New life for the Bari plant


Bari plant, new chapter. The historic facility, which produced energy until 2013, will soon be subject to an important revival: it will be the sixth project contest of Futur-e, the programme launched by Enel to redevelop, together with local communities, the power plant sites that have ended or are about to end their role in the national energy system.

A challenge, announced in Bari on March 31 by Enel Head of Thermoelectric Generation Italian Giuseppe Molina, that already in its premise is quite new compared to earlier. While the sites of Porto Tolle (Rovigo), Montalto di Castro (Viterbo), Rossano (Cosenza), Trino Vercellese (Vercelli) and Gualdo Cattaneo (Perugia) are outside of town, only the Bari plant is inside the urban context in Stanic, a key area for the development of the city because it is located south-west of the historic city, a connection point with the industrial area.

On 3 April the Notice was published on the website indicating the conditions to submit “expressions of interest” for the area. Once the eligibility is assessed, the second phase of the procedure will start, and the project proposals for the redevelopment of the area will be sent, including Binding Offers for the purchase of the site. A technical committee formed by representatives of the City and Region, Bari Polytechnic, Milan Polytechnic and Enel will evaluate the proposals and verify the suitability of the solutions presented. The latter will consider the needs of the local community, already surveyed through a listening plan, the specific quality requirements for the proposals, innovation and social, environmental and financial sustainability, and the application of circular economy principles. Only the proposals that will meet these sustainability requirements will be admitted to the final phase of the procedure, aimed at identifying the final project for the site.

With the redevelopment based on sustainability and innovation envisaged by Futur-e, the site of the power plant project, which occupies 7 hectares of land, reusable, could become a new urban place to mend a piece of the city. It would therefore be “a very important project for the city's urban planning, the most demanding urban challenge for the Bari of the future”, said Carla Tedesco, the counselor for urban planning.

The plant brings back memories that have shaped the history of the city and Italy. Built in the late 50s by the General Power Company of Puglia, thanks to the national investments of the Cassa del Mezzogiorno, on September 28, 2003, it was Enel’s only plant that always remained in service during the national blackout, helping to gradually restart other plants. Give it time and it will rise again.