Yilport's landing in Taranto handles a first hurdle
Southgate Europe Terminal appeals to TAR: the application was submitted after deadline, is poor and unlikely meeting public interest
As announced, Southgate Europe Terminal – one of the four companies applying for concession on Molo Polisettoriale within the original deadline set by AdSP, subsequently involved in the competitive-dialogue procedure, formally disrupted after Turkey-based group stood out – finally lodged an appeal with Lecce TAR, asking for cancellation (as well as precautionary suspension) of the measure which disrupted competitive dialogue procedure, claiming they should be adjudicated the concession as refund for the damage suffered.
Evaluating the facts, on November 14th , 2017 Southgate Europe Terminal – founded by Taranto Iniziative Produttive of Guglielmo Guacci and Zeta System – filed an application to be adjudicated a three-year concession on 1,200 square metres quays and 330,000 retroport areas behind Molo Polisettoriale, to launch a multipurpose terminal handling containers and various commodities. After ten days AdSP received a similar application from South Marine Gate: applying for a 30-year concession on 800 metres quays and 450,000 square metres retroport areas.
In early 2018 AdSP announced that SET and SMG applications – only interested companies, at that time – would be registered until March 7th, also inviting competitors to lodge other applications by that deadline.
Two further applications, also applying for a 30-year concession, were registered: one from Taras and one from ATI Taranto Multipurpose Terminal.
Consequently AdSP set a new deadline at April 30th , to stand out against former applications.
On May 11th, all four applications complied with the requirements, therefore, the so called competitive dialogue procedure among interested companies started.
The four competitors attempted negotiating the most suitable mutual-sharing concession on the area, finally sealing an accord to be formalized on July 6th.
However, in the meantime – recalls SET – two complaints were filed (on June 29th and July 4th), the first one submitted by Yildirim Holding, the second one by their subsidiary Yilport Holding, actually applying for a 49 years concession on the whole area to be further renewed for 35 years.
Two days before deadline, AdSP (supported by Lawyer Stefano Zunarelli) ordered the disruption of competitive dialogue, actually completed on July 31st, while starting to evaluate Yilport's application also setting a new deadline (September 12th 2018) to file observations or objections (actually filed by Southgate Europe Terminal), still according to SET's reconstruction of the facts.
As expected, the consortium particularly focused non compliance with deadlines.
According to Southgate Europe Terminal's lawyers AdSP had essentially infringed fair competition regulations when filing Yilport's application despite deadline had expired, unfairly cancelling the competitive dialogue procedure.
Furthermore SET's lawyers states there's 'no public interest' in the Authority's to shortlist Yilport.
Final target could have been reached issuing four 'parallel' concessions as the competitive dialogue among SET, SMG, Taras and Taranto Multipurpose Terminal was intended for.
Furthermore, still according to SET's lawyers, there is no hesitation at all regarding the legal company which should be running Molo Polisettoriale (the Turkish group's show of interest was submitted by two different companies, Yildirim Holding and Yilport Holding) and there's no technical nor economic- financial documentation illustrating the project.
Last but not the least Yilport's interest are in fact opposing Taranto port's ones, in fact Turkey-based group holds 50% shares in Malta Freeport, has no relation with the territory and Taranto won't benefit. from the situation.