News from our Members and Partners

11 December 2014

Royal HaskoningDHV master plan delivers major efficiencies for Port of Venice extension

Final layout of the new Port of Venice onshore-offshore container terminal reduces equipment costs by 25%, saving the Port millions of Euros.

International engineering and project management consultancy Royal HaskoningDHV has completed the final layout of the new Port of Venice onshore offshore container terminal. The layout and equipment optimization will generate significant capital and operating expenditure savings for the Venice Port Authority. The new solutions were presented to the financial community and ship operators earlier this month at the Italian Embassy in London.

The key to the new offshore port design lies in an innovative logistics concept comprised of cranes, barges and semi-submersible vessels. Acting as a continuous conveyor belt, containers are transferred from the offshore to the onshore terminal and vice versa. This process will enable the port to eliminate ‘dead time’ during loading, unloading, and transfer of the containers, and will allow more flexibility during peak operating times.
The terminal will be able to move approximately 1 million TEUs per year which is a significant portion of the container volumes estimated for the Northern Adriatic Sea by 2030. This way the Port of Venice will contribute to opening up the Northern Adriatic to large ocean going vessels. It will also help fostering the integration of Northern Adriatic ports into the core European road and rail freight corridors. 


Captain Antonio Revedin, Director Strategic Planning and Development at the Venice Port Authority said,

“The integrated design of the onshore-offshore terminal and the water transfer system have resulted in performances that are equal to those of the best container terminals in the world. In addition to making this significant cost saving, the way in which the terminal will operate will bring numerous benefits. We will be able to accommodate the latest ‘super-sized’ container vessels, greatly reduce travel time, operate at full capacity without double handling, and manage with maximum flexibility. We are now in a very good position to begin the next phase of the project.”

RoyalHaskoningDHV offshore port design

Developing a terminal capable of handling Ultra Large Container Vessels (ULCV) at the original port location was not an option due to the port’s unique set of characteristics and the regulatory and environmental constraints on the development of navigation channels within the Venice Lagoon.

25% reduction in equipment cost

Royal HaskoningDHV was awarded the international tender to complete the optimisation of the plan in December 2013.

Its Principal Project Manager Simon Blake said,

“The significant cost savings were achieved through sourcing equipment and systems that are already available on the market like the Ship to Shore Cranes and the Automated Straddle Carriers to be used at the offshore terminal. Being able to deliver a 25% reduction to the equipment cost shows how well the team has worked to deliver a plan that is both cost effective and sustainable.”

The semi-submersible and so-called ‘Mama vessels’, designed by BMT TITRON, have the capacity to transport two ‘cassettes’ of up to 384 TEUs from the offshore terminal to shore, and vice versa or two river barges, class V, serving the Po River up to Mantova. They can withstand heavy seas and have a specially designed low wash hull form minimising wave impact to sensitive habitats and species in the Venice Lagoon. What’s more, the vessels’ engines are powered by natural gas, which will enable the port to reduce CO2 emissions, making it one of the most environmentally friendly ports in Northern Europe.

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