Monaco and the Port of Ventimiglia | MooringSpot

Monaco and the Port of Ventimiglia

The Monaco ports company is in the final stages of acquiring the concession on the unfinished new port of Ventimiglia. After months of discussion and negotiation, the Principality’s SEPM (Société d'Exploitation des Ports de Monaco) and Gruppo Cozzi Parodi signed a preliminary agreement on 12th May 2016, according to which the latter sells the marina’s lease-holding company. This sale is due to be finalised by the end of June.
News of the development of Ventimiglia’s new marina, also known as Marina di Cala del Forte, which began in 2008, had been welcomed with great enthusiasm in Italy as well as in Monaco. Many yacht owners residing in the Principality, struggling to a secure long term berth close to home, had seen a great opportunity in this marina development. Some of them were keen to invest in the project if needed to see it come through. Unfortunately, the company developing the harbour had run into financial difficulties, and the construction works had to be interrupted, leaving part of Ventimiglia’s waterfront with a building site which may have taken years to be completed.
Following this agreement, the marina’s construction should now be back on track. Between purchasing the concession-holding company from Gruppo Cozzi Parodi and completing the construction works, it is estimated that the SEPM is going to inject up to 80 million Euros in this project. Within 2 years’ time this marina could be completed, with up to 170 berths to welcome boats of all sizes including of course moorings for superyachts exceeding 45 m in length overall (i.e. over 150 feet).
This new turn in the marina’s development seems like an ideal win/win/win solution:
  • The Cozzi Parodi group will now be able to reallocate its resources towards its large real estate and hotel portfolio, as well as the 3 other marinas it owns and operates to the East of Ventimiglia (Portosole in Sanremo, Marina degli Aregai in Santo Stefano al Mare and Marina di San Lorenzo).
  • The town of Ventimiglia will see its waterfront rejuvenated and its economy should be able to benefit significantly from the activity of the modern marina, with the creation of more jobs locally.
  • Last but not least, the ports of Monaco will be able to provide more mooring facilities to yachts, in addition to the Port of Fontvieille and Port Hercule, which are both saturated by demand. In total the Monegasque port operator currently manages 1,032 berths which are simply not enough to accommodate the yachts of Monaco residents or those simply wanting to stay for a few days (often resorting to anchoring out in the bay, which can be uncomfortable in those deep waters and damaging to the seabed). Though the Principality has a relatively large number of berths as the world’s second smallest country, only 40 can welcome yachts over 40 metres in length (i.e. 130 feet). It is reported that every year, 150 yachts staying in Monaco, have to “play musical chairs” with these 40 moorings. During the high season, the SEPM has to turn down up to 50 superyacht mooring requests per day.
Cala del Forte is therefore an opportunity for Monaco’s harbours to increase their ability to welcome visiting yachts as Ventimiglia is so close to the Principality, just 7 nautical miles across the Bay of Menton. This is a distance a yacht cruising at 20 knots can cover in 20 minutes. If it were not for Cap Martin, one could see Monaco from the new port Ventimiglia.
It must be noted that Monaco is not “acquiring” this marina. It is the company that operates its marinas that is acquiring a company that has an 80 year concession over the unfinished marina, which remains in Italy’s territory and territorial waters. Italian regulations and taxation remain applicable in this harbour, regardless of Monaco’s involvement.

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More Recent Article:

>> Cala del Forte : Opening in 2018
Initial Marina Layout of the new Port of Ventimiglia 
MooringSpot, June 2016.
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