The port of Ravenna is characterized by a significant amount of powder bulk goods handled. The impact resulting from these activities in 2007 led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Province, the Municipality, the local health service and trade associations for the improvement of air quality in the port of Ravenna.

air view

This agreement follows what has already been provided for by PRQA (Provincial Plan for the protection and improvement of air quality in the province of Ravenna), approved on 27/07/06, which sets out the objectives of improving air quality, identifying the intervention acts in different sectors including industrial / port sectors.

The developed project as a result of the Memorandum, provided for the census of activities located in the port / industrial area and the study of the relative emissions by source types. The update of the census takes into account changes in the meantime in terms of material types, quantities and mitigating measures introduced by the operating companies. Air quality monitoring was also conducted and updated data will be available with the adjustment of the monitoring station present in the port, as part of the air quality control network in the industrial / port area.

The aforementioned Memorandum, renewed in January 2011, provides that the Port Authority shall encourage, with the modes and resources it sees fit, the adoption of practices and techniques capable of reducing the environmental impact of those operations involving the handling of powder bulk goods by port operators. The Port Authority will also analyze the possibility of equipping the new quays with an electricity supply system,(possibly generated from renewable sources) to which docked ships may be connected in order to shut down their diesel engines, which are responsible for significant emissions.

Another source of emissions within the port can also include those ships and their combustion engine derivatives. In fact, the use of specific fuels with a high content of sulfur is a determining factor in the emission of sulfur dioxide and particulate matter. These pollutants, which favor the process of acidification, are harmful to human health, cause damage to the environment, to public and private property and cultural heritage.


The European Community intervened in the matter with Directive 2005/33/EC by establishing new limits for such emissions, which seek to guarantee the best possible benefits, in particular, to populated areas around ports and coastal areas as well as to ecosystems which are particularly susceptible to acids.

In Italy, the above mentioned Directive was implemented by Legislative Decree 205/2007 which provides that:


  • With effect from 1st January 2010 it is prohibited to introduce to the market marine gas oils with an overall sulfur content exceeding 0,1%;
  • It is prohibited to introduce to the market marine diesel oil with an overall sulfur content exceeding 1,5%;
  • With effect from 1st January 2010, inland waterway vessels and ships at berth in Community ports are prohibited from using marine fuels, other than marine gas and diesel oil, with an overall sulfur content exceeding 0,1%;
  • At each Port Authority, there’s a special register with a list of marine fuel suppliers, an indication of the fuel type supplied and the corresponding sulfur content limit.

Directive 2009/30/EC of the 23rd April 2009, implemented by Legislative Decree n. 55 of the 31st of March 2011, introduced new specifications in relation to fuels used by inland waterway vessels.

The Port of Ravenna Authority, in accordance with the applicable laws has set up a Register with a list of marine fuel suppliers and an indication of the sulfur content limit for each fuel.

The topic is also treated within the contents of the Strategic Environmental Assessment and Environmental Impact Assessment applied to the port of Ravenna’s “Port Master Plan”, in pursuance of Legislative Decree 152/06 Part II – Title I and subsequent amendments, including the impact study of vehicular and marine traffic in the air. The main pollutants being measured are CO, NO2 and PM10.


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