A nautical tourism centre for Piombino

The Marina Arcipelago Toscano di Piombino project is a courageous Italian initiative co-financed by the Regional Programme Fund for Underdeveloped Areas 2007/2013 and supported by the Tuscany Region. Its aim is to help transform an abandoned area into an eco-friendly nautical reception centre. Donatella Zucca reports

CGI of Marina Arcipelago Toscano di Piombino.

CGI of Marina Arcipelago Toscano di Piombino.

Barring unforeseen difficulties, Marina Arcipelago Toscano is set to open in Piombino by 2024 as a large marina proposed by the Tuscany Marine Consortium and the Porto della Chiusa project. It has been signed off by the Piombino Municipality, Northern Tyrrhenian System Authority and La Chiusa di Pontedoro. This socially-focused cooperative is dedicated to the construction and management of ports, marinas and tourist ports.
The project encompasses 20ha (49 acres) of water and 23ha (56.8 acres) of land, including spaces for fishing and fishermen, areas for marine environment studies, water sports and local leisure. The concessionaire, promoter and operator is La Chiusa Pontedoro cooperative.
The Marina Arcipelago Toscano project plays a pivotal role in the development of Piombino, providing spaces for shipyards, a dry port, sports logistics, infrastructure and nautical tourism services. It also includes a breakwater built from natural boulders, a large pier made of sheet piles and a series of floating pontoons and fingers. The latter have been designed by Ingemar, winner of an international tender for the design, construction and installation of all floating structures. A Temporary Business Association, headed by Modimar SpA, is supervising the design and construction, while the dredging and sea works are being carried out by Sales SpA.
The marina can accommodate 656 boats of 8 to 20m (26 to 66ft) in length, moored at large pontoons anchored by poles driven into the seabed and served by fingers of various lengths. The sea part of the project is at an advanced stage of construction, with the dredging works, protective piers and backbone pier already completed. The piers and fingers for the first section are being installed on the east side of the port, and moorings should be complete in spring 2023. Further dredging will be required for the second section, with the piers scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023 and early 2024.
Ingemar pontoons have already been installed.

Ingemar pontoons have already been installed.

The floating structures are made of reinforced heavy-duty aluminium alloy, with concrete floats and exotic timber decking. The site also includes 47 berths for local professional fishermen, ten for non-local transit and 20 for the shipbuilding area, which covers about 9ha (22 acres). There are 100 berths for very small boats and 94 berths for sports, environmental, cultural and charter activities. Beautiful facilities for services and nautical tourism are currently being developed.
The major hurdle for Marina Arcipelago is its proximity to a new gas pipeline. A huge Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) ship is to be located in the port of Piombino, almost 1km (0.6mi) away, with a pipeline running 66m (217ft) from the dam and more than 7m (23ft) under the seabed, as confirmed by La Chiusa president Lio Bastianini.
Despite the nearby nature reserves and future aims to make the area even more eco-oriented, no eco-impact study has been conducted for pressing national reasons. The regasification planners and managers give assurance that there is no need to fear the pipeline, chlorine discharge into the sea, a drop in water temperature, or accidents. The mayor has appealed the plan to the Regional Administrative Court, but with no success due to force majeure.


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