Tirrenia Cin Announced the Close-Down of Five RoPax Lines from December 1st

By | 2020 Newsletter week 48 | No Comments

Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione, the company part of Moby group which controls the former public ferry company Tirrenia, announced that five ropax lines will be closed down from December 1st.

The reason behind this decision is the postponement of the expiring date of the public convention for the maritime continuity with the islands which was approved by law last summer but not formalized yet by the Italian government.

The five lines set to be closed are the following:

  • Termoli – Tremiti islands
  • Genoa – Olbia – Arbatax
  • Naples – Cagliari
  • Cagliari – Palermo
  • Civitavecchia – Arbatax – Cagliari.

Tirrenia Cin also said that large part of the workforce aboard and onshore is at risk.

Public Subsidies’ Extension to Tirrenia Cin Limited to February 28, 2021

By | 2020 Newsletter week 30 | No Comments

The ‘Decreto Rilancio’ law, which was approved by the Italian parliament a few days ago, decreases the time for the extension of the public subsidies, from 18 July 2021 to 28 February 2021.

It concerns the public subsidies of yearly EUR 72 million, were granted to Tirrenia Cin for the maritime continuity with the main islands (Sardinia, Sicily and Tremiti).

The public concession should have expired on last July 18, but due (also) to the coronavirus the term had necessarily to be postponed.

Two of the competitors on the routes, Grimaldi and Grendi, said they would oppose this postponement at the Antitrust authorities both in Italy and in Europe.

The extension agreed by the Decreto Rilancio law is anyway subject to the approval from the European Commission.

Grendi Ready To Take Tirrenia Cin’s Extended Subsidies To Court

By | 2020 Newsletter week 21 | No Comments

The decision by the Italian government to potentially extend the EUR 72 million of subsidies to Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione (part of Moby group) until 31 July 2021, but probably even beyond, was not appreciated by several ro-ro and ferry operators in Italy.

One of them Antonio Musso, CEO of Grendi Trasporti Marittimi, said to the local media Port News: “The 12-month extension of the subsidies to Tirrenia-Cin is nonsense and devastating for the economic equilibrium of the maritime transport market between Italy mainland and Sardinia”. He added: “Today the essential links to and from the major islands are guaranteed by several private operators on all the routes. I hope that the European Commission will intervene on the subject, otherwise we will do it: there are enough elements to oppose a contribution that clearly distorts competition”. Thus, Grendi seems to be ready to take the case to the Italian Antitrust Authority or to the Administrative Regional Court of Lazio.

Generally speaking, also Emanuele Grimaldi recently said he would react to any form of public support to unhealthy ferry companies, which may distort competition.

Public Subsidies For Tirrenia Cin To Be Extended At Least Until July 2021

By | 2020 Newsletter week 20 | No Comments

The next ‘Decreto Rilancio’ law expected to be approved by the Italian government this week will extend the public subsidies to Tirrenia – CIN (Compagnia Italiana di Navigazione) for a maximum of 12 months, from the end of the current general state of emergency which expires on July 31.

In case the emergency will be prolonged, the expiring date of the public subsidies follows.

According to the agreement signed in 2012 (when Moby purchased the former public company Tirrenia trough CIN), the subsidies should end on July 18. (EUR 72 million per year)

Now the Italian government allocated another EUR 30.2 million and 42.4 million for 2020 and 2021 respectively, subject to approval of the European Commission.

CIN, company of the Moby group, did not pay the first and the second deferred payments, expired in April 2016 and 2019, and worth respectively EUR 55 and 60 million. Therefore the ‘bad’ company Tirrenia in Amministrazione Straordinaria, controlled by the Italian economic development ministry, is still looking for a solution. According to some rumours (and not denied) by ShippingItaly.it, the Italian government is considering a ‘rescue plan’ similar to the one planned for the national airlines Alitalia in the recent past. In case, a new company, in which the State participates, and in partnership with one or more private investors would take control of Tirrenia’s assets and pay EUR 180 million to the bad company. One of them might be Grimaldi Group.

Italy Launched Public Tenders to Charter Ro-Pax Units for Transporting and Accommodating Migrants

By | 2020 Newsletter week 17 | No Comments

The Italian transport ministry published an announcement inviting ferry companies to propose ro-pax units capable of hosting aboard migrants set to be quarantined upon arrival off the Italian coasts from North Africa. Last week Tirrenia-CIN’s ferry RAFFAELE RUBATTINO was already used to accommodate some 180 migrants saved from two NGO vessels (ALAN KURDI and AITA MARI).

The expressions of interest invitation is set to expire on next Friday April 24, at midnight, and ro-pax units proposed (either Italy or Eu-flagged) must have capacity enough to accommodate 250 migrants to be hosted in single cabins (except families). The garage must have instead at least 300 lane metres capacity. The value of the contract is EUR 1.2 million per month.

The Prefecture of Agrigento also launched another public tender, set to expire on Friday April 24 at 9 AM, in order to find ferry companies interested at serving a potential maritime transport service of migrant s from Lampedusa to Sicily (Porto Empedocle). In this case a ferry with at least a 50-passenger capacity is requested.

RoRo MARIA GRAZIA ONORATO and ALF POLLAK May Be Transferred from Fratelli Onorato Armatori to Moby

By | 2020 Newsletter week 6 | No Comments

In a letter sent to the editor in chief of the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, replying to an article published a few hours earlier, Vincenzo Onorato, head of Moby Group, revealed some details of the business plan that he was trying to perform until the action taken from the bondholders to the Court of Milan made the things going worse.

One of the most interesting details is that both the roro ships MARIA GRAZIA ONORATO and ALF POLLAK bareboat chartered by Fratelli Onorato Armatori and sub-chartered to Tirrenia Cin was not done directly with Moby, in order not to increase the company’s financial exposure. “At least until we were able to obtain a financial deleverage of the group” and this plan was possible with the sale and purchase of two ferries with DFDS since “EUR 66 millions of the total 75 million expected should have gone to the banks as anticipated payment of the mortgage”. The deal was not completed also because Unicredit did not give the needed green light.

Going back to the two roro ships, Onorato added: “We already informed the banks about our availability to put them inside Moby group” thus transferring the control from Fratelli Onorato Armatory, separated company controlled by Vincenzo Onorato’s sons, Achille and Alessandro.

The seasoned Italian shipowner concluded anticipating that “the group controlled by Onorato Armatori will close 2019 in profit and with better results compared with the previous year”. He further stated that Moby’s fleet has a value in his opinion of EUR 1.2 billion.