October 17, 2019

The Italian transport ministry definitively approved a law which makes it possible for the Regional Governments to co-finance (15% of the total price) investments aimed at building new ferries or refitting old ones deployed on the short sea routes.

Subsidies will be granted for those companies in charge for the local public transport by sea.

The 10-years program is worth €250 million and will start in 2020.

Of the total amount some €69m are set for region of Sicily, €64m for Veneto (Venice), 60m for Campania (Gulf of Naples), €20m for Tuscany (Elba island), €15m for Sardinia and €13.2 for Lazio.

The first player expected to take advantage of these new subsidies is likely to be Siremar, ferry company 50% owned by Caronte&Tourist and Liberty Lines, and active on the Sicilian market.

Less than one year ago Vincenzo Franza, chairman of the company, announced that two new ferries would be ordered soon for the routes to and from Lampedusa and Pantelleria islands. The project had been developed by Naos Design and this new series of ropax units should have a 1,000 passenger capacity, up to 170 cabins and 650 lane meters plus 60 cars.