procedure) “to use the state property from next January the 1st”. The Port Authority granted said request, pointing out in its resolution that the multinational company submitted “a project for the redevelopment of the quay, following the strengthening of its support poles and the installation of an engine modular transfer system to handle loads, as well as the placement of an owned crane at its embarkation point, implying 12.9 million Euro investments for the years 2018-2037”.
As regards traffic, in 2018 they should handle 150 engines for 35 vessels, in 2019 153 for 36, and in 2020 156 for 37, to which the company “could add a further annual traffic of about 1,700 tons of various materials for propulsion systems and of components for the production of some 2,500 tons”.
The only problem for Wärtsilä – that pointed out that, as the lack of its own terminal results in the more expensive terrestrial supply, it could “weaken the strategic nature of the plant worldwide” - lies in the fact that the quay in question, built at the end of the Sixties, remained under concession to Italcementi until mid-2016. The renewal request was rejected (as well as the authorisation request pursuant to art. 16) “in consideration of its complete operational inactivity since 2013”, – the Port Authority explained.
However, Italcementi, that was ordered to move out by the end of July, lodged and appeal with the Regional Administrative Court against said rejection. Therefore, in consideration of its risk of losing the case, while granting Wärtsilä the licence to immediate occupancy the Port Authority not only had to subordinate the formalisation of the authorisation to the actual redelivery of the quay on the part of the former concessionaire, but it also had to make clear that, if the twenty-year concession is denied, Wärtsilä will have to demolish anything it has built in the meanwhile, waiving any compensation claim.