Video: Venice Gets EU Funds to Build Mama Vessel Prototype

The European Union has granted EUR 9.7 million to Italy’s Port of Venice and Rimorchiatori Riuniti Panfido to co-finance the construction of the prototype of a Mama Vessel, a semi-submersible ship designed by England’s BMT Titron that will link Venice’s planned Offshore – Onshore port system.

The Mama Vessel prototype is a part of the Poseidon Med II project, approved in 2014 under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) project, with a total budget of EUR 53.2 million.

The EU funds will cover the final design and construction of the prototype Mama Vessel, or technically, Semi Submersible Barge Transporter. The Mama Vessels will have the capacity to transport two ‘cassettes’ of up to 384 teu from the offshore terminal to shore and vice versa, or by the use of two river barges which serve the Po River up to Mantova.

These Mama Vessels can withstand heavy seas and have a specially designed low wash hull form minimising wave impact to sensitive habitats and species in the Venice Lagoon. The vessels’ engines will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), which will enable the port to reduce CO2 emissions.

Engineering and project management consultancy, Royal HaskoningDHV, delivered its master plan for the new Venice container terminal back in 2014. Developing a new container terminal at the Port of Venice itself was not an option due to regulatory and environmental constraints on the development of navigation channels in the Venice Lagoon.

Positioned 8 miles offshore, where the sea bed is at least 20 metres deep, the platform will harbour an energy terminal and a container terminal able to accommodate up to two latest generation container ships simultaneously.

The key to the new offshore port design lies in a logistics concept comprising of cranes barges and semi-submersible vessels which act as a conveyor belt eliminating ‘dead time’ for container transfers. It also allows for more flexibility during peak times.

The final design for the vessels is expected in September 2016, and the first ship is expected to be finished by July 2017.

World Maritime News Staff