Enel Produzione threw down an ambitious gauntlet to investors by asking them to come up with socially, environmentally and economically sustainable projects. In its proposal to inject new life into the former power station area, Human Company delivered the kind of figures and ideas that convinced everyone: a village capable of catering for up to 8,000 tourists per day with commercial activities, artisan workshops, fish markets as well as markets for the superb locally-grown and sourced specialist foods and flowers. The project was unveiled at a public meeting last April: the new village will take shape in the southern section of the former power station site and cover 110 hectares, 20 of which will be woodland. Direct employment is projected at 400 personnel and the village will be open to local businesses that want to get involved. The project will place particular emphasis on developing the open-air tourist village, a hub for water sports that will become a national and international reference point, the creation of a visitor centre to showcase the superb local environment and landscape, and a centre for local products, recreational fishing and tourism centred around fishing heritage.
A challenge that involves the entire area because Human Company’s goal is to turn Polesine into a new tourist destination that will showcase to an international public within the village the very best of the local area.
“Being able to transform an area like that of the power station site is an opportunity for operators like ourselves and for the Nation as a whole,” explains Galletti.
The process of converting the power station continues. Enel Produzione and Human Company are now working on defining the timeline for the project. Three aspects in particular will be at centre of the next stage of the work: analysis of environmental characteristics and verification of both the technical aspects of the project and those relating to the authorisation process. The technical and economic assessments will be followed by a detailed definition of the project, which aims to ensure the maximum reuse of the existing structures from a circular economy perspective.
“We have launched a discussion forum with the local institutions, whose immediate response to the project was very positive, in order to verify the necessary authorisation procedures with Human Company. Teamwork will be an essential factor in the success of the operation and that means a genuine alliance with the local area as its focus and with public and private spheres working together towards the repurposing of the site.”
As announced at the packed public meeting last April that revealed the details of the project to Porto Tolle’s citizens for the first time, the ultimate aim is to begin the repurposing work in 2019 with the goal of preparing the open-air village for its launch in the 2023 tourist season.
And what about the famous chimney? Galletti is unequivocal, “We’ll leave it standing. It is Italy’s highest structure and will become both a symbol and an international attraction.”