Carmelo Noli has provided port towing services in the ports of Savona and Vado since 1919, the year it was founded. Since the early 2000s it has been part of the Scafi group, which was founded by Salvatore Cafiero in the 1950s. In addition to Savona-Vado, it operates in the ports of La Spezia and Gioia Tauro in Italy, and intends to become a major player across the Mediterranean. It already has a presence in Rijeka and Zadar, Croatia, and recently obtained the concession in the port of Safi, Morocco. The CEO is Paolo Visco, a nephew of Salvatore Cafiero; the managing director is Alberto Sandre.
What role does Carmelo Noli play in Savona?
“Our role,” Paolo Visco replied, “is to guarantee the safety of the port, of the people and of the ships that pass through it every day. This is our number one mission: the most important mission we have had in the past and will have in the future. We have people dedicated to training and education: safety is part of our DNA. Safety for people first of all, but also for the giants that sail our seas and which I hope will come to our port more and more often.”
Ligurian ports are not easy in this respect. What was your experience of the storm last fall?
“At the end of October last year we witnessed an unprecedented sea storm in the Ligurian Sea, and thanks to the professionalism of our people and our crews, with the always timely coordination of the Harbour Master’s Office together with the pilots, we were able to ensure safety in the port from consequences that could have been dramatic for the port and the environment.”
What are the prospects for 2019?
“The port of Savona is seeing major developments with the commencement of activities at the Vado Ligure container platform, scheduled for the end of 2019, in addition to the current range of traffic at the port: oil tankers at the Sarpom buoys; cruise ships (don’t forget that Costa has its hub in Savona); the Grimaldi and Corsica ferry services; also the general merchandise traffic that has always found Savona an ideal port of landing and embarkation.
Do you have investments planned?
“The company has always pursued a policy of investment and innovation, which led it to equip itself with Azimuth-type tugboats in the early 1990s. The tugboat is a type of ship that, although small, is equipped with extremely powerful engines and has a high level of technology. They are major investments, and this year we are going to complete the process of renewing our fleet, largely to adapt to the changes that the world of shipping is undergoing, with ships growing larger and larger. We will therefore be ready and able in the best possible way to face the new challenges of this port, and in particular, to accommodate the giant container carriers that will call at the new APM Vado platform.”
What are the characteristics of your fleet?
“The company’s fleet includes the newest generation of tugboats, at the cutting edge of the port and offshore tugboat sector, which can have up to 5,800 hp, corresponding to a pull of 70 tonnes. We operate in such a way as to cover the needs of the port 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, guaranteeing immediate response in any marine weather conditions. The various vessels, with displacements of up to 600 tons, are equipped with fire and rescue facilities in order to ensure the highest safety levels both for ships calling in the area of Savona and for those experiencing difficulties in the surrounding areas.”