Genoa to build deep water breakwater

Aerial photo of Genoa showing the existing breakwater Aerial photo of Genoa showing the existing breakwater
Industry Database

As part of a long term project to make this Italian port capable of handling the largest container ships the port authority is now analysing tenders received for design and construction of a major deep water breakwater located further out to sea than the current breakwater writes Dag Pike.

A spokesperson from the port authority commented, “A total of seven tenders were received from design and engineering companies from Europe. The verification phase of the offers has already started and a commission for the evaluation of the technical proposals will be appointed. The main objective of this tender is the elaboration of the technical and economic feasibility project of the new breakwater, estimated to cost around EUR 800 million.

The new breakwater will be a replacement for the Eastern breakwater that currently protects the older section of the port including the ship repair yard and the passenger terminals. The new breakwater will be 500 metres further offshore in water depths of between 30 to 45 metres deep. With a projected length of 4.8 kilometres this will be one of the largest breakwater construction projects in the world and it is estimated that the construction of the breakwater will take 5 years.

“This new breakwater will give ships a manoeuvring pool with a radius of 410 metres” explains the port authority chairman, Luigi Merlo. “However, it is the financial side which has to be still solved and ideally, a central, governmental authority should pick up a few important port development projects and allow the relevant PAs to keep 3% of the yearly VAT turnover the port generates in order to enter long-term loans supporting them alongside funding from the EU”

The new breakwater would allow the development of a new container terminal on the Calata Bettolo Quay. However, the question of aircraft safety has to be considered because of the nearby location of Genoa Airport which might limit the height of container cranes at the new terminal. Currently a joint study is being carried out with ENAV, the Italian civil aviation agency.

The Port authority’s plan also envisages a reorganisation of the ship repair sector to include an extension to one dry dock to accommodate ships with a length of up to 320 metres.

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