The Assembly of Napa Ports (North Adriatic Ports Association) was held in Venice yesterday. During the meeting, the Presidents agreed that numerous European infrastructural priorities are staged in the North Adriatic and that the role that ports can play in this scenario is and will be crucial.
Indeed, Napa benefits of a strategic location that has enabled an average increase of containers handled of 22.3% (2011 figures).
It is clear that, to fulfil European expectations (having chosen these ports as the sea terminals of the Ten-T network), North Adriatic ports have to act as a single entrance gateway and implement infrastructure, both at sea and on shore, to release their full potential.
For this reason, Napa ports reciprocally support the development plans of each member port, in the belief that the growth of one port will benefit all ports and convinced that acting together is essential to become the major hub demanded by Europe.
During the Assembly, the four Presidents in fact renewed their commitment to outlining a co-ordinated development plan for the general enhancement of infrastructure of the North Adriatic Multiport Gateway, integrating each port’s development projects.
Over the years, the spirit of collaboration between ports has been demonstrated time and time again, the Presidents confirmed “that shipping companies do not decide to sail up the Adriatic to call at just one port; as a result it is necessary to act as one, to ensure that shipping companies have several alternatives available, each of which is distinctive and attractive for its own particular features”. In other words, a perfect blend to attract the large shipping companies of the Far East and of the emerging markets.
North Adriatic ports have in fact implemented major infrastructure to support growth: the port of Rijeka has completed the works for the erection of a new container terminal that will include two cranes suitable for post panama ships; Trieste is implementing its Molo VII (wharf 7) which will be equipped with new cranes, Koper is about to implement major dredging operations to enable larger container ships to berth and Venice has completed the dredging work to achieve a depth of 12 metres and is now preparing to host ferries in the new dedicated Motorways of the Seas terminal in Fusina that will be ready at the end of 2013 while container will be hosted in the new offshore port terminal where the natural seabed is 20 metres deep.
Napa Ports also support the Master in PEM (Port economics and management): starting in academic year 2013-2014, this course is taught entirely in English by international academics and is organised by Ca’ Foscari University of Venice,with the support of IUAV (Istituto
Universitario Architettura Venezia) and the Venice Port Authority. NAPA will be the focus of in-depth assessments during the course and each port is committed to host internships for future port managers. All of this, convinced as they are of the importance of training resources that can manage the complexity of the multi-faceted development of ports, especially in the North Adriatic.
Major support has been supplied also by the European Union. Napa participated in the TEN-T 2013 call for applications with two projects: Koper and Venezia joined forces to develop infrastructure to improve nautical accessibility; Koper and Trieste participated in a call to plan new port infrastructure. The results of the call will be made public on July 11th when the Ten-T Committee will meet to approve the projects that will be submitted to the European Commission (DG Move) for financing.
Finally, in September, the prototype of the common platform will be completed that will enable NAPA ports to exchange data on ship arrivals and departures, thus becoming a major networked hub, presented in Bruxelles last November.
“As a result, the buzzword is “growth”, to offer new business opportunities to shipping companies and to become the point of reference that the European Union wants us to be. Development at sea will have to be matched by equal development of road and rail connections. As a result, each of us, within our specific scope, will have to be prepared, convinced as we are that the development of each single port will benefit all ports”. These are the words stated by the Napa presidents at the end of the Assembly, who also added their “warm welcome to the port of Rijeka (Croatia) that will adhere to Europe on the 1st of July”.
Press Release, June 21, 2013