Rome – On December 14, 2021, the European Commission published the proposal for the revision of the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T), i.e. the European network of rail, road, river, maritime, port, airport lines and railways. terminals subject of Regulation (EU) no. 1315/2013. European Commissioner for Transport, Alina Valean, announced the inclusion of the port of Civitavecchia and the continuation of the Adriatic-Baltic Corridor south of Ancona in the aforementioned legislative proposal drawn up by the European Commission following consultations and agreements bilaterally with Member States. This revision is made necessary by the growing demand for transport, by the enlargement of the territory of the EU and by the persistent challenges linked to the evolution of transport policy based on sustainability, liberalization and technological innovation ( for example on the expansion of digitization to the entire transport system and logistics chains for a more efficient, sustainable and multimodal use of transport infrastructure).
In addition to Civitavecchia and the Adriatic Ridge, four freight terminals also enter the heart: the Fernetti freight terminal in Trieste, modernized in the road-rail terminals category, Santo Stefano Magra (La Spezia), Segrate (Milan) and Agognate (Novara). Six new ports are added to the complete network (Capri, Ischia, Ponza, Porto Empedocle, Porto Santo Stefano and Procida), three airports (Elba Island, Perugia and Rimini) and eight interports (Busto Arsizio joins Gallarate, Faenza, Foggia Incoronata , Forlì Cesena Villa Selva, Ortona, Castelguelfo, Pordenone, Portogruaro).
The Commission has also proposed the expansion of the network of urban nodes, with the inclusion of 40 other Italian urban centers with more than 100,000 inhabitants, or regional capitals with even lower demographic characteristics, in order to promote full territorial cohesion. The inclusion of urban hubs in the network involves the annexation of the associated rail-road link sections and the adoption of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans, aimed at responding to some of the challenges of urban mobility.
Finally, the aforementioned proposal also includes the establishment of new European transport corridors to unify the heart and widened corridors with rail freight corridors, the creation of a new intermediate network level, the so-called “Extended core network“, with an intermediate deadline of 2040 and new requirements for all modes of transport subject to an in-depth assessment of the temporal and financial impacts, as well as the conversion of the motorways of the sea into a “European maritime area”, with less constraints on the ports involved in the routes.
The revision of the Ten-T regulation is an integral part of the “green mobility package” launched by the European Commission with the ambitious objective of reducing emissions from the transport sector by 90%. In this sense, the European Commission has adopted a series of proposals aimed at modernizing the transport system in the territory of the EU in accordance with the objectives of the European Green Deal and contextualizing in the ecological transition for a more efficient, green and clean mobility. .
Efforts undertaken in recent years have indeed focused on increasing connectivity and moving increasing numbers of passengers and goods on rail lines and inland waterways, supporting, among others, the introduction of recharging points, alternative refueling infrastructures and new digital technologies, paying increasing attention to sustainable urban mobility and facilitating the choice of different transport options in an efficient multimodal transport system.
The inclusion of Civitavecchia in the European network of “heart” ports and the Adriatic ridge in the “extended core” network, in addition to being an important recognition for our country, allows Italy to have easier access to European Union funding for transport networks and, in particular, to funding for the Connecting Europe Facility 2 (CEF) dedicated to strengthening European transport networks and nodes, colossal means which will be added to the financial commitments already made with the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) and with the next finance law to strengthen ports , railways and the entire Italian Logistics Network.
In concrete terms, the CEF is making funds available for the 2021/2027 period for 25.81 billion euros, including 10 for the “Inner port” and “Motorways of the Sea“projects. On September 16, 2021, the European Commission Executive Agency CINEA published the first CEF Transport call for the new 2021-2027 programming which presents many innovations compared to the previous programming both in terms of the procedure of submission of proposals, which will take place through a platform, that the management of the same projects.Proposals can be submitted by promoters until the deadline set on January 19, 2022.
In this regard, it should also be noted that the MIMS Order of August 13, 2021 “Approval of the program of infrastructural interventions in the port area, synergistic and complementary to the National Recovery and Resilience Plan”, published in the Official Journal on October 2 , had ordered the allocation of a total amount of 2.835 billion euros relating to the financial years 2021 to 2026, in accordance with the procedural timetable provided for in Appendix 1 of the order of the Minister for the Economy and Finance of July 15, 2021, to be distributed between the Port System Authorities, the Municipalities and according to the type of intervention (environment, energy efficiency, cold ironing, etc.), as indicated in Annex 1 of the provision which also identifies the executing agency and the CUP.
In addition, the Ministry for Ecological Transition has launched the Ports Verts project which provides for a total expenditure of 270 million euros intended to finance the proposals presented by the Port System Authorities. The interventions covered by this initiative are energy production from renewable sources (70 million euros), energy efficiency interventions for port buildings (39 million euros) and lighting systems (30 million euros), means of transporting electricity (62 million euros), interventions on inefficient port energy infrastructure (23 million euros), construction of infrastructure for the use of electricity in the port (22 million euros), emission reduction methods (24 million euros) EUR). The electrification of ports through the development of cold ironing supplying the boats moored in the port with energy (particularly of renewable origin) via an electrical connection with the mainland is certainly one of the most sensitive subjects at the moment.
On this point, let us point out, among others, the virtuous initiatives of the Ports of Savona and Civitavecchia. In the first, a simple consumption and production system has been created at the service of port users, now powered by 121 kW of photovoltaic solar panels intended to be increased up to 4 MW, and capable of satisfying, once fully operational, 95% of the annual energy needs of the port of Savona, ie 45% of these needs plus the consumption of a large liner ten times a month. The port of Civitavecchia, on the other hand, recently granted a concession to Artemio Energia, in the service dock, for the installation of two experimental turbines on the ventilation holes of the wave barrier, for the start of the second phase of a project that aims to generate electricity from the waves.
After the strong setback caused by the Covid-19 emergency, Italy now has the great opportunity to create in the long term, through sustainable finance, a significant improvement in assets and strategic sectors for our country, directing capital towards activities that not only generate an economic surplus, but at the same time are useful to society and not to the detriment of the environmental system.
Lawyer, Gianni e Origoni Law Firm