Yilport, a container terminal operator controlled by Yildirim Holding, has signed a concession deal with Port Network Authority of the Ionian Sea (PNAIS), the institution responsible for managing the Port of Taranto in Italy, for its multipurpose terminal.
The agreement brings to a close the period of inactivity at the terminal which began when Taiwanese carrier Evergreen left at the end of 2014 after 13 years.
The new agreement, signed on 30 July, 2019, appoints Yilport to undertake all operations at the multipurpose terminal of the Port of Taranto for the next 49 years.
Robert Yuksel Yildirim Chairman at Yilport noted at the signing ceremony, “We have a strong presence in the Mediterranean. We are in Malta and operate seven ports between Spain and Portugal.
“Being able to enter Italy and work here in Taranto is like filling in the missing piece of a puzzle that we are building globally. The infrastructure was there but there was no one to take care of it.”
“Our intention is to create another success story in Taranto. From today until the end of this year, we will be fixing cranes to ramp up business, visiting potential customers, and promote the container terminal. The project also aims to cooperate with local operators to improve cargo and ro-ro traffic”, Yildirim added.
The new roadmap will see the old fleet of Evergreen cranes and equipment entirely revamped over the course of three to six months.
The company aims to start its operation by next January. In the interim period, the company will begin negotiations with the trade unions for the gradual integration of the approximately 480 former Taranto container terminal employees.
Yilport first showed its interest in the terminal in 2018 and the concession had to survive a challenge by the Southgate Europe Terminal Consortium before it could be finalized.
The dispute came about as the Southgate Europe Terminal Consortium also wanted the rights for the terminal and the matter was only settled in favour of Yilport few days ago.
The terminal offers about 1 million square meters’ land area and five rail platforms connecting Port of Taranto to the national railway system. The terminal is also capable of serving up to Post-Panamax sized container vessels with -16.5 meters draft. The terminal also features 160,000 square meters of Empty Container Services and CFS area.
In recent years, the Port has been subjected to expansion works for around USD$ 77 million public funds.