Sicily-Fincantieri contract for new ferry
Schifani: “It will be made entirely in Palermo”
09 October 2023
Trieste/Palermo, October 9, 2023 – A new ferry, fully owned by the Sicilian Region and entirely “made in Sicily” will provide service to Lampedusa and Pantelleria. Sicilian Regional President Renato Schifani and Fincantieri CEO and Managing Director Pierroberto Folgiero signed the contract for the construction of a new ferry (Ropax Class A) today at the Palazzo d’Orleans, at the presence of Regional Councillor for Infrastructure and Mobility, Alessandro Aricò, for a base bid amount of nearly 120 million euros.
“The signing of this contract” said President of Sicily Schifani, “represents a turning point for connections with Sicily’s smaller islands. Ours is the first region in Italy to field the funds that the Ministry of Transport has allocated to sea connections and the first to be a full owner of a ferry. We will improve the quality and safety standards of naval transport for Lampedusa and Pantelleria, with a modern ship that also guarantees great attention to respect for the environment. We are giving a concrete response to residents and those who need to reach the islands for business or tourism. I also express particular satisfaction with the fact that the new unit will be entirely built in Palermo shipyards.It is a confirmation of the great professional quality of the workforce of the Palermo shipyard that I have personally witnessed, an asset that it is right to enhance in such a strategic sector as shipbuilding”.
Pierroberto Folgiero, CEO and Managing Director of Fincantieri, commented: “The awarding of this order represents an important test for Fincantieri. In an industrial sector that over time has moved to Asian shipyards, we have the opportunity to bring ferry production back to Italy, rehabilitate our historical competencies in the sector, and demonstrate our ability to be competitive while ensuring the highest production standards, with benefits in terms of operations and sustainability that will reach the end user. The strength of our project is, once again, technologies for reducing environmental impact, intercepting the needs of the energy transition, which are destined to outline the maritime transport sector of tomorrow”.
The new vessel will be entirely built in the Palermo shipyard, will be delivered in 2026 and will serve routes between Sicily and the islands of Lampedusa and Pantelleria. The ferry will have a length of about 140 meters and about 14,500 gross tons. It will be able to reach a maximum speed of 19 knots and a capacity of 1,000 people and 200 cars on board. Of note, the unit will be distinguished by the propulsion technologies installed. It will be equipped with a dual fuel engine, that is, powered by diesel and liquefied natural gas, the cleanest marine fuel currently available on a large scale, which significantly lowers nitrogen oxide and sulfur emissions. It will also have a photovoltaic system that, thanks to energy storage in a battery pack, will ensure that it will stay in port with zero emissions for about four hours.
“We succeeded, with President Schifani, in obtaining” said Councillor Aricò, “that Fincantieri would build the ship in its entirety in the Palermo shipyard: a 100 percent “Made in Sicily” ship, which will allow the Region to provide itself with an additional means of transport for the Sicilian islands, as well as to relaunch the Sicilian shipbuilding sector. The ship will be equipped with stabilizers similar to those on oil platforms that will allow it to dock even in prohibitive weather conditions. Today’s signing completes the work initiated by my predecessor Marco Falcone and implemented by this government. It is an extraordinary achievement: Sicily is the first region in Italy to have commissioned a ship, financed under Law 208/2015, which establishes a fund aimed at direct purchase for the improvement of public transport. The Region will have the possibility, as provided for in the notice, to exercise the option to build a second vessel”.