ROMA - Third port in Italy, after Genova and Trieste, with 37 million tons of goods charged and discharged every year, Taranto represents a respectable reality in the Italian port panorama. Located in the heart of Mediterranean is, in fact, an important hub for the traffic towards Middle East and Far East and African countries. "It is not possible to forget - the President of Port Authority Sandro Petriccione explains - that ILVA production, that exports the whole Mediterranean and Black Sea, goes through Taranto, 8 million tons per year of iron products". To all this it is necessary to add the intense activity linked to the containers' transportation with the Polisettoriale Pier, that is operative since June 2001 and licensed by the Taranto Port Authority to Taranto Container Terminal Spa, society that belongs to the Evergreen Marine Corporation in Taipei. "Only in 2003-Petriccione underlines-700.000 containers have been moved, this year the number grew up to 750.000 and till the end of 2004 it is expected to arrive up to 800.000 - 900.000 ". To the containers' handling is linked the enlargement of the port with the realization of a quay (40 meters width and 16 meters depths), in the zone of the 4th pier. "With the law aim - the President of Port Authority adds - we have 150 millions Euro of investments that should be useful not only for this operation of enlargement but also to improve the link of roads among the several sections of the port, to the opening of new accesses and to the construction of a logistic platform very important for us for a further development of the containers' traffic". Moreover, in order to improve the port infrastructural system from the container terminal, it has been realized a connecting line so from Taranto 4 goods train already leave each day for Northern destinations. "We are trying to improve the line - Mr Petriccione says - because the trains that leave from the port, directed to the Adriatic, are obliged to change locomotive to the Taranto station and then leave again to Bari: it means a great waste of time - he underlines - but the Railways have already foreseen a way that will lead to go towards the Adriatic without passing through the station". As far as the road is concerned the situation is not so easy. From the highway to Bari to the federal highway 106 there are 3 kilometers of open country to complete. "We talked to the Majors of the zone proposing to Anas to prefinance this project but the situation - the President of the Authority concludes - is still the same".
Il Messaggero Marittimo