Sea Highway System Top Italian Priority

Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Rete Autostrade Mediterranee spa (Mediterranean Sea Highways, henceforth RE.A.M. ), was recently capitalized with 1 million euros to coordinate the projects related to the building of the Sea Highways on behalf of the Transportation and Infrastructures Ministry in close partnership with the Ministry of Economy.

The company is controlled 95% by Sviluppo Italia and 5% by Sviluppo Italia aree produttive (Production areas diviison of Sviluppo Italia). The Company has been presented by the Ministry of Infrastructures (Pietro Lunardi) and by the Managing Director of Sviluppo Italia Massimo Caputi on March, 23 in Rome. "We are putting into practice an intuition we had more than 20 years ago," said Minister Lunardi while pointing out the job the Government has done in the last 30 months. The sea highways are now among the 30 top priority public works in the Van Miert plan for the Trans European Network and they can receive from EU a total funding of 1.8 billion euro to be divided among the Baltic, Atlantic, West Mediterranean and East Mediterranean areas.

The aim is to reduce the volume of road haulage and consequently traffic congestion on the highway network. Presently, said Lunardi, “75% of goods is road hauled, 15% is hauled on railways 10% is carried through the sea and only a small part is air carried. If we manage to increase sea haulage by a 5-10% in the next 5 years we will score a major goal'.

Among the company’s task there will be: ''the laying out of a masterplan for the sea highways action, to promote approval of programs and projects at the national and EU level, to carry out scouting actions to find new financial and entrepreneurial partners among shipowners, road haulers and terminal managers, implementing the plan and facilitate its management by handling national and international public and private resources''.

Ream Spa’s Board Chairman is Angelo Piazza, while the managing director is Fabio Capocaccia, general secretary of Genoa’s Port Authority. Among the members of the Board of Directors there are the current Chairman of Assoporti Fabio Affinita, the Managing Director of Sviluppo Italia Massimo Caputi, the Neapolitan shipowner Manuel Grimaldi, member of the shipowner group that bears the same name and Fabio Palenzona, deputy chairman of Unicredito and chairman of Aiscat.

"Our first task – explains Massimo Caputi, Managing Director of Sviluppo Italia – will be to build international alliances, since to employ EU funds we will have to submit a project together with another state of the 25 Union members. It is presently difficult to estimate the private investments that we will manage to activate on the project: it is better to take at least a month of time to lay out he masterplan''. 'It will be a feasible goal – pointed out Fabio Capocaccia, Ream Managing Director – to aim at concentrating at least 40 -45% of the 1.8 billion euro allocated by the Van Miert plan on Italian sea routes''.

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