Significant facility for both the company and Genoa as a superyacht hub

Genoa-based Amico & Co officially inaugurated it new €27m, 4,000-tonne capacity shiplift on Thursday. The new facility is not only an important development for this global leader as a superyacht refitter, but also a major bonus for Genoa in its ongoing campaign to become a key superyacht hub.

The new shiplift, which was developed by Amico itself, will allow the company to handle superyachts up to 95m (312ft) instead of 60m (197ft) previously. The shiplift, along with its associated special track and trestle transport system, means Amico will be able to work on up to six 95m superyachts at one time.

The shiplift is based around a submersible platform housed in a dedicated structure. It is able to rise up and down up to 10m (40ft) and allows superyachts to be hauled up to ground level through the use of synchronised hoists. The special track and trestle system completes the infrastructure of the shiplift, enabling superyachts to be moved onto the hard stand and the five new work station slots.

This major project, which has taken two years to complete, involved the strengthening and restructuring of a 25,000sq m area. As it is entirely electric, the system is zero emissions in situ. Part of the project also included the construction of a network of underground tunnels with dimensions of 2.75m x 2.4m to allow the movement of people and equipment servicing the various projects on the hard stand.

“The construction of the shiplift springs from out desire to continue competing as a leader in the Mediterranean superyacht market,” commented Alberto Amico, chairman of Amico & Co. “The shiplift is a result that we are very proud of, which rewards the force generated by our work culture, dedication to service, creativity and specialisation, all of which are elements typical of ‘Made in Italy’.”

He added: “We are convinced that it represents a great opportunity and an occasion in which to make Genoa a hub of global reference for super and mega yachts, activating and strengthening a quality economic system that generates development and prosperity for the entire surrounding area, with an important knock-on effect on the city even from a cultural point of view.”

The shiplift is a project that was eligible for public funding support according to ex law decree 181/89. With a decree dated November 23, 2017, Invitalia (the Italian National Agency for Inward Investment & Economic Development) awarded a capital grant of up to €4m to Amico & Co along with a subsidised loan of up to €13m with a long repayment period. The other €10m came out of Amico resources.

Construction of the shiplift, which is seen as being a crucial facility in enhancing the competitiveness of Genoa as a superyacht hub, involved 84 companies – all of which are Italian with the exception of the Dutch Enerpac company. Some 200 workers were involved on the project over an 18-month period and the shiplift will create at least 15 new jobs to Amico’s current directly employed workforce of 100 people.

The new platform was actually built at Brindisi in southern Italy and then transported by barge to Genoa. To date three superyachts have been hauled out, including the 65m (213ft) Feadship Wedge One and the 73.07m (240ft) Plan B. Amico is currently working on some 22 projects but it can handle up to 35 at one time.

A further €6m is to be invested in developing a new marina facility in the Darsena Nautica dock which will offer berthing for superyachts between 30m-100m (100ft-328ft). Work is hoped to start in January and devleoped in six-month phases. The marina will offer priority to refit or repair projects visiting Amico, but it will also be available for guests visiting superyachts. The dock is also used for the annual Genoa Boat Show, so it will allow the event to enable larger superyachts to participate.

The total project of the Amico yard redevelopment is seen as a major boost for the ‘Genoa for Yachting’ campaign to develop the city as a leading superyacht hub. Two years ago a cluster was formed under the ‘Genoa for Yachting’ branding which now has a membership of some 35 companies that employ 700 people and have annual revenues of around €140m.