Major quays in the Grand Harbour will be enlarged to accommodate large cruise-liners
The equipment starting arriving in Malta to be installed in the €50-million project so that visiting ships will be able to switch off their engine in the Grand Habour while onboard activity may resume normally through on-shore electricity. The project will cover different areas of the port with works on cruise liners terminal at an advanced stage. Meanwhile, two major quays will be enlarged in the coming months to accommodate large cruise liners.
The world cruise liners industry is concentrating on bigger ships that also surpass 200,000 tons and carry over 5,000 passengers. Malta is preparing for this reality with authorities and operators currently working to ascertain that the facilities are adequate for these large ships.
Valletta Cruise Port, which manages the cruise liners terminal and other Grand Harbour facilities, has the permit for the enlargement of the Pinto 4 and 5 quays with around 16 metres.
The quays’ extension will be carried out by Infrastructure Malta, which has issued tenders that close on the 11th November. An agency spokesperson said that the tenders evaluation is expected to be completed and work to start by the end of the year.
Valletta Cruise Port chief executive Stephen Xuereb said “it is important that the works are carried out in the stipulated time because next year will be a challenging one as the Valletta Cruise Port will be operating practically with a single quay. That is we need the assistance of Transport Malta, as we always have, to use other quays when there is more than one ship in the harbour”.
Meanwhile, Infrastructure Malta contractors have completed the quays dredging for the supply of electricity cables to cruise liners when in two years’ time the ships will be able to switch off their engines in the harbour and will be directly supplied with electricity from the national energy system. Further inside the harbour, work is progressing on a new building which will house one of two stations of the Shore to Ship project from where the electricity frequency is provided to the ships.
The project will supply electricity to other quays in the Grand Harbour where merchandise vessels moor. This project is estimated to reduce the ships’ air pollution by over 90%.