The future is looking greener for the cruise ship port at Venice.

Today, Wednesday, 17 July 2013, the cold ironing project to provide shoreside power to ships was unveiled to the press, after Venezia Terminal Passeggeri filed its plans with the Venice Port Authority yesterday, Tuesday 16 July 2013. Cold ironing is an alternative energy source that allows ships at berth — currently 20% of the new-generation fleet — to receive shoreside power without having to keep their engines running to power the on-board generators and exploit the heat generated by the ground system for the heating or cooling of port terminal buildings.

The result is a significant reduction in emissions and noise pollution. In detail, compared to on-board generators, thanks to the greater efficiency and low-emissions systems on the electrical plants, cold ironing reduces CO2 emissions by more than 30% and nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions by more than 95%.

The area involved in the project is the Tagliamento quay, and Buildings 107/108 and 109/110. On completion, electricity will be supplied directly from the national grid to two or three ships simultaneously. The project has taken 15 months to complete, at a cost of around €20 million.

The growth of the cruise ship industry in the Adriatic is undoubtedly linked to the success of Venice, the Mediterranean’s primary cruise destination.

Sandro Trevisanato, Chairman of VTP, can hardly conceal his delight: "This project is the result of a major investment plan, and attentive management that has successfully interpreted the trend in the market. With an area of 290,000 m², of which 93,000 m² are indoor, for a value of around half a billion euros, and investments of €150 million, plus €14 million for other infrastructure awaiting completion, we are now the first embarkation/disembarkation homeport in Europe, and the fifth in the world.

"The port can now accommodate up to 7 ships simultaneously at the Marittima terminal, 12 including San Basilio, and handles up to 33,000 cruise ship passengers every day. After the 2012 impressive performance, this year’s forecast points to 2.5% growth, equivalent to 1,820,000 passengers. The outstanding results in terms of numbers, a growth of 500% in cruise traffic since 1997, combined with enhanced organisational capabilities and skills confirmed by international awards received, have not gone unnoticed by the leading players in the industry. It is no coincidence that we have been asked to partner some of the world’s leading cruise ship operators and public bodies, in managing several strategic Italian cruise ports. We have also received enquiries, and negotiations are now underway, about the management of other major international ports on the Mediterranean, where we are now the leading port, having overtaken Barcelona."

VTP’s expertise in managing ports with excellent, but as yet unexplored, potential has led to enquiries from eight terminals, in connection with the implementation of a model that combines outstanding management with innovative cruise marketing projects. The press conference was an opportunity to illustrate the network of ports with whom negotiations are ongoing: four foreign hubs and the same number of Italian ports.

Istanbul. VTP has launched a study in partnership with a group of leading Turkish operators, in relation to planned investments in a new cruise ship terminal in Istanbul, with the capacity to accommodate five ships simultaneously. The area in question, Kazlicesme, is already a port and an interchange for the new metropolitan line in the European part of the city. Thanks to the strategic air links, and plans to build a third airport, it is also a strategic location for cruise ship tourism. According to Medcruise, 496,982 cruise ship passengers passed through the Turkish port last year.

In Croatia, involvement in the management of three ports is currently under discussion with the local authorities, and the Italian Embassy in Zagreb has also provided assistance to VTP.

Pula. VTP has been asked to participate in plans for the construction and management of a cruise ship passenger terminal at Capo Guc, in the Northern area of the port, on a 200,000 m² site with 2 km of shoreline and 450,000 m² of water. The sea terminal is expected to cover 8,000 m² and will include 450 indoor car parking spaces, and 1,400 outside. Pula, which has its own small but efficient international airport, also offers interesting opportunities for tourism and excursions, in a region packed with attractions such as Istria. The local Port Authority confirmed that 8,322 passengers travelled through the port in 2012.

Dubrovnik. Final plans are underway for a new multipurpose building destined to accommodate cruise embarkation/disembarkation operations. The local authorities have stated their interest in collaborating with VTP on the future development of this important tourist hub, strategically placed between Eastern and Western Europe. It is a destination with many valuable historic, cultural and natural assets, and is the country’s leading cruise port, welcoming about 80% of passengers arriving in Croatia (981,448 cruise ship passengers travelled to the port in 2012, according to Medcruise)

Zadar. VTP has been asked to join the project for the construction and management of a new 30,000 m² terminal building that will handle cruise ship operations at the new port facility in the south of the city. The terminal is still being completed, and will handle passengers from the cruise ships and ferries linking the Croatian islands. On completion, it will have three dedicated mooring points. 20,640 passengers were recorded in 2012 (Source: Medcruise)

Reggio Calabria, Vibo Valentia, Crotone and Corigliano Calabro: VTP has been asked to begin talks with the local regional governments and the Port Authority of Gioia Tauro, to contribute its know-how to some of Calabria’s strategic Mediterranean ports, which also offer infrastructure benefits thanks to a network of three airports. The regional government of Calabria’s master plan for 2013 envisages 15 cruise berths at the four ports, which will be able to handle an estimated 7,000 passengers, almost double the figure for 2012.

Besides Venice, VTP’s network includes other four Italian ports:

Ravenna. Since 2010, VTP has been a shareholder in Ravenna Terminal Passeggeri, the management company of the Ravenna cruise terminal, which handled more than 100,000 passengers in 2012 thanks to 17 shipowners who chose to operate from Ravenna with 21 different ships. Since 2010, the year in which the new management took over at Terminal Corsini, the number of cruise passengers has risen from 9,153 to 109,977 last year.

Catania. In 2011, VTP became a shareholder in Catania Cruise Terminal, the company that manages the regional cruise terminal. Since VTP took over from the Catania Port Authority, the number of passengers passing through the terminal has increased from 200,000 in 2011 to 290,327 in 2012.

Cagliari. Cagliari Cruise Port, of which VTP is a shareholder, was formed in 2012. In close collaboration with the Cagliari Port Authority, it promotes and develops cruise traffic through the port of Cagliari. Thanks to a mild climate that allows cruise ship operations to continue all year round, by the end of the year the number of passengers is expected to reach 170,000, doubling the 80,555 recorded in 2012.

Brindisi. Since 2012, VTP has been a shareholder in Brindisi Cruise Port, a company whose purpose is to manage and develop passenger traffic in Brindisi, a port with quays long and deep enough to accommodate the latest-generation ships. The port is strategically located along the North-South Adriatic and East-West Mediterranean routes, and is a privileged point of access to one of the busiest tourist destinations in southern Italy. In 2012, 13,507